After seeing a demo of a Microsoft tablet pc, I’m convinced it will fail with über geeks.
I’ve never had good handwriting as far back as I can remember (no matter how many A’s I earned in grade school, every report card included a C in penmanship, and every progress report mentioned that I should work on it), but ever since college it has steadily atrophied. What once was dubbed “chicken scratch” by my student lab partners has devolved into the quality of a slow pre-schooler’s work, and I don’t think I’m alone in that regard.
For me, almost every sort of note taking or doodling has moved over to a PC, and the occasions where I write something on paper are getter rarer. A couple years ago I realized that I went several months without writing anything down by hand, nothing at all save for writing a handful of checks once a month. With the advent of electronic billing, I’ve got that reduced to just a couple now. It seems dangerous to hinge an operating system on its handwriting recognition (*cough* Newton *cough*) when the amount of handwriting one must do these days is very little.
But then again, I doubt I’m the target audience, as it seems they’re going for business types that sit in meetings most days, scribbling notes into legal pads that will end up as word documents anyway. I can see how the form factor makes for more natural interactions in meetings (especially formal business ones), how awkward some folks feel when you end up hiding behind a monitor clickity-clacking notes instead looking at them eye-to-eye, but I can’t ever see me going back to scribbling out chicken scratch and expecting an operating system to recognize it.