Well it appears HP and Microsoft Vista have won the derby to have a fully touchscreen enabled PC on the market. No, the Apple Touch Pad with gestures iMacs just do not qualify as the real deal. I had expected Apple to win this race. And once again, HP saves Microsofts bacon because this machine will give Vista half a chance against the tidal wave of Apple Mac purchases that would have been occurring at this Falls back to school purchasing foray.

I should have known that HP would lead the charge – they had a real touchscreen machine way back in the late 1980s which nobody picked up on for its premium costs. So at least HP deserves the return to form. And what a return – the machine is no slouch in terms of technical specs:
* All-in-one multimedia PC with integrated 22-inch touchscreen for living room or kitchen
* 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5750 processor, 320 GB hard drive, 4 GB RAM (max), dual-layer DVD-R drive
* Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 graphics (up to 358 MB shared memory)
* Tri-mode Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n), Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet, 5 USB, 1 FireWire, 1 ExpressCard, 5-in-1 memory card reader
* Pre-installed with Windows Vista Home Premium (64-bit version); includes wireless keyboard and optical mouse
Of course Windows Vista is the weak link here. Its the 64-bit version of Windows which has even more hardware and program compatibility issues – but not for most Microsoft software. I suspect Redmond will try to drive a wedge and make 64bit processing the new standard – and knock off a few more software competitors. Adobe, Electronic Associates, Quicken, SAS come to mind – add your favorite PC software to the list – hey MSFT has not moved for nigh 8 years, Redmond does not have any “software partners” left, just VARs.

And the Amazon price of $1300 gives two year old notebook upgraders 4 times the memory, 20-30% more speed if they choose to run Windows XP, and nearly 3 times the disk space for roughly the same price plus the magic of touchscreen. Well I admit I have not seen it in action and there is no word on how well touchscreen works with application software . But definitely this is a PC to watch. I wonder if Redmond will do a series of MacAttackAds ?