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HardwareTablet PCThe sun will come out tomorrow

The sun will come out tomorrow

It’s Friday morning. The Tablet PC Partner Briefing is over. And the sun is out–well kind of. To a Phoenician, like me, it’s more like a partly cloudy day; however, after three days of constant rain, it feels soooo sunny.

I’m ready to go home. And work. The conference has been tremendously energizing.

Here are some things I’ve learned:

* Many of the Tablet ISVs are enthusiastic networkers. They want to learn from each other. They want to explore what partnerships are possible. They want to stay open to market opportunities, so they make a strong effort to listen as well as to pitch their products. It’s quite invigorating to be in the mix of this.

* The enterprise market is still a substantial part of the market. This makes complete sense. This is where the majority of the marketing has been. However, this is changing. The marketing from companies such as Gateway and Microsoft reflects this. The Best Buy Tablet kiosks reflect this. The increasing number and variety of form factors is reflecting this. The trick, though, for many of us smaller software developers is to leverage our ability to adjust quickly as the markets change. As Tablet features become mainstream Windows Vista features, where will the opportunities lie for Tablet vendors? Will it be more of the same? Or will we need to adjust our products? I’m guessing the latter. We need apps that are not only great Tablet apps, they increasingly need to be great Windows apps. That’s a much larger competitive pool. We’ll have to see how the mix plays out, though.

* I also am surprised at the numbers of ISVs in the Tablet space. There are over 850 members of the Tablet Partner program and there were over 100 companies represented at the Tablet Partner Briefing. There’s lots of developer interest in Tablets. That’s for sure.

(Lastly, I saw a very cool demo in the hallway at yesterday’s Partner conference. I don’t know if I can say who wrote it or what it is. I’m emailing them to see if it’s OK to blog about it–without saying too much. Sometimes you see or learn about the most interesting things standing in the hallways. This was one of those times.)

Anyway, it’s time to catch a taxi and head off to the airport. I can’t wait to get home. There’s so much to do.

Loren Heiny (1961 - 2010) was a software developer and author of several computer language textbooks. He graduated from Arizona State University in computer science. His first love was robotics.

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