TechnologyTell

MS and Apple square off on tablets: both sounding like things you won’t buy

Sections: Computers, Hardware, Mobile Computers, Netbooks, Wireless

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MS and Apple square off on tablets: both sounding like things you won't buy
Apple Tablet Mockup

New rumored details emerged today about tablets from two competitors: Apple and Microsoft. iLounge says they have 10 new pieces of info on Apple’s tablet while Gizmodo seems to have received yet another exclusive video detailing what Microsoft is thinking. The two are at opposite ends of the tablet spectrum but overall, I am sensing they both miss the mark.

Apple iPad (like they’ll actually pull one out)

iLounge says Apple has been playing around with three different tablets that run iPhone OS. That makes good sense as Apple would be foolish not to leverage the 85,000 and growing far too fast, applications currently residing in the Apple App Store. Word is the tablet isn’t meant to compete with netbooks, rather it is more a big iPod touch with and without a 3G radio; think “light communication device”.

Windows Courier (it doesn’t run Vista, yay!)

Meanwhile, over at Gizmodo, the new video shows off how much Microsoft loves Nike. Or at least how much the Courier team wants to design shoes. The Courier uses a combination of inputs to move data around: finger swiping and the infamous stylus for text entry. The double screen is right at home as a journal-like companion. The thing looks gorgeous.

And I’m done with tablets

Here’s the rub, neither machine solves a problem. The Apple is an extension of the iPod, the MS is trying to create another device to lug around. Neither says, “hey you, stop carrying that [insert favorite device name here], use this instead.” Neither makes me smack my head and say, “Hot damn, I need that.”

Yes, all the sneaker designers want the Courier and the geek in me would love to play with these gadgets, but at the end of the day, if neither product solves a problem, they’ll spend their lives behind glass. Neither makes a compelling argument to get me to buy them.

The bigger problem is between my smartphone and PC, I don’t need a third screen. Or at least, these incarnations don’t make it clear why I need that third screen. Yes, it is totally unfair to judge these before even their manufacturers will confirm them, but really: why? For surfing I don’t feel like doing on my phone, the PC is usually there. A mid-range screen seems a bit gluttonous now, doesn’t it?

Think tablets are the next pet rocks? Let us know if you’ll be sleeping in the street to get a hold of these, if, you know, they actually make it to market.

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  • Ray Rogers

    After reading your article I was in agreement with you about the "tablet", but after watching the video on the Courier I'm not so sure. I'd like to see more, but the concept of a journal style book that can access the Web and organize your stuff might have some merit. I think they may have something that will have a bit more value than the Pet Rock. I'm jumping back on the fence until I see more, but honestly this looks interesting enough to keep track of for awhile.

  • JG Mason

    Ray, do you by chance design sneakers for a living? haha.

    When was the last time you made a collage of web images? I haven't since like kindergarten. I get some folks (designers) might do this all the time, but for the rest of us, it just doesn't seem to make sense yet.

    Gosh, I wish it would make sense as the things are darn sexy.

  • Ray Rogers

    Ha Ha – no designing for me…

    I'm not sold yet – just interested. I like to read tech articles and such and also like to jot down ideas as they pop into my head. The concept of a handy little (size is important I think) portable device that could handle that is appealing. I would load it up with PDFs and clipped blog articles to read at my leisure. Something I do now on my laptop. But I don't consider my laptop to be a portable device. I wasn't drawn in by the design theme either – I was converting it to my own needs and it fits for me. I'm with you, I wasn't the least bit interested in grabbing photos off the web and dragging them into a work area. You might be right on the money that this is a limited – perhaps very limited – market. I hope we get to see more soon.

  • JG Mason

    Yep, I am with you – I want there to be something here. We'll find out shortly I guess.

    Thanks for reading

  • Ray Rogers

    Gadgetell is probably my most watched blog. Its a nice way to keep in touch with whats happening. You add a nice sense of humour to the mix in your posts – its appreciated.

    Take care
    Ray