Asking a Question - Want to Approach MS about Development Proposal for Schools RRS feed

  • Question

  • Introduction.
    I am a high school teacher in British Columbia, Canada and I am also the owner of a small company called Horizon Innovations that focuses on providing practical technology solutions for educators.
    More recently, a new product has emerged on the market called TABLO which transforms a conventional laptop computer into a working tablet PC. Although, it works wonderfully on a machine running Microsoft XP Pro, it's capabilities would be greatly improved if tools available through XP Tablet PC Edition were available. Applications of interest that are not available through XP Pro are: MS Journal, MS Tablet PC Input Panel, Sticky Notes, Snipping Tool, and the screen rotation capability.
    Rationale for Project.
    Many schools in my region (and I believe in many other parts of North America) have not yet moved to the Vista OS. As a result, XP Pro seems to be the standard in K to 12 education whenever PCs are used. Currently, there are unofficial "ported" applications that may offer a single user these capabilities, but these would likely not be suitable for software add-ons deployed into school districts as these are not officially sanctioned by MS. Besides, once installed, there is no uninstalling them.
    Because school districts have limited budgets, they are always looking for ways to do things affordably. Tablet PCs are just making their way into the hands of a few teachers, however, the cost of out of reach for most school districts to provide all teachers with a Tablet PC. Therefore, teachers usually must purchase their own Tablet PC and most will not because it is felt that school districts ought to provide these tools. The teachers that have Tablet PCs are the envy of all the other teachers, because their instructional notes can be saved, uploaded to their site, or emailed to their students.
    Therefore, a market exists for Tablet PCs, but the cost of the product is out of reach. However, I believe TABLO will offer school districts an affordable solution for the teacher demands to provide them with Tablet PC functionality.
    With the implementation of this simple new device at a very affordable price, teachers would have access to a working Tablet PC.

    The Inquiry.
    I would like to approach Microsoft so that I might propose an offical package be developed as an add-on for machines running XP Pro to make them perform as a machine running XP Tablet PC when using products like TABLO. 
    I feel that TABLO is being recieved well by schools, and although it is immediately supported by MS OneNote and others, I would like to see a more robust use of tablet functionality. At the same time, I believe the project would be relatively simple to carry out as the XP Tablet PC applications are merely a superset of XP Pro.

    As I am not a developer, I would like to find out who I may approach on this proposal.

    Thank you.

    John Mohr
    Owner of Horizon Innovations
    Wednesday, May 20, 2009 5:05 AM