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running tablet pc on an xp system using virtual machine

Hi, I need to test in the field using a tablet pc os.  I use an xp pro laptop, I would like to either do a dual boot or run it in a session in windows virtual machine.  The applet I need to test only runs on tablet pc.

I guess the question;s would be

can a windows xp vm session load an os like tablet pc?
can tablet pc run on a regular laptop?
is there another option?

Thanks a ton everbody.

SlickTech
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SlickTech
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SlickTech
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1 Solution
 
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Good question.   Since Table PC 2005 is just XP Pro with SP2 and tablet extensions (to handle touchscreen displays), I would expect that it will run fine in either a virtual PC or a regular laptop ==> you don't, after all, have to use the tablet features.   The "convertible" laptops that let you swivel the display to a tablet or a normal display position use XP Tablet edition.

I'm not certain, however ... although just for grins I just created a new Virtual Machine (under Virtual PC 2007) and am installing Tablet PC as I write this ==> it's working fine as I write this, but if there are any glitches to come I'm sure it will be when it asks for the 2nd CD.   The first CD is simply XP Pro with SP2 [it even says "Windows XP Professional Setup" on the screen while it's loading the files.   I'm sure it will work fine -- if not I'll post a follow-up in a bit :-)

I'm confident it would work just as well on a regular laptop.
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warrenbucklesCommented:
As far as I know, the Tablet PC OS will only run on Tablet-enabled hardware (digitizer screen and some other doo-dads).

However, I have not tried to load the OS on a standard box, so I can't say for sure.  The Tablet PC OS does not show up on the Tech Net download site; it may be accessible only as an OEM product.

Microsoft makes an SDK for the Tablet PC OS.  It can be found here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=B46D4B83-A821-40BC-AA85-C9EE3D6E9699&displaylang=en

The site indicates that the SDK will install on XP Pro systems, and goes on with this Note:

The Tablet PC Development Kit can be installed on certain non-Tablet PC operating systems (listed above). On these platforms your application can collect ink with the InkCollector class and can be tested and debugged. The InkEdit and InkPicture controls can be used to collect ink on these operating systems when the Tablet PC SDK is installed, but are not able to collect ink on non-Tablet PC systems that do not have the Tablet PC SDK installed.

So, it looks like there are ways to test Tablet PC apps on non-Tablet PC systems.

wb
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... we'll know in about 20 minutes :-)

So far it's installing just fine in a Virtual PC ... as I noted earlier, I think it will run just fine;  it simply won't have those extra "doo-dads" that a tablet PC would have => it will just have the codebase to support them IF they were there.

... conceptually it's no different than installing XP MCE on a system that doesn't have a TV tuner, video capture devices, etc.  [and that definitely works just fine]
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
I'm typing this from XP Tablet Center Edition ==> which clearly installed just fine in a Virtual PC; and I'm sure it would be just as easy on any other system.

Installation works exactly like MCE => install from CD1 (which is really just XP Pro SP2);  insert CD2 when prompted;  then re-insert CD1 when prompted ... and the installation finishes nicely.

A few differences:

When it starts up, a keyboard is displayed that occupies about 1/3rd of the screen ==> but it goes away when the desktop appears.   Clearly this is to use to answer the setup questions IF a touch-sensitive keyboard was present.

After the desktop appears, a "Welcome to Tablet PC" tutorial is offered (I declined).

A right-click, Properties on My Computer shows:    
     Microsoft Windows XP
     Tablet PC Edition 2005

The taskbar has an icon next to the Start button that brings up a "PC Input Panel" with a "Write here" message in the largest area, and push-button keys that will change that area to a "character pad" or an onscreen keyboard; as well as common keys on the right side that are always there (Bksp, Tab, etc.) and buttons that bring up a special symbols pad or a numeric keypad.

But other than the fact that I don't have a touchscreen so none of those work except via mouseclicks, the system works just fine ==> exactly like XP Pro.


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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Just noticed a typo above:  it's fairly obvious, but in the first paragraph of the differences "... IF a touch-sensitive keyboard was present." should be "... IF a touch-sensitive display was present."
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SlickTechAuthor Commented:
Wow thanks guys, Gary, did you use the download Warren provided, or did you have the tablet pc cd's, also where do I start a vm session?

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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
No, I used the actual Tablet PC CD's.
[I have an MSDN Premium subscription; so I could download Tablet PC --> which I did while I was writing the first post ... I was already loading the VM before I even posted]

You just need to download and install Virtual PC 2007  http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/virtualpc/default.mspx

Then run the New Virtual Machine Wizard (just click on New from the Console --> although the first time you run VPC the wizard will automatically start).   You "load" the CD's by either capturing the ISO image (as I did) or by inserting the actual CD in one of your optical drives and telling VPC to use that drive.   VERY SIMPLE :-)
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SlickTechAuthor Commented:
thanks Gary, how do I get the Tablet PC CD's?
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
You'll have to buy a copy of XP Tablet PC edition, just as you would any other version of XP.

If you frequently test software products, you may want to consider an MSDN subscription, as it allows
you access to most Microsoft software for testing and evaluation purposes.
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SlickTechAuthor Commented:
Great gary, I didn't know I could by the Tablet PC software, I thought it was just OEM.  Thanks a ton.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
I was just trying to find you a source ... with no luck.   Unfortunately this seems to be a "Catch 22" situation.   This is from Microsoft's Tablet PC site Q&A:

     Q1: Where can I purchase a copy of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition?

     A1: Because Windows XP Tablet PC Edition has specific hardware requirements, it can only be
    obtained pre-installed on a Tablet PC computer. You cannot buy Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
    separately.

So it looks like you either have to purchase a Tablet PC; or subscribe to MSDN to actually get a copy of the software.  

The SDK that was suggested earlier requires Visual Studio v6SP5 or Visual Studio.NET, and if Visual Studio is not a version later than v6, you have to do this:  "... Please download the latest Platform SDK from MSDN® if you are using Visual Studio 6."   It's also not clear if the SDK allows a comprehensive test of the developed application ... or if you can just develop them.   If you have Visual Studio or Visual Studio.NET you might want to download the SDK and see if that will let your application run.   Otherwise it seems you're stuck with the two options above (subscribe to MSDN or buy a tablet PC).
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SlickTechAuthor Commented:
Thanks I saw they had em on Amazon, media and code.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Good -- glad you found it.   It makes sense that you should be able to get it ==> it's kind of like when XP MCE came out and you couldn't buy it ... didn't make sense for those with the right hardware to not be able to upgrade to it.   Tablet Edition would be nice in some applications that aren't strictly tablets ==> e.g. a touchscreen LCD monitor [Now that I've "played" with it for this question, I'm tempted to buy a touchscreen monitor for the kitchen PC :-) ]
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