Yesterday Apple finally launched its much hyped iPad to the world, presumably avoiding the rumoured name iSlate after realising how much of gift it would have been to journalists. Apple products do tend to create a huge amount of anticipation and good will but on this occasion it’s, if you read around the internet, a case of OOH! OOH! OOH! oh!
So why will the iPad fail and what’s this rubbish I’m pedalling about it helping sales of Windows 7? This is simple. Quite simply this time Apple have got it wrong. All the tech press is saying the same thing and comments made by readers of those websites are echoing, mostly anyway, their sentiments.
The iPad is nothing more than a large iPod Touch. It’s lacking a 16:9 screen and while the bezel has to be of a reasonable size to allow for holding the device with your hand without your thumb poking the screen all the time, it’s simply too big. Finally those few people who’ve already used it are saying that having a standard keyboard on a device that you can’t rest easily on your lap and that is intended to be used one-handed is lunacy. Just look at the curved corner keyboards Microsoft introduced with the tablet editions of Windows to see how they should have done it.
If all of this isn’t enough to cause the iPad to fail then the price will certainly put everybody else off. With a starting price tag of $500 it’s simply too expensive, twice the price of a better specification netbook and the same price as significantly better laptops. At this price it’s unique selling points of multi-touch and… erm… whatever the others are, are simply not enough to win hearts and minds.
For one reason or another, and I have no idea why this turned out to be such a coincidence, certain other companies such as MSI and Dell chose today to release details of their own forthcoming tablet devices, and both look gorgeous, especially the Dell (pictured).
These devices are similarly specified to the iPad and run everything from Windows 7 to Google Android, but the big difference will be in the price. They will all undercut Apple considerably and provide tablets for the price of a netbook, the price they should be.
This is excellent news FOR Windows 7. Firstly this new type of device, obviously based on something that’s been around since 2002 but we’ll skip lightly over that one, is a very interesting form-factor that, now popularised will enable just about everybody to produce a clone tablet.
This will help sales of Windows 7 because of its multi-touch facilities and, in turn, should tempt a very many XP and Vista laptop owners to upgrade to a tablet. Let’s face it there are thousands of people who, if a device such as this had been available five years ago, would never have bought a full laptop.
The knock-on repercussions for all this will be enormous. It will help people move away from the troublesome Internet Explorer 6, help boost the hardware industries of the world as we move out of recession. It’ll create jobs and wealth and so much more.
All this will have come about because Apple have done the R&D and released a product that’s been instantly derided as ugly and not what people want. If I were Steve Ballmer today, I’d be splashing out on an extra skiing holiday.