Apple’s iPad: 3 Viewpoints

After much speculation, Apple’s iPad hit the Gadget Mindscape market with a thud. To say that the Gadgeterati did not like the iPad is, unfortunately for Apple, an understatement:
Gizmodo – 8 things about the iPad that sucks – No Thanks Apple
PCWorld – Apple’s iPad mistakes – so many
Engadget – On the iPad, Not Impressed

But I liked the comment over at CNET for Viewpoint 2:

by dougbugl January 27, 2010 1:24 PM PST
contrary to what Ina posted, the tablet computer started life in the late 80s and early 90s by Pen Computing called Pen Point. Head over to and you should find some interesting things about how Microsoft worked to put Pen Computing out of business because they would not use Windows. A spinoff from the Pen Point business was Apples Newton but it was a much smaller design and when the press said that Apple was dead because of Windows 95 and it almost happened, the Newton didn’t survive the cuts needed to keep Apple going. Palm Computing made the handheld tablet to norm but Microsoft once again felt that it must be based on Windows and if you don’t know, marketing programs made sure more Windows Pocket PCs were on store shelves than Palm devices. They did try again around 2000 with another large Windows based tablet but the bloat of Windows required alot of hardware so the devices were heavy, used too much power so they had short battery life, and they were expensive.The funny thing about Microsoft is, they keep failing because to them, Windows is the hammer and EVERYTHING looks like a nail. When you look out on the market over the past 20 years, the new things you see are not there because they look like something else. They are there because they are different and they were designed to make the most of what is available and what fits the design the best. Microsoft just can’t have a hit like the iPod ever because everything they do is somehow tied to Windows and the world will never become a place where everything must fit that rectangular shape, metaphorically speaking.

The 25 million iPhone users and 125 million iTunes account members are a good starting point for those who can easily and immediately see value in this device and feel right at home using it. Pricing it at $499 is brilliant and will probably result in 10s of millions sold this year as long as the battery life is as stated.

Now add to this a good chunk of the 6-10 million eReaders which will likely be sold this next year and Apple will likely pickup a big market – not tens of millions as iPad currently stands but likely teens of millions in its first year. And Apple has a way of quickly adjusting to market demands. Remember the iPad is fast, gorgeous screen, thin and well appointed (for extra bucks). But most important for Google and Microsoft, Apple has left so much missing in the iPad there is a lot of room to maneuver for both companies.

This is Viewpoint 3. Both Google and Microsoft must be breathing sighs of relief – they have plenty of wiggle-into-the-market room for their Universal Mobile Computing Devices. For example, Google’s Android and Chrome OS operating systems support multitasking right now, Flash and HTML fully, and a wider range of connectivity options. And because JavaScript, HTML and Flash are primary programming tools for ChromeOS, the number of immediately available developers is at least 10 times the number of iPhone/iPad developers. And with ever faster microchips plus flash-memory or SSD devices – whatever Google turns up with will be ultra-fast and likely ultra secure as well[Linux base OS]. The chinks for Google are full multi-touch+gestures; how much of Wifi Direct, Bluetooth/Blueray, WiDi, and other emerging connectivity options they choose to implement. But perhaps the biggest chink in the Google armor is the disastrous sales and support exhibited at the Google Store so far with the release of the Android phone. But as the mobile medium of contact and easy data exchange, Google has lots of opportunities
Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer owes Steve Jobs a heartfelt – “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you”. First because Steve Jobs did the usual and lead the way with innovation allowing Redmond to pick up the cues and copy, copy, copy. But also because not Windows Mobile 7 but Windows itself has been given a reprieve. Big business is still not enthusiastic about adopting Windows 7 – and because it is 20-40% slower than their existing Windows XP apps, has the continuing disaster of IE as its browser of choice, represents a huge retraining/learning curve for users, and presents a high price in tight economic times among the most prominent reasons. But with a Windows 7 full multi-touch, high connectivity [especially to Exchange and Sharepoint], low price tablet/Netbook from HP [it will have to be $500 0r less], businesses might finally warm up to Windows 7. The contradiction is that Windows 7 alone is priced at $190 [at Amazon]for Windows 7 Home Premium [ closest counterpart to Windows XP in most shops] this price represents a huge chunk of the $500 price that iPad has set in the market for the Universal Mobile Computing Devices.

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