Yes, Bill Gates still uses a Tablet PC

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Gottabemobile points to an MSDN Office Blog that has a post from Bill Gates in which he outlines various technologies that he uses. Two of them are the Tablet PC and OneNote:

” I always take a lot of notes about ideas to think about or things to follow up on. I try to bring my Tablet PC to meetings as often as possible so that I can use OneNote 2007 to write notes in ink that can later be searched or converted to text. Even if I forget my Tablet, I can scan a document or piece of paper and add that image to OneNote. One of the nice new features in OneNote 2007 is that it automatically recognizes the text in those scanned documents, so that it’s easy to search for them later.”

I wondered if Bill Gates still used a Tablet PC for notetaking now that he’s working outside of Microsoft more. Makes sense that he does. If anything, he’s persistent with the direction he wants to go and Tablet PCs are one of the technologies he helped bring to Microsoft.

What I also wonder is would Bill Gates use a slate Tablet PC-slash-UMPC-slash-eReader that was more like the rumored Apple Tablet? In particular, I keep coming back to the concept of a Kindle-thin-and-sized device that supports inking, notetaking, handwriting recognition, multi-touch, and some of the other features that are well known for the Tablet PC platform. Yes, this would essentially be a slate Tablet PC, but like the Kindle itself it would also be designed to be a great book reader and like the TechCrunch CrunchPad it would be designed as a great web reader. Combined with software to also make it work well as a companion device with other PCs, it could be a tremendously compelling device. In a sense, it would be a next generation Kindle. In another sense it would be a next generation NEC Litepad.

I can imagine Bill Gates using a device like this for reading papers during ThinkWeek or as a grab-and-go fourth monitor for his office PC.

Of course, there’s no device like this today. Maybe down the road we’ll see something like this once Intel makes an processor truly competetive to the ARM processor, or when Kindle begins to add some interactivity to its devices, or when (and if) Apple releases a larger iPod Touch and redefines the slate market. Hmmm. I probably shouldn’t be holding my breath, should I?