The Development Environment

The Development Environment

Description of the development environment.

You do not need a Tablet PC to develop Tablet PC applications, but you do need a personal computer that is capable of running the Microsoft® Visual Studio® development environment and the Microsoft Windows® XP Tablet PC Edition Software Development Kit (SDK) and that has the Microsoft .NET Framework installed.

We strongly recommend that you test your application on an actual Tablet PC to ensure that all differences in hardware, such as the higher resolution digitizer, are accounted for.

A typical, minimal development system consists of the following hardware and software:


  • CD or DVD drive.
  • 8 MB of hard drive space for a complete installation.
  • A pointing device for input. This includes devices such as a mouse, an external tablet (non-Human Interface Device (HID) compliant digitizers are treated like a mouse but have higher resolution and more metadata on strokes), or a Tablet PC with an HID digitizer.


One of the following supported operating systems:

  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition with Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows XP Professional
  • Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4
  • Visual Studio version 6 with Service Pack 5 or Visual Studio .NET (Both may be installed on the same computer.)
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 (recommended)
Note: The Windows XP Tablet PC Edition Development Kit 1.7 can not be installed on Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. You must first upgrade to Windows XP Tablet PC Edition with Windows XP SP2.
Note: The Tablet PC SDK can be installed on Windows 2000 with Service Pack 2 (SP2) or Windows XP Professional with SP2. On these platforms your application can collect ink with the InkCollector class and can be tested and debugged. However, there is no recognition available. The InkEdit and InkPicture controls can be used to collect ink on these operating systems when the Tablet PC SDK is installed, but are not able to collect ink on non-Tablet PC systems that do not have the Tablet PC SDK installed.
Note: The Tablet PC SDK requires certain files from a later version of the Microsoft Platform Software Development Kit (SDK) than shipped with Visual Studio 6. Please download the latest Platform SDK from MSDN® if you are using Visual Studio 6.