Monday, December 14, 2009

Will the Tablet kill the Netbook

Market analysts are starting to predict the demise of the netbook. A ComputerWorld contributor, Mike Elgan, has published his vision of seven key attributes that will vault the tablet to the top of the mobile computing heap within the next few years. Here is his list ...
  1. Touch instead of pen
  2. Cell phone operating systems
  3. Cheaper components
  4. App stores
  5. The rise of e-books
  6. Faster mobile broadband
  7. HD video on demand

For a few of these, Mr. Elgan has a point. Certain functions are more intuitive when invoked with a finger, rather than with a stylus. Writing, of course, isn't one of them. But just about everything else we do with a computer is. There is a reason, after all, that we instruct users to "POINT and click." And humans point with their fingers, not with a stylus. Orchestra conductors are exempt from this generalization, of course.

Cell phone operating systems are far more robust and capable than they were just a few years ago. This is the primary point of device convergence that is emerging in technology. And of course, as economies of scale emerge in tablet technology, prices should begin to soften.

Beyond these points, though, the author is making too large of a leap, in my view. Faster mobile broadband and HD Video will not play a role in the spread of tablet PCs. Neither will app stores or e-Books.

The only driver for tablet adoption will be PRICE.

Ask any business user. Every single one of them will tell you they'd love to have a tablet, but ... But what?
They are too expensive!!

When tablets are priced competitively with middle grade laptops, their use will explode.

Read Hello, tablets. Good-bye, netbooks! by Mark Elgan, ComputerWorld

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