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Michael Crump

Works @Microsoft on Windows

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Introduction:

One of the concerns that I keep hearing from customers is “We can’t deploy Silverlight because it won’t run on a tablet.” I usually reply to that question stating “What do you mean it can’t run on a tablet?” They usually looked puzzled and say “You mean Silverlight *CAN* run on a tablet?” Yes there are many devices that Silverlight can run on.

Today we are going to take a look at the Motion CL900 Tablet.

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FYI: I have no affiliation with Motion Computing.

Why this tablet?

When I first started looking at this tablet I noticed something different. This device is targeting your customers in real-world scenarios. Other tablets show a young teenager or someone with head phones on listening to music. This is fine if that is your customer but my customers are not interested in a music player or gaming. They want a device that will help their business problems. 

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Specs of the Tablet

This is not a weak tablet and is very capable of providing a solid computing experience with Silverlight. Here are a few key points that I want to mention:

  • Starting around $899. – Cheap enough for a enterprise solution.
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Wifi a/b/g/n
  • 1GB Ram with 2GB available
  • 32GB SSD with 62GB available

Let’s dive deeper into this and see what is available for those wishing to deploy Silverlight Applications with Tablets.

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I can hear all the Jerry Maguire’s out there. So you told us about a tablet and how you can use Silverlight to deploy touch-screen applications. Show us someone who has done it because our boss isn't buying it. 

Rooms To Go did it and they have a case study plus video to prove it.

“Rooms To Go engaged the services of Microsoft Partner Network member Wintellect to build a touch-sensitive point-of-sale system that sales associates could use throughout the store when interacting with customers. The system runs on slate PCs portable devices that have no lid or keyboard hardware and are slim lightweight and easy to carry. The slate PCs run the Windows 7 operating system have an estimated battery life of eight hours and are designed to replace fixed kiosks. Rooms To Go has increased its competitiveness with a modern tool that serves as a one-stop access point for store information. The company’s new point-of-sale system makes for a shorter and more efficient sales cycle and improves the customer experience.”

Important Links related to the Study:

Rooms2Go Study located here: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Case_Study_Detail.aspx?CaseStudyID=4000010773

They even posted a video of it available here: http://mediadl.microsoft.com/mediadl/www/c/casestudies/Files/4000010773/RoomsToGo_MediaFile.wmv

Why didn’t Rooms To Go go with another tablet?

  1. They didn’t want to use the other device because of security concerns.
  2. The inability to integrate with their existing Windows-based software.
  3. Windows based tablet would integrate with their existing security infrastructure.
  4. Using Silverlight allowed them to keep in house expertise for the project.

What software will help me write Silverlight Touch Screen applications?

I will only recommend 2 as they are what I have played with.

  1. Lighttouch

    http://lighttouch.codeplex.com/ is a reusable library that provides Multi-Touch support for Silverlight applications by via Manipulations Gestures and specialized Behaviors and controls.


    The Wintellect Silverlight Touch Library has been developed to augment the limited out-of-the-box support available for Touch interactions in the current releases of Silverlight.  These enhancements include:

    • Attaching Manipulation events to controls in XAML markup via attached Behaviors.
    • Higher-level Gesture support via attached behaviors.  This has been implemented to provide parity with the Gesture implementation included in the Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit.
    • Attached Behaviors that allow controls that contain a ScrollViewer (such as the ListBox) to respond to touch-based scrolling.  This includes the use of inertia in the scrolling.
    • A sp