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Windows Tablet Edition

Posted on 2006-06-15
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I was told by Panasonic that Windows XP Tablet Edition doesn't support legacy devices like serial/com ports.

We have been looking at purchasing some of their toughbooks.

The toughbook with a digitiser and WinXP Tablet doesn't have a Serial Port which we need to do programming of devices.

They have a WinXP version that has just a touch screen (not digitised) but does have a serial port.

I suppose i have two questions:

A) Can Windows XP Tablet Edition work on a Touch Screen (ie. Mouse can draw ink) (ex. Elo Touchscreens that usually comes with POS terminals) or does it have to have a "digitiser"

B) Can Windows XP Tablet Edition support Serial Ports, from what I have read it is Windows XP Pro with additions can't see why it can't.

If so then I can't see any reason why I couldn't buy the "touch screen" versions and load Tablet on them.

Look forward to your reply and thanks in advance for your information.

Kind Regards,

Michael Proctor

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Question by:delta-mp
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Mohammed Hamada earned 2000 total points
ID: 16910381
Q-A ) No it doesn't have to, The touchscreen is a digitizer. It's just a different kind of digitizer.

Q-B ), One of the requirements Microsoft has put on the Tablet-PC manufacturers is, that the devices have to be 'Legacy-Free', which measn no COM, LPT or PS/2 ports. But There are USB-to-COM adapters/converters which can be useful if you google it on you will find alot.
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Author Comment

by:delta-mp
ID: 16910425
Ahh OK,


I should still be able to use the Serial Port it is just I won't be able to buy a "Designed for Microsoft Windows XP Tablet" with a Serial?

So the ink system doesn't "require" the "digitiser" (from what I understand most tablets have a pressure sensitive or something about heat too touch screen), meaning the handwriting recognition should work on the standard touch too...

Sounding promising! :)
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Hamada
ID: 16910959
Yep I guess you are right, The Tablet PC OS is a superset of Windows XP Professional so it supports all the same hardware and drivers but adds support for digital ink.

However, the hardware requirements for Tablet PC's that Microsoft imposes on OEMs prohibit COM ports on the devices themselves. Now of course I'm sure the OEM's could ignore that if they wanted or maybe come to some type of compromise with Microsoft but I don't know of any Tablet PC's that have COM ports. Except If you say you have one though, then it should work just fine, Or in case you are installing it on an XP Pro PC then I guess it should also be working well ..!

Have alook at the first word document listed in the following link. it's quite interesting
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/platform/pcdesign/desguide/pcguides.mspx
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Author Comment

by:delta-mp
ID: 16917783
I have just received my loan Panasonic CF-18 toughbook with Serial Port and WinXP, I am now going to attempt to install WinXP Tablet and test it out. Will post my results!

Wish me luck.
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Hamada
ID: 16919500
Good luck.
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Author Comment

by:delta-mp
ID: 17094389
Oops, forgot about this, soz fellas

Just for clarification I got the Panasonic CF-18 ToughBook with Windows XP Pro and a standard Touchscreen (ie. the mouse doesn't track where the stylus goes unless you actually touch the screen).

I formatted it and installed stock standard Windows XP Tablet Edition 2005 and all features work such as the input panel and the extra programs such as InkBall, InkArt etc. THE BIGGEST NEWS IS SERIAL PORTS WORKS FINE. I tested it on:

serial testing program
Cisco 1900 XL Console connection
Cisco 837 Console connection
programming connection with LG-Nortel Phone Systems
programming connection with NEC Phone Systems

not one sign of problems. So for all interested there is no drama in installing Tablet, I just used the Windows XP Drivers and everything seemed to work great.

Soz again for not getting back earlier, been a hectic quarter! :)

Till Next Time
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