WinHEC 2007

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Final Day

Compared to the first two days, today was a bit light.  Many attendees returned home and the convention center seemed a lot emptier.

I almost missed the exhibits of concept PC winners.  If the crowd had been as thick in the lunch hall, I probably would have.  This is always something I look forward to seeing, and this year's winners didn't disappoint.

To see a larger image on any of the photos, just click on the image.


Day 2

WinHEC is about hardware and how Microsoft products can enhance the use of that hardware.

I was wandering through the WinHEC Exhibit Hall yesterday to see what new hardware was on display.  Of course I was looking primarily for Tablet PCs and UMPCs, but a few other things caught my eye as well. First, let's talk about Tablet PCs since that's probably why you're reading this. 

The Tablet PCs on display included the new Gateway 12" model.  This is the right size for a Tablet PC.  For portability, the models in the Gateway 14" series were just too big and heavy to carry around comfortably.

The Gateway Thin and Light Convertible has addressed all the failings of the 14" models and corrected them in this lighter, fully-featured Tablet PC.  The ink/touch screen uses Wacom technology.  Although the model on display was using only 1G of ram, it's rating was a solid 3.0, very much on par with other Tablet PCs made to work with Windows Vista.  Graphics chipset was the Intel 945 and the processor is an Intel Core2Duo 1.06Ghz.  It also has a built-in optical drive.

I'll be doing a review of this and adding specifications to our Comparison Charts soon, but in the meantime, check http://www.gateway.com/programs/lightconvertible/ for more information. 

 

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The Asus R1F was also on display.    I really like everything about this Tablet PC.  The 12" widescreen give just enough additional gives just enough screen real estate that you notice the difference as soon as you start working on it.

The Toshiba R400 in its bright white case is certainly another attention grabber.

 

Looking rather stodgy in appearance, the Lenovo x60T makes up in usability for what it lacks in flash.  I'll take that over appearance any day.  The x60 that I use daily has been a workhorse.  No other Tablet has come close to full usability in a light weight package.  All I can ask now is that the add Tablet functionality to the 61 series.  I can't wait!

Wacom's booth had several on display as well as their touch/in monitor.  This is what people have been asking for.  Hook up a Tablet PC or a desktop running Windows Vista to this monitor and use the monitor as you would your Tablet.  Use ink, or touch on a large screen.  Wacom had a couple of designs on display, from a 19 inch model up to the one we'd all want if we could afford it - a 21.3 inch widescreen. 

We've seen a lot of requests for a graphics tablet that can be used without having to write or draw on one screen and view it on the other.  Wacom has met these needs.

For more information, check http://www.wacom.com/cintiq/index.cfm and see what all features are included.

The Certified for Windows Logo program has a lot of products that will make choosing the right add-on to work with Windows Vista.  This is going to be a boon for consumers who aren't sure what will work with their new operating system.  Manufacturers must pass several tests before being certified.  Here are some photos of just a few of the products that are already certified.

Although I'm not fully comfortable when someone starts talking about Windows Server, I've been on both the Windows Server 2003 and the Longhorn beta and have learned how to at least get around what's now known as Windows Server 2008.  It was interesting watching the keynote yesterday to see what some folks from Microsoft had to say about it.  They're confident that Windows Server 2008 is the best product yet.  I'm not going to disagree with them.

Windows Server 2008 isn't going to be for everyone.  It's a solid product for enterprises, businesses and anyone else who feels that they may need a server package that does it all.

There are other Server products like Small Business Server and soon Windows Home Server for consumers who need a simple and uncomplicated way to back up their data without worrying about how to do it. If the price point is reasonable for the service it will provide, I'll definitely be recommending one for home users and smaller businesses.

At the WinHEC Exhibit Hall, I checked out a few prototypes for Windows Home Server.  If price point stays affordable for the average home user, this could be a very big seller.  Hopefully, the OEMs won't price themselves out of the market. 

After the show, we headed over to a reception hosted by AMD and Waggener Edstrom at the Figueroa Hotel.  Food and drinks were plentiful.  I had met Scott Carroll during a meeting at the show.  He's replaced Chris Aarons who did a great job of getting bloggers and other influential Web sites on the radar or AMD. It's definitely a win-win scenario when a company recognizes that it's not always only the big guys who can make a difference. Scott plans to continue and expand the great work that Chris started. 

After we left the reception, it was off to Universal Studios where the Windows Server 2008 team hosted us to full access to the Back Lot, including food, drinks, displays, attractions and rides!  I got to introduce John Obeto to the Jurassic Park ride.  He was so busy looking at the big T-Rex that we were halfway down the drop before he realized what was happening.  Then, we did it again with Steve Bink in tow.  The second time was a bit more wet than the first, but we managed to get through it.  Too bad the photo booth was closed, because the picture of them was great!

The photos below are from Universal, with the Backdraft exhibit the only place we could really get any decent photos after dark.


Day 1

Bill Gates' keynote at WinHEC 2007 announced a couple of things of interest.

The first, although not directly related to Tablet PCs, is that there will be other partners joining in creating computers running Windows Home Server. This is something I'm especially interested in as I think Windows Home Server is a great companion to any of us who use portable devices.  Being able to access your information on a storage device from across the room or across the internet without having to have deep server knowledge is a boom to consumers as well as anyone having more than one computer or limited storage space.  I'm tracking a couple of these down for review and will keep you posted as to how they're working. 

I will say that I have a computer running Windows Home Server at home, although it's a computer that was just sitting at home not doing much of anything rather than a device made just for WHS.  I'm impressed with it and think that we'll all benefit from it.  Personally, I'm happier having my information safely stored at home as opposed to having it floating around in the clouds.  I'm just not sold on the technology there, yet, although I can see it will have great benefits to people who may not have access any other way.

Another announcement was that Longhorn Server will now be known as Windows Server 2008. 

For all the news from WinHEC, check http://microsoft.com/presspass

I'm going to be going to the show floor today and pass on the interesting things shown there.  Hardware is always a fun thing to check out.  I want to get a closer look at AMD's new video card just announced.  The demo looks amazing!

I also had a meeting with AMD to see how things are evolving with Tablets and AMD CPUs.  I'll also be staying in touch to hear more about GPUs and Tablets.  it's certainly one of the weaker points in Tablets, and hopefully ATI will come up with the right solution!

Due to a 'foul'up in communications, I missed the Dodger game.  I had been looking forward to going, but after the fourth sequence in a series of events, I decided that it just wasn't meant to be.  After not getting any sleep on Sunday night due to a very early flight (and on standby at that), and the great dinner on Monday night, it was time to catch up on some sleep.  Since I'm not staying at one of the official show hotels, the swag that was delivered to rooms wasn't sent to us (not surprisingly), but I'd love to have one of the baseballs that were given at the game.  If you have an extra one, let me know!  :)


Pre-Show

Monday night we had an invitation to attend a dinner at Roy's Restaurant hosted by Nick White, Windows PMG.  Special guests were Mike Nash, Corporate Vice President, Windows Product Management, and Bill Laing, General Manager, Windows Server Division.  Other press attendees were Mary Jo Foley from Microsoft Tracker, Paul Thurott, WinIT Pro, David DeJean, Information Week-CMP, and Joel Santo Domingo, PC Magazine.

A couple of Microsoft Featured Community members were also invited. I was there for TheTabletPC.net and  John Obeto from SmallBizVista.com, Larry Richman from IT Pro, Steve Sinchak from stevesinchak.com joined Nick and Brandon LeBlanc from The Windows Experience Blog.

The food was outstanding.  It was a treat to relax with these people from Microsoft and other venues.  No one seemed to have any agenda other than getting to know the others.  Time flew by way too quickly.

 
 

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