Putting Motion into Tablet PCs

Although the market for Tablet PCs is still emerging in Canada, one manufacturer is looking for more resellers here.

However, Peter Lewis, the Oakville, Ont.-based director of international business development for Motion Computing, said his target are companies that develop applications for

the niche.

“I want people out generating demand,” he said in an interview on the launch of Motion’s latest slate model.

“In the end it will be the value-add that gets the deal, not the fact that someone can come in and drive the cost (of Motion’s tablets) down to nothing.”

This month the Texas company announced it’s third generation product, the M1400, running Microsoft’s Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. Powered by a new Intel Pentium M 1.1Ghz ultra-low voltage processor, the model has an improved 12.1-inch XGA screen with a wider angle of view than previous models, faster RAM, a fingerprint scanner, Intel’s PRO WiFi card (which supports the ‘b’ and ‘g’ 802.11 standards), wireless connectivity to Bluetooth devices and two echo-cancelling microphones for better sound pickup.

The slit-sized scanner requires a user to slide a finger across the sensor. Lewis said the feature lets a slate can be shared by more than one person without compromising data security.

There are three hard drive options: 20, 40 and 60GB.

It also comes with two USB 2.0 ports and a detachable full-size keyboard. An optional smaller keyboard contained in the underside of the slate’s lid is also available.

Lewis said the M1400 will sell for US$1,999, a hundred dollars more than the previous model.

Like all its models, Motion is positioning the unit for the healthcare, field sales and service, government and education markets. Although Microsoft believes that within five years all notebooks sold will ship with the WinTablet PC operating system, Lewis said the market for pen-based computers will remain verticals.

He said Motion has about 15 resellers in Canada plus 10 independent software vendors. It’s these ISVs, such as Filbitron Systems Group of Markham, Ont., a sales force automation software company, and mining software specialist Century Systems of Sudbury, Ont., that he’s after.

“If you sit back and put the product on a Web site and say ‘I’ve got it’ and no one else is generating demand you’ll sell one or two.

“But if you are out generating demand by working with customers to show them what it can do and how it might be able to solve their business problems then people are going to buy it.

“The question is, what type of reseller are you?

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer. Former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, Howard has written for several of ITWC's sister publications, including ITBusiness.ca. Before arriving at ITWC he served as a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times.

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