Welcome to our second CoDe Focus issue on mobile PC development.

This edition will focus on the mobile PC user, their computing habits, and the ever-changing demands they have of our applications. The Mobile and Tailored Platforms team here at Microsoft® is focused on tailoring the Microsoft Windows Vista™ platform and experience through innovations in software and hardware. Our goal is to enable customer access to their digital information anywhere, anytime, in new and exciting scenarios. We, however, are only part of the solution as you the developer will ultimately complete the overall value proposition.

The WOW has Started

With the availability of Windows Vista in the marketplace, we see a mature Tablet PC platform that is now a vital and central part of the Windows operating system. In addition, sales of the broader mobile PC category continue to grow and outpace that of the desktop. Windows Vista brings a solid platform for developers building mobile PC applications and a host of new features that make it the “go anywhere” environment. The “Wow” starts now.

Windows SideShow gives the user access to information without forcing them to boot up or start up their computer.

The popularity of the new Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) is helping to re-define the scenarios in which computing is possible and acceptable. With its compact size, a touch-enabled screen, and the power of the Windows Vista operating system, UMPC becomes a perfect companion device complementing your desktop (rather than replacing it) and bridging the technology gap between the phone and the computer. The UMPC ensures all your information and Windows applications are at your finger tips whenever and wherever you want them.

Other new and innovative hardware is also hitting the market now with devices that support the Windows SideShow™ Platform.

Windows SideShow is an exciting new technology that dramatically expands the usefulness of your mobile PC or desktop computer. By closely integrating a variety of devices with your computer running Windows Vista, you can access information in many new scenarios without opening up or powering up the PC.

Windows SideShow gives the user access to information without forcing them to boot up or start up their computer.

This edition of CoDe Focus walks you through the technology stack for building applications that target these new scenarios and devices. Your customers want simple, direct, powerful, and ubiquitous access to information, and they can now get this in your applications and on their terms.

Challenges Exist and Windows Vista Responds

Let’s face it, today’s digital world is both exciting and at times overwhelming. Because applications and services for managing information have grown in capability and richness, they require us to invest a significant amount of time learning how to use them. This is true on the desktop as well as the mobile environment. It’s true for developers as well as end users. Advancements in Windows Vista bring clarity and greater simplicity to many of these tasks.

Mobile PC users face challenges every day that desktop users do not usually confront. Desktop users typically have a reliable source of power and are continuously connected to a high speed and reliable network. In contrast, mobile PC users must frequently manage transitions as they move from place to place. Windows Vista addresses the unique needs of mobile PC users by providing several new and enhanced features.

Windows Vista offers a simplified and more reliable power management experience compared to earlier versions of Windows. Power settings help you easily balance the tradeoff between power conservation and system performance.

Resuming from standby or hibernate was not always consistently fast or reliable. Windows Vista promotes the use of sleep states so you can use your computer whenever you want, without having to wait for the computer to start. As a developer, you need to be aware of this as it will impact how your application should handle this transition.

Customers use their mobile PC in more places and in more ways than they can a desktop computer. Windows Mobility Center puts the most frequently used mobile PC settings in a single location. Now you can change your display brightness, volume, power plan, wireless network, external display (such as a network projector or additional monitor), and synchronization all from one place.

Presentation settings are options on your mobile PC that you can apply when you’re giving a presentation. If you’ve ever had your display turn black during a presentation, you will appreciate that your screen saver automatically turns off every time you give a presentation.

Anyone who has tried to connect a mobile PC to an external display knows how challenging it can be. Windows Vista simplifies the process by automatically detecting the external display, showing your mobile PC’s desktop, and starting a wizard to guide users through the use of an additional monitor.

Windows Vista also makes it easy to give a presentation from a mobile PC. By using the Connect to a Network Projector Wizard, you can connect to any Windows-compatible network projector over a wireless or wired network.

If you’ve ever had your display turn black during a presentation, you will appreciate that your screen saver automatically turns off every time you give a presentation.

The Tablet PC ushered in a new era of mobile computing: a single, fully functioning computer that is practical and comfortable while you’re on the go and also works well when you’re at your desk. With integrated pen support, touch screen support, digital ink input, handwriting recognition technologies, and innovative hardware, Tablet PCs are comfortable and productive in any place and at any time. Now, Windows Vista includes significant improvements that make the Tablet PC easier to use and that further enhance Tablet PC functionality beyond that of notebook computers.

Visual feedback for single-tap, double-tap, and right-click (while subtle) gives you more confidence about the operation that you’ve completed.

Check boxes in Windows Explorer now make it easier to select multiple files. When you hover over any set of files with a tablet pen, a small check box appears. You can select one or more files and then move, copy, or delete them as a group.

Pen Flicks are new gestures that you can make with a tablet pen to quickly navigate and perform shortcuts improving the document and Web browsing navigation experience.

Touch input is another great new feature, ripe for your applications. Ultra-Mobile PCs benefit from a touch-based UI as do the multitude of Tablet PCs that now include this capability. Use your finger to run Windows Vista; it’s simple, it’s intuitive.

Windows Vista also ships with an improved Tablet PC Input Panel. You can use the writing pad or the character pad to convert your handwriting to text, or use the on-screen keyboard in the same way that you use a standard keyboard. Entering URLs, e-mail addresses, and other non-dictionary words such as file names is faster and easier with AutoComplete, a new addition to Tablet PC Input Panel that works just like AutoComplete in other programs.

Noticeable improvements have been made to the handwriting recognition experience right out of the box. Even so, Windows Vista includes two new features that you can use to teach the handwriting recognizer about your writing style and vocabulary. These features can further improve handwriting recognition accuracy. In Windows Vista, instead of having to change your handwriting to get better handwriting recognition results, you can train the handwriting recognizer to recognize how you write characters and words. If you turn on automatic learning in Windows Vista, it enables the handwriting recognizer to learn your handwriting style or vocabulary by collecting data about the words you use and how you write them. The personalization occurs behind the scenes, without user interaction.

Windows Vista gives users one place-the new Sync Center-to manage data synchronization between computers, between computers and servers, and between computers and devices. This capability has become increasingly important as the range of computers, devices, locations, and data sources that customers want to synchronize has exploded.

Writers in this Issue

Inside this Focus edition of CoDe Magazine, we have an awesome selection of rich technical articles for you to learn about the platform services available to push your applications into the mobile PC space.

Our colleagues at Intel have written a great article on developing games for the UMPC, we hope you enjoy it and build some cool games.

Todd Landstad-our MTP ISV Architect-put together the bible on development for the UMPC platform.

Dr. Neil Roodyn graces these pages with his insights around adopting your existing applications to UMPC and a second article on Windows SideShow development.

Hilton Locke-Tablet blogger extraordinaire-has put his fingers to work not testing touch, a difficult task for this tester, but writing about touch development.

Nick Landry’s article, “Mobility in Windows Vista” is a definite must-read.

The .NET Framework legend, Billy Hollis, shares his words of wisdom around WPF and Ink-very cool.

Ms. Tara Prakriya-Architect on the MTP team-has some visions of the future to share with you in her “Into the Future” article.

One of our Mobile PC MVPs, Frank LaVigne, strokes some ink around our new InkAnalysis API. Want to understand what a user’s written on that page? Parse it with InkAnalysis!

Rod Paddock, who all of you faithful CoDe Magazine readers know, spent some time on the complexities of deploying your Tablet PC applications.

Our technical editor behind all the MTP developer content, Eliot Graff, debuts his writing prowess with a great “read this first” article on the development environment.

And the first lady of Tablet PC development, Ms. Julie Lerman, has done awesome work on ASP.NET, AJAX, and Ink.

All in all, I think you’ll enjoy this issue and won’t be able to put it down until you read it word for word.

Let us know what you think. Visit our Developer Center on MSDN (http://msdn.microsoft.com/mobilepc) and send your comments to us at MTPISV@microsoft.com

Remember-Do it on the road and do it in ink!


Entering URLs, e-mail addresses, and other non-dictionary words such as file names is faster and easier with AutoComplete, a new addition to Tablet PC Input Panel that works just like AutoComplete in other programs