Some Tablet PC apps emerging
- By John K. Waters
Corel Corp. previewed its forthcoming Tablet PC application, Corel Grafigo,
at the annual Seybold San Francisco conference last week. Corel is one of only a
handful of ISVs building an application specifically designed for Microsoft's
new tablet OS.
Officials of the Ottawa-based software maker demonstrated a fully functional
beta version of the product at the Seybold show. Corel Grafigo combines tools
for graphics and collaboration into a common interface designed for mobile
knowledge workers in an enterprise. The product allows untethered workers to
collaborate and communicate via sketching and annotation tools, symbol libraries
and shape recognition and handwriting technologies. The pen-based application is
designed to work without a mouse or keyboard.
Basically, users can open graphics files and add handwritten notes and
diagrams to those documents. Collaboration sessions are network-based.
First introduced as a prototype last June in New York, the application has
matured and the company executives say it's just about ready for prime time. Its
design ''draws on 15 years of graphics software experience'' and ''a solid
history of supporting Microsoft in the launches of its new operating systems,''
according to Ian LeGrow, executive vice president of product strategy for Corel.
Grafigo is an entirely new application engineered from the start for the new
platform, he said.
According LeGrow, Grafigo was written completely in the C# language, using
Microsoft Visual Studio .NET. The new application is the result of ''Corel's
strategy to capture the graphical workflows of mobile knowledge workers,'' he
The actual launch of Corel Grafigo is scheduled for November 7, 2002, to
coincide with Microsoft's launch of its Windows XP Professional Tablet PC
Edition operating system.
Microsoft, which has been touting tablets for several years, is timing its
own release to the expected launches of new lines of pen-based mobile computers
from Toshiba, Acer, Fujitsu and Hewlett-Packard. The Tablet PC edition of
Windows XP will allow users to input handwritten notes in Microsoft Office and
other Windows applications. But the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant has also
demonstrated its own Tablet PC application, called ''Journal.'' The note-taking
software allows users to save handwritten files and to translate notes into
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached