How Tablets Have Redefined the Rules of Personal Computing


Back in 1990, I was asked by Microsoft to look closely at a product in the works that turned out to be the company’s first tablet. The focus on this device was a stylus-based device centered on what at the time was called pen computing. A competitive product from Go Corporation had begun to define the concept of pen computing and Microsoft did not want to be left behind.

The importance of this product to Microsoft was huge. Bill Gates himself blessed it because it embodied part of a major vision he had of “a computer on every desk and and every home.” At the time, desktops were all the rage; laptops had started to enter the market but they were large and clunky and very expensive.

Gates and team loved the idea of pen computing because it gave them a key device that could be used to help fulfill…

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