Windows 11 plays catch up with iPad's Scribble feature, albeit three years late


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May 9, 2012
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But to put the "playing catch-up" game in perspective, Windows has supported hand-writing in text fields on the screen since 2005, with Windows XP + Pen support. Apple who famously knocked using a stylus for years, until the iPad Pro launch, finally admitted MS was right on there being a market for this (it's not for everyone, but many people want to handwrite on their screens).

Yes, Apple was first to write directly on the field instead of in a separate handwriting box on the screen, but that's a relatively minor feature that doesn't fundamentally change usability. And that's the piece that MS has finally copied back. On the subject of copying and lagging, MS has been the overall leader in this area, with Apple adding one small nuance first.

Don't get me wrong, it's a good thing and this is a welcome improvement, but like animations: while it's aesthetically pleasing and maybe a little helpful in terms of avoiding confusion, it's not a transformational feature like Inking on the screen was in the first place.


Jul 5, 2011
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This feature existed 20+ years ago on Windows Pocket PCs!! Go to the forum to see a 14 year old video of it in action! Sadly, with everything cool that Microsoft develops, it was dismally under-promoted and even may Pocket PC users didn't know it existed! :(
I remember the disbelieving looks of many of my peers when I took out my handheld to take notes during meetings. It was known as Transcriber back then.
Check this video out, from 14 years ago (probably created before then) on a Compaq iPaq!!!
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Kevin Okemwa