Microsoft Still Pursuing Pen-Based Tablets

Bill Gates in an interview with FOX Business Network’s Liz Claman:

Microsoft has a lot of different tablet projects that we’re pursuing. We think that work with the pen that Microsoft pioneered will become a mainstream for students. It can give you a device that you can not only read, but also create documents at the same time.

Microsoft has been trying to make pen-based tablets work for nearly ten years, and they’ve failed. Why are they under the impression that such a product would be successful today? Have they been ignoring the past three years that have clearly shown that touch-based inputs are what everyone wants?

The only stylus-based product I can think of that has had any success in recent years is the Nintendo DS. But, we should all keep in mind that the DS’s only real competitor, up until the release of the App Store, was the PSP. The DS is wildly successful, but I think it may have more to do with lack of competition than it does with its input mechanism.