Win 7 Tablet Input: Great to Good RRS feed

  • Question

  • To set my experience baseline, I have not used a keyboard in 6 years - solely focused on utilization of slate tablets for all my solution deliveries. I even performed my MCA review from my tablet.  I have written many pen-based applications that incorporate duel writing recognition and free-form input.

    My impressions for the new Win 7 TIP are mixed. I have made many attempts to communicate my experience to the Win 7 team  (even sending diagrams) but have apparently failed miserably. So, let me start out  in a public setting with the Great :

    • The new user interface experience is phenomenal . It is very intuitive.
    • The overall touch experience is great, especially flashing the keys as I touch them on the screen.
    • The fading of the TIP to reveal what's behind as the pen moves away is most helpful.

    Now, without calling anyone's baby ugly, let me address that which is Good but could benefit  from a little more attention being applied:

    • Handwriting  accuracy with XP and Vista was about 87%, not bad; Windows 7 is 50%. Yes, half the time it guesses the word incorrectly. Surprisingly, with a single letter correction, it flips to the correct word immediately. The amount of time I spend writing, however, has doubled compared to earlier versions.
    • Performance is just good, not great. Tablets are typically weaker machines to keep power consumption low and the weight down.  My Motion Computing LE1600 (1.5 GHz; 1.5 GB RAM; 32-Bit Win 7 RC) just gets along. My Lenovo X200 (1.86 GHz; 3 GB RAM; 64-Bit Win 7 RC) does a little better.
    • Handwriting Personalization , when running, renders both my  tablets unusable. It eats CPU and locks me out from performing any other tasks. Further, I have yet to experience any improvement in recognition after investing hours of running through its exercises.

     There are other input methods that could be incorporated into the TIP to make it even better:

    • ShapeWriter, Swype, and InScribe are all third party pen-input  tools that utilize methods that are efficient and practical alternatives to handwriting  recognition. Incorporating stroking through words on the TIP keypad would be a real bonus.

     My Questions :

    1. Those new to tablets are quickly enamored with the capabilities of the TIP while those of us who depend on its accuracy and performance may be a little more critical. Am I being too harsh? Is this as good as it gets? Are my expectations too high?
    2. When I go through the effort of Reporting Handwriting Recognition Errors , what happens? How are those used to improve the product? How long before we see any improvements as consumers?
    3. How can we help make the Tablet input experience better?

    Several years ago, l was in a meeting where Bill Gates expressed how he thought the Tablet platform would have taken off better than it has. His thoughts at that time were that eventually, it would.  The improvements I see in Win 7 clearly reflect the Tablet platform is going in a very positive direction. With close to 3 lb hardware devices becoming more prevalent, there should soon be more demand and exercising of Tablet functionality. 

    My efforts here are to proactively shine light on these usability issues before we must react to heat being applied as more mainstream adoption occurs.

    Best regards,

    Jim Wilt

    Jim Wilt [MVP, MCA-Solutions]
    Monday, May 25, 2009 11:28 PM


All replies

  • I am sure you are aware of the Connect site for beta feedback. This excellent set of observations will be very helpful to the developemt team, and if you are limited to feedback here in this forum, you should add your comments to the Misc. forums comments thread, so they can be passed on to the developer team.

    Have Comments about Windows 7 RC? (Part 3 - Do not post questions in this thread)
    Rating posts helps other users
    Mark L. Ferguson MS-MVP
    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 2:33 PM
  • Thank you for your prompt reply & direction. As for the Connect site:

    "You need permission to submit feedback in this area. To apply for permission, browse through your choices on the Connection Directory page. "

    Following through, there is no place to apply for permission (hence my original post here ). I will, as you suggest, re-post in the comment thread with renewed hopes of visibility.


    Jim Wilt [MVP, MCA-Solutions]
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 5:19 PM