Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pads, Tablets, and Netbooks

With the recent announcement of the Apple iPad, I thought I might pen my opinion on the topic of tablets and other similar devices. From a developer’s perspective, I can’t see where I would use one. From a Joe-Consumer perspective, I would LOVE to have one. Just the thought of having a light-weight device I can take anywhere is very appealing. A device I can watch videos, read books and articles, and…well…do the things I typically use my web browser for… would be great. I certainly would not use this to compile a program or write a novel; but as a device for soaking up information, these things are great. I think the KEY aspect here is the intended use is for receiving, not producing, stuff.

I believe the key to the success of these devices will be based on network connectivity, ease of use, the flexibility to work with the many different media formats now, and those to come, and they must have the ability to install new applications. A device without all of these abilities will probably be destined for failure. I did not mention price because that factor is almost a given and the cost to enable these features should not break the bank. Consumers want flexible devices they can configure and grow with as new applications become available. Like

Within in the next several months, we will probably start hearing about devices based on the Google Chrome operating system. Like the iPad, the Google Chrome OS is targeting the market for a lightweight portable device intended for the average consumer. At the moment, the prototype devices are more like Netbooks than they are tablets. If the market proves to be favorable for the iPad, you can almost guarantee there will be some tablet form running the Google Chrome OS.

What about Windows Mobile or Windows 7 devices? That is a good questions and Microsoft is certainly a wild card in this area of consumer devices. Sure, they had a superior mobile platform, with Windows Mobile; however, the iPhone, Blackberry, and Android are cleaning their clock. Microsoft will have to play some serious catch-up if they want to regain their dominance in the mobile market. Rumors of the Pink project and the Zune Phone sounds promising, but Application and Google have things people can see and touch, Microsoft’s stuff is still only available to the people working on it.

So, let me hear from you. Are you excited about these new devices, or is this just another fad?

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