Microsoft has been doing handwriting recognition for a very long time. They started promoting ink support in 2000 with the Pocket PCs which had inking and handwriting recognition as part of every “notes” field in any kind of data item. Contacts, Calendar appointments, etc. Then in 2002, inking became part of the Windows Tablet PCs. Today, that ink and handwriting recognition has evolved significantly and it really shows how far we’ve come in the Surface Pro with its included Wacom stylus. In the video below, we’ll take a look at just how it works. You’ll see how well it can recognize extremely messy handwriting and how easy it is to fix words that it didn’t recognize correctly.
Overall, I’m very happy with the handwriting recognition support in the Surface Pro and Windows 8. Yes, it’s slower than if you were to use the “Type Cover” keyboard attachment, but in situations where you really can’t set the device down anywhere and put both hands on the keyboard, handwriting recognition is probably the most intuitive alternative especially on a tablet form factor. Anyone who’s every used a clipboard with some paper and a pen can attest to that. This is the method I tend to often use while sitting on the subway since I can hold the tablet securely in one hand and easily write on the screen with the other.
Take a look at the video below and let us know what you think about the Surface Pro’s handwriting recognition support in the comments.