I must say since I am no Apple fan (read my “iPad – not for business” piece) it was no surprise that I got really excited and very much interested in the recent reviews of the new Microsoft Surface tablet that will be ready with the new and improved Windows 8 / Windows RT. If you didn’t get a tablet yet; I would strongly advise to just wait, it will be worth it.
The Web the first Generation
Any one reading the history of the Web and how it started knows that in the earlier days everyone was fascinated by the amount of information the Web was providing and we were very content to be able to find all sort of details about most things. The web sites, at those days, were a replicate of what magazines and brochures offered which is basically a one way push mechanism to provide information.
If you are thinking about the relevance between this and the current topic, I would say that I think of the iPad and the current line of Tablet products filling up the market as the first generation of the Web. They are all meant to push a lot of details and information towards consumers and provide creative and alternative representations to how that information can be displayed and as such facilitate optimum consumption.
From the iPad 1, to the Blackberry Playbook, to the latest Galaxy Android Tablets, the market has envisioned millions of applications and methods to make use of the handy high resolution devices to deliver content to users when they need it the most. Same as what the early days of the Web managed to do for everyone who was hungry for information and could not believe that it is so easy to find.
Tablet Usage .. Do we really need one !
Most of the people I know have an iPad because they thought it was nice to have, I rarely get comments like I need it or I have replaced my laptop with it. What I find fascinating is that most of those who do have an iPad do so because of the success Apple has in creating the persona of innovation and as such tips over the 13-15% market coverage point that turned those relaxed about technologies and those who have little interest in gadgets to become Apple users since there are no alternative simple devices available in the market.
The aftermath .. Here comes Tablets 2.0
After the big excitement of getting all that information came the need to be an activist. To be direct contributors to the Web and speak out by creating sites that generate content from user interaction, from material uploaded by users, recorded by users, and written by the guy next door. With the current set of Tablets we are some where tide up between our desire to practice the Web for how we know it and between the joy of having such a handy device to read the daily news from an iPad / Android Tablet app that is specifically created to make reading the news a fun experience. If we went back to why the Web evolved, we would know that the hype around static delivery of content through a mobile tablet is gone and what we need now is a way to use Tablets the way we use our laptops. To still get that handy device that is great for taking notes, great for a quick purchases of web sites, great as an education tool, and not forgetting a nice computer gaming device but yet again a device to create material, documents, and images that is at the core of what we do these days with laptops and computers in General. This is where Microsoft Surface and the new Windows 8/ Windows RT promise to take us. The next generation of Tables, the next level that is just a simple step towards harnessing the full benefits of Tablets making them a true replacement to laptops merging the benefits of the two world.
For Apple lovers, I will say the iPad is a great start and a great push for innovative gadgets. However, the final word as per the statistics is that by 2015 Microsoft will be on top of the mobile and Tablet world with its integrated phone 8 and Windows 8 that promises to move us one step ahead and maybe become the new benchmark for Tablets 3.0.