Ink has been available on Tablet PCs since Windows XP Tablet PC edition in 2002. Mindjet released an ink version of MindManager in 2004. I think this tool has been under exploited except perhaps by artists (see these galleries on ArtRage and DeviantArt) and delivery men taking your signature. Will Windows 8 revitalise this functionality for business applications?
I have my doubts. Have you seen any native ink applications for Windows 8? Is the ink “keyboard” a useful alternative to the touch screen keyboard? Why does it have to take up half the screen. It’s not optimised for the stylus users. I liked the smaller pop up inkboard that Windows used to have.
I have enjoyed using MindManager’s ink mode since it was first released in 2004. It’s a quiet way of recording a boardroom style meeting. Ink does not intrude in the same way as either a traditional or virtual keyboard. It’s a fluid way of building the map. As the meeting wanders around the agenda or a comment on one item becomes relevant to another, I can easily add subtopics in different locations on the map. I think it’s a powerful and under developed tool. Mindjet having only made minor improvements to their ink tool set since its release?
Yesterday at a Business Scene event sponsored by Dell I had the opportunity to see their new Tablet PCs. Neither have Wacom (pressure sensitive and very precise stylus) screens but they are making good use of Windows 8.
The Windows 8 RT XPS™ 10 Tablet is a light weight iPad sized slate which plugs into a keyboard docking station. Reminiscent of the HP TC1000 & 1100 both of which I enjoyed using between 2004 and 2008. I still have three TC1100s in my draw, so I can send a squad of MindManager inkers to events. No RT version of Mindjet as yet, so no immediate use to me. It is a tempting piece of kit. It only weighs 635g compared to the 1470g of the keyboard less TC1100, is a lot more powerful, has two cameras and I bet the battery lasts a bit longer even if it isn’t replaceable.