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Gates, who now holds the titles chief software architect and chairman of the board, put on an old-fashioned dog and pony show, bringing up on stage various product managers to show off the Tablet PC and other technologies, including some of the flashier new features coming up in the next version of Microsoft Office to be introduced next year.

The Tablet PC had a number of features that brought appreciative cheers from a sophisticated audience of technologists.

The pen-based user interface was especially well-received. The 1-inch thick tablet, with built-in wireless LAN, was able to keep up with the demonstrator's handwriting, with the words seemingly flowing onto the LCD screen as quickly as they were written. In addition, although the demonstrator was using cursive handwriting, the text was easily reformatted, creating bold or italic paragraphs, adding space between paragraphs, and even using a search feature to find a particular word.

Another Tablet PC feature that brought spirited applause from the audience was something called Direct Manipulation, which will allow users to point to something, move it across files, and eventually pass it off to other devices, for example from Tablet PC to a whiteboard display.

Wouldn't it be great if MSFT chose CIC's signature verification software to incorporate into the Tablet PC?

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