Monday, December 20, 2010

Microsoft to Launch Tablet PC's... Again

Tablet PC.jpg
Last year when Steve Jobs announced the iPad, I wasn't overly impressed.  I'd been using a Tablet PC for a few years and I didn't see the need to run out and by another similar device.  In fact, the Tablet PC actually (I thought) did more than the iPad.
I had originally bought the Tablet PC for my office when we began doing digital patient checkin.  When I built the new office, I created a dedicated checkin area with 2 computers specially built to handle the check in tasks.  When that happened, I moved the Tablet to my personal office and began to get more hands-on time with it.  There is something to be said about having a fully functional computer that has the form factor of a clipboard.
Sure it was a little slow, but we're used to that with out computers, right?  I figured that with a fully functional PC, I would never need an iPad.  Then my friend Ben went on vacation and loaned me his iPad for a week or so.  When he came home and needed it back, I was hooked.  I found that what a I really needed was a way to easily consume media with my portable device and not all the bells & whistles that come with a PC.
So, to that end, Microsoft is set to announce at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show, their next attempt at slate/tablet computing.  The strange part is there will be no app store (users will download programs from individual websites) which are available from links on the device.  Also, it seems the company is still not going with a device to consume media, but instead is going for a hybrid device that will also allow for creating media.
I'm not sure where I stand on the creating part.  What I've found over my time with the iPad is that I don't want to do a lot of typing on it and I certainly don't want to develop lectures on it.  For those labor intensive projects, I use my laptop.  For reading, short blog posts, watching movies, or surfing the web, I like the iPad just fine.
At this point I think Microsoft would be better served by finding a niche and sticking to it.  I've been wrong before, but I think the current thinking of  being all things to all people may just continue them on the same path of Tablet mediocrity.

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