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Why Windows 7 "Slate" Tablets Won't Happen

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the try-phone-seven-mobile dept.

Microsoft 467

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Galen Gruman questions the viability of Windows 7 on tablets in the wake of the news that HP will use Palm's WebOS as the foundation for iPad rivals, rather than follow through with the previously hyped Windows 7-based Slate. 'The iPad proved a tablet shouldn't be a portable computer that happened to have its screen always exposed. Even though technical components are shared between the Mac OS and the iPhone OS, the irrelevant Mac OS functions aren't gumming up the iPhone OS, and Apple's development environment doesn't let you pull through desktop approaches into your mobile applications. You're forced to go touch-native,' Gruman writes, adding that, when it comes to touch capabilities, Windows 7 leaves much to be desired. 'Sure, a few Windows 7 slate-style tablets will ship — Asus and MSI are said to have models shipping later this year. But those products will go nowhere, because Windows 7 is simply not the right operating system for a slate.'"

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Thanks you... (5, Informative)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342258)

...for linking to the 'print version' of the article. I wept a small tear of joy.

Your mothers vagina... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32342390)

...also wept a small tear of joy when I entered it from behind last night.

Re:Thanks you... (1, Troll)

tayhimself (791184) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342596)

Putting aside the usual /. tendency, why would you even bother reading TFA? How is this analysis useful AFTER the fact that the ipad has already demonstrated that Windows 7 won't work (for a few years at least).

Re:Thanks you... (2, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342850)

Good point. I was just overcome with emotion after seeing it the print version linked.

Are you serious...?! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32342280)

Remember all the buzz around Hewlett-Packard's Slate, a Windows 7-based tablet that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer featured in a keynote presentation [1] at the Consumer Electronics Show in January? It was Microsoft's shot across Apple's bow, meant to show Microsoft wasn't ceding the tablet market to the then-unreleased iPad [2]. HP kept the Slate in the blogosphere's eye [3] through occasional posts and carefully vague videos of the device at its Website.

But quietly, the Slate went away, and now the buzz around HP is that it will use Palm's WebOS as the foundation for iPad rivals [4], once it's completed its buyout of Palm. (On Friday, Digitimes [5] quoted an HP Taiwan exec saying the Slate would use WebOS instead of Windows 7.)

[ Stay up on tech news and reviews from your smartphone at infoworldmobile.com [6]. | Get the best iPhone and iPad apps for pros with our business iPhone apps finder [7]. | Keep up on key mobile developments and insights with the Mobile Edge blog [8] and Mobilize newsletter [9]. ]

All the tablet buzz now centers around the iPad, various Android devices said to be in development at Dell and other manufacturers, and HP's future WebOS tablet [10]. What happened to Windows 7?
Enterprise iPhone Deep Dive
[11]

A tablet is not a laptop whose screen is always visible
The answer: The iPad proved a tablet shouldn't be a portable computer that happened to have its screen always exposed. Instead, a tablet should be something else. Apple got a lot of criticism early on for not making the iPad essentially a Mac OS X tablet computer [12], in the vein of the Windows tablet computers available -- but hardly used -- for the last decade.

Apple -- followed by Dell, HP, and the rest of the industry -- has realized a tablet is something different, and force-fitting a desktop OS into it simply won't work. Remember the splash Microsoft and HP made on touchscreen PCs last fall? That chatter has gone quiet too outside the nichy kiosk space, and for the same reason: Windows 7 is not designed for a touch-oriented interaction [13]. Microsoft's touch extensions to Windows 7 are awkward to use and don't get around the problem that all the apps and the OS itself assumes the use of mouse or other pointing device. A finger isn't as accurate as a mouse, and UI elements designed for a mouse-and-keyboard interface don't translate to the touch world, even with UI extensions that support finger-based input.

Lessons from Apple's touch-native enforcement
Microsoft needs a UI designed for touch -- rich gestures for input and a fundamental UI design that doesn't involve lots of elements such as tabbed panes, radio buttons, check boxes, and dialog boxes. But it doesn't have one. Plus, for applications to really support touch and gestures, they need to do more than map mouse actions to finger ones; the interface and operational design needs to be touch-native as well. No mapping layer for libraries will take care of that for you, as you can quickly see if you use a Windows 7 touchscreen PC.

I believe Microsoft recognizes that fact, which is why its forthcoming Windows Phone 7 mobile platform uses a separate, largely new OS [14] designed at the ground level for gestures and touch.

Could Microsoft retrofit Windows 7 to support touch natively through and through, making it appropriate for a tablet? Maybe. After all, the iPhone OS is based on Apple's Mac OS X [15], a desktop operating system that supports the same UI expectations and complexity as Windows 7. A lot of the underlying code is the same between the Mac OS and the iPhone OS.

Yet you can't run Mac OS apps on an iPhone or vice versa. Sure, some UI elements are the same across the two operating systems, but they have more to do with a consistent Apple style than with fundamental operations. Look no further than Apple's iWork productivity suite for Mac OS X and iPhone OS: Beyond a compatible file format and name, they share little in common in terms of how they actually operate. (I'd argue that iWork for iPhone OS is a disappointment [16] and harder to use than it should be, though that's due to a murky interface, not to a usage of the desktop paradigm.)

The bottom line is that even though technical components are shared between the Mac OS and the iPhone OS, the irrelevant Mac OS functions aren't gumming up the iPhone OS, and Apple's development environment doesn't let you pull through desktop approaches into your mobile applications. You're forced to go touch-native.

Apple gets some advantage in both its internal development and its ability to cross-train Mac OS and iPhone OS developers by having that common core, even though the UI and app results are very different. Theoretically, Microsoft could do the same with Windows 7 and a tablet version of Windows Phone 7 by giving them a common core that doesn't impose itself on the user in ill-fitting ways, as is the case with Windows 7's touch extensions.

So far, Microsoft has chosen not to do so; instead, it is keeping the desktop and mobile OSes separate. It did the same with Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 and Windows CE/Mobile, but foolishly imposed the desktop UI onto the separate mobile OS, so its developers ended up applying the same application approaches to two separate operating systems, creating the UI disconnect in the mobile environment. HTC and others tried to mask that with UI overlays, but you quickly found your way back to the desktop Windows interface [17] as you used applications.

By comparison, Apple rightfully had its developers focus on creating different types of native applications for two related operating systems, with user-pleasing results.

Microsoft seems to have switched to Apple's strategy
Microsoft seems to have learned that lesson by providing developers tools for Windows Phone 7 that work in its .Net and XNA development environments [18], which are familiar to desktop developers. That's smart, as it leverages what Microsoft developers know but doesn't impose desktop assumptions on the mobile environment -- with a likely result similar to what Apple achieved for its Mac OS X/iPhone OS developers.

But Windows Phone 7 is about smartphones, not about tablets. It's not at all clear if Microsoft still harbors hopes of Windows 7-based tablets -- as Ballmer did so publicly in January -- or if it will change gears and evolve the Windows Phone 7 OS to support tablets. In other words, will it stop trying to force-fit Windows onto tablets and adopt Apple's approach of evolving a mobile OS for tablets? Google and Palm/HP are taking Apple's approach for tablets, evolving Android OS and WebOS for tablets.

I'm betting that Microsoft will do the same thing.

Sure, a few Windows 7 slate-style tablets will ship -- Asus and MSI are said to have models shipping later this year. But those products will go nowhere, because Windows 7 is simply not the right operating system for a slate. (These companies also made a lot of noise around Android slates at the CES show in January, but now seem to have cooled to the idea, a reflection of their short-term market strategies.) And that's why you won't see Windows 7 Slate or WinPad or whatever outside tech blog photos.

Don't forget to be part of the InfoWorld Mobile Patrol: Send in your tips, complaints, news, and ideas to comments@infoworldmobile.com [19]. Thanks!

This article, "Why Windows 7 'slate' tablets won't happen [20]," was originally published at InfoWorld.com [21]. Read more of Gruman et al.'s Mobile Edge blog [22] and follow the latest developments in mobile computing [23] at InfoWorld.com.

Links:
[1] http://www.infoworld.com/d/hardware/ballmer-shows-hp-touch-tablet-few-innovations-646
[2] http://www.infoworld.com/t/ipad
[3] http://www.infoworld.com/d/mobilize/tired-the-ipad-already-try-these-vaporware-alternatives-075
[4] http://gizmodo.com/5534306/rumor-hps-webos-tablet-hurricane-coming-out-in-q3-2010
[5] http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20100521PD200.html
[6] http://www.infoworldmobile.com/
[7] http://www.infoworld.com/iphone-apps?source=fssr
[8] http://www.infoworld.com/d/mobilize/blogs?source=fssr
[9] http://www.infoworld.com/newsletters/subscribe?showlist=infoworld_mobile_rpt&source=fssr
[10] http://www.infoworld.com/d/mobilize/tablets-real-and-rumored-473&current=6&last=1
[11] http://www.infoworld.com/iphone-deep-dive?idglg=ifwsite_editinline&source=ifwprm_blog_me
[12] http://www.infoworld.com/t/other-mobile-devices/12-features-apple-islate-951
[13] http://www.infoworld.com/d/windows/windows-7-touch-dead-arrival-914
[14] http://www.infoworld.com/d/developer-world/windows-phone-7-os-cant-run-native-code-789
[15] http://www.infoworld.com/t/mac os x
[16] http://www.macworld.com/article/150932/2010/04/iwork_for_ipad.html
[17] http://www.infoworld.com/d/mobilize/test-center-review-att-fuze-sparks-windows-mobile-950
[18] http://www.infoworld.com/d/developer-world/dont-be-fooled-windows-phone-7-silverlight-are-business-ready-229
[19] mailto:comments@infoworldmobile.com
[20] http://www.infoworld.com/d/mobilize/why-windows-7-slate-tablets-wont-happen-731?source=footer
[21] http://www.infoworld.com/?source=footer
[22] http://www.infoworld.com/d/mobilize/blogs?source=footer
[23] http://www.infoworld.com/d/mobilize?source=footer

Re:Are you serious...?! (3, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342678)

Don't worry bro, now that Microsoft's entertainment and electronic executives have been fired, Ballmer is back in charge.

Smooth sailing from here bro.

Microsoft needed moar Ballmer and it's getting it.

Re:Are you serious...?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32342770)

I hear the chairs are already fleeing the Microsoft campus

Re:Are you serious...?! (4, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342940)

The iPad proved a tablet shouldn't be a portable computer

Sez you.

I think the iPad proved just how badly we need a tablet that IS a portable computer.

Re:Are you serious...?! (3, Interesting)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32343094)

I agree to some extent.

Certainly, the iPad has it's place, and it's a popular place. It's going to destroy part of the ebook reader market, at least until color eInk shows up, and even then lack of backlight makes eInk difficult for a lot of people. I know, that's what makes it such a great ebook reader, lack of a backlight... but tell that to people that like to read in bed, or in low-light areas.

In any event, the iPad proves there's a market for a non-general purpose computer tablet. It does not prove that general purpose tablets will fail. To date they have because they keep trying to cram a full computer into a tablet, and they cost too freaking much.. but a netbook level computer with a tablet interface would be priced correctly, and would appeal to a lot of people as well.

Too many tablet makers price tablets outside their value proposition, they're too greedy.

No current OS is "right for a slate" (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32342284)

Hell, I'm having a hard time thinking of what would be right for a "slate". That Courier sure looked nice for what it was designed to do. As a general computing platform... nah

OS designed to be used at a desk with a keyboard, mouse, and unlimited energy? Not so great on a small slate.

OS designed for small handsets for quick and dirty access to stuff on the go? Easier to put on a slate, but still not something I'd want.

Where is a slate with a "SlateOS"? Good for reading, good for watching, good for casual surfing/ computing. multitouch, high end pen input.

Re:No current OS is "right for a slate" (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342882)

Where is a slate with a "SlateOS"? Good for reading, good for watching, good for casual surfing/ computing. multitouch, high end pen input.

The iPhone OS. You can use a pen input if you really want to and the touch screen has a fairly high resolution sensor grid.

Re:No current OS is "right for a slate" (2, Insightful)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 4 years ago | (#32343126)

Newton.

Mobile and Microsoft (3, Interesting)

Miros (734652) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342310)

Microsoft has never managed to crack the mobile nut, why is that? What is their strategic blind spot that makes them so unable to penetrate this industry, even through acquisition?

Re:Mobile and Microsoft (5, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342394)

Their vulnerable blind spot is called WINDOWS.

Everything in Windows was designed for mouse/keyboard combination, and there is no touch UI to behold.

Apple's approach is much better, different products, different approaches, and a different UI for Desktop and touch based items.

The reason why touch screens suck so much, is not because they suck, but the application/OS is always bolted on afterthought, rather than separate approach.

This is why I see Apple and Android being the dominant players in these types of devices. And if HP can pull off a miracle and get Palm functioning, it might prove to be a viable third tier option.

I'm afraid the people running Microsoft can't think outside of the whole "Windows" paradigm long enough to figure out that Windows is NOT a touch screen OS, no matter what they try to bolt on.

Re:Mobile and Microsoft (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342600)

Their vulnerable blind spot is called WINDOWS.

Sort of.

Actually, Microsoft doesn't have a "vulnerable blind spot". What they have is an applications stack lever. They've never managed to reach into the mobile platforms because their whole business is built on application/data incompatibility with other platforms. The cost of moving from Microsoft is not the loss of Windows. It's the loss of the millions of Windows apps.

That's wonderful for them when they "compete" in the Wintel market, but elsewhere, without the support of that weight of backwards compatible applications, their OS efforts are exposed as bland, clunky and unreliable.

Re:Mobile and Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32342726)

Which is why Microsoft is moving towards Windows Mobile 7, based on a touch based interface. It seems logical to presume that this will scale up to a tablet in the future. Since everything works around hubs which are larger than the display surface, it should also scale well to larger screen real estate.

Re:Mobile and Microsoft (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#32343020)

I've yet to see anything in WinMob7 that's not a direct ripoff off iPhone OS.. and an older version of iPhone OS at that ?

Re:Mobile and Microsoft (5, Insightful)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342410)

They're working too hard for Windows lockin. If they would just let that go, and let all their smart people develop a *good OS* for *just* *mobile*, with no ball & chain to Windows, it'd be competitive.

Sadly, I think that such an activity is against their DNA at this point.

Re:Mobile and Microsoft (5, Informative)

willabr (684561) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342572)

I've been using a Hp tablet PC, windows 7 and OneNote (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Office_2010). This seems to be a very good solution for me, I can use all my desktop data, anotate with the pen, and when not using the One note touch/pen interface I can swivel the screen around and use like a laptop (keyboard etc). I travel around alot and need to gather a bunch of "freeform" data, I can take some pictures, embed them into my documets, write a few notes next to them, send them off to various mail accounts, download some data from the net, and when I get back to the Orfice, connect up to the network and share the whole works whith a few co-workers. I don't really listen to a lot of music or watch movies with it, (although I did spend a week out in boondocks of Wisconsin and the netflix account came in handy) I guess you get what you need and leave it at that, often I think that most of the hype is created to sell advertising copy. When all is said and done, you figure out what you need to do, and then get the best fit.

Re:Mobile and Microsoft (3, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342938)

They're working too hard for Windows lockin.

And Apple isn't working just as feverishly for their own lockin?

Re:Mobile and Microsoft (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342438)

(Disclaimer: Personal experience)

For the same reason that people don't like Internet Explorer, or Windows in General, after trying out alternatives seriously. It's slow, it's bloated, it's insecure. I haven't seen a windows mobile phone that takes less than a second to load the contacts list, or one that even manages to navigate menus fluidly.

It's not a hardware issue, its a software issue. And they haven't had a lot of big name acquisitions in the mobile field, as far as I can recall.

Re:Mobile and Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32342604)

Microsoft has never managed to crack the mobile nut, why is that?

Because they haven't had anyone who has been successful to copy yet.

Re:Mobile and Microsoft (2, Informative)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342968)

Who has said they are complete failures at this? They have a phone on every network/carrier, they have tons of apps, and they have tons of sales - no not as much as apple, but you don't have to beat everything to a pulp to be successful.

Only reason I quit using my Windows Mobile 6 device (and will never get another one ever again) is because of the firm belief that I shouldn't have to reboot the phone 2-3 times a day. Aside from that issue - the apps were great, the experience was usable and the battery life was ok.

My Nexus One goes for weeks and weeks and weeks without any problems :) - I'm now a happy Android user.

Re:Mobile and Microsoft (2, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342996)

There's a bunch of stuff they never managed to crack. In the entreprise, "embrace and extend" works, though I wouldn't really call that "cracking" anything, it's more like buying into something. In the consumer market, they failed at pretty much everything, except Xbox, and that's only because they where willing to sink so much money into it that they scared competitors away.

Generally speaking, their blind spot is their legacy: they're afraid to innovate lest they either break backwards compatibility, or open themselves to competitors. That defensiveness is a huge diversion from actual innovation. They WANTED WinMobile to look and feel like Windows, and Tablets to feel so close to Desktops... Never mind usability was horrendous, god forbid users would learn another interface/paradigm... And for a while, it worked, because consumers are sheep, Palm could not market water to the thirsty, and Linux devs think users are a nuisance. It says a lot that Apple manages to make so much money from so little sales, and that Google, a spyware company, could and had to step in with Android for things to get moving.

MS is so backward-looking they couldn't innovate, and, worse, they're so aggressive and powerful they managed to drive the competition away. The rewards are going to be plentiful for the few remaining mobile players... and be ready for a big laugh as WinMob 7 gets released. MS has, has had for a while, great stuff in their labs... They're just fearful or releasing innovating stuff that doesn't immediately work for they users, fit with their legacy stuff, and/or only makes sense with standards that competitiors could graft onto. Apple obsoleted PPC, MacOS pre-X, broke backwards compatibility, came up with the very different interface for their media consumption devices, bullied their devs to ensure control and consistency... MS never had the balls to do any of this, though I'm sure a bunch of Softies knew that was needed.

Re:Mobile and Microsoft (4, Interesting)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#32343048)

Also, what is it about a multi-billion company that cant find an advertising agency that can make one decent commercial for them? Seems like every single ad by Microsoft is somewhere between bad and embarrassingly bad.

Been There, Done That (3, Interesting)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342312)

Slate tablets running a regular, desktop OS have been around for almost 10 years now. And they still have yet to gain traction or become popular. Mainly because people don't want a desktop OS in a slate form factor. Part of the reason why these new phone OSes are making inroads in the tablet space is because they were designed from the ground up to work in low power conditions (ARM processors) and work with a finger based input. What's more, the app catalogs of these OSes are full of apps that are designed with these limitations taken into account from the beginning.

People say they want a slate running a desktop OS so they can use all their existing desktop OS apps. But what they fail to realize is that any slate tablet is going to have the internals of a netbook or worse, and the apps they're gonna try and run are going to be designed with a keyboard and mouse in mind, which will make finger usage difficult. Sure, you could carry around a keyboard and mouse with you in case you need it, but then you've kinda defeated the purpose of a slate tablet in the first place (portability), and might as well carry around a much more powerful laptop.

Re:Been There, Done That (1)

Miros (734652) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342348)

So is the problem that Microsoft wants to hold on to backwards compatibility too much? Why can't they do what apple has done with the iPhone, or Google with Android? They certainly have the resources (talent, cash). What's the problem?

Re:Been There, Done That (4, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342464)

Microsoft's first answer to every problem has been to protect/promote Windows, even when that wasn't a viable strategy. At first they tried to ignore the internet because it conflicted with their idea of Windows, and then when that didn't work, they came up with IE and tried to use that to tie the internet to Windows. Windows is their biggest cash cow, it's their marketshare dominance, it's the heart of their company. (One big exception to this is the Xbox, which despite not making any money, has at least been successful in terms of marketshare. If the Xbox dropped you into a windows desktop when you powered it up, it probably would've failed pretty hard).

They're finally starting to get it, but at this point, they're years behind.

Re:Been There, Done That (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342926)

"So is the problem that Microsoft wants to hold on to backwards compatibility too much?"

Yes. The legacy of Office haunts them to this day. That is their bread and butter, and remaining compatible to that old productivity stack is the Prime Directive. And their ball and chain.

Re:Been There, Done That (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32342366)

You may know me for my work on an Open Source operating system, but I have a life outside of the computer too, and living as me can get very weird. People recognize my face and hold up stuffed penguins, but I am a quiet Nord, so I nod and smile and drink my beer and am admitted to the secret places of the computer industry without much ado. It is odd the things I have seen; it is odder how it all runs together, like a gigantic cycle between my quiet self and whatever motivated me to write an operating system.

One such odd event occurred at last year's MacWorld Expo, where I went to see the new Macintosh systems that ran a competing UNIX-like operating system. At the front door they waved me in, because my face is entry to many things, as I was to find out later that night. It was pure chaos. Thousands of Macintosh computers stood around, rebooting and crashing and running Puzzle randomly, while people talked about their lifestyle accessories. When you buy a Macintosh, you buy an identity, and it was wading through the identity that became the struggle of the evening.

Finally I made it through the crowd of people comparing New Age crystals, anti-war stickers and ethical products to the keynote address. In a large auditorium, Steve Jobs gave a presentation amidst video screens and rock stars with hair transplants. I was awed. This was UNIX-like living on a big scale, and he was taking home some insane profit from back-dated stocks, so he was a rock star in our view. He got to be both the good guy, and the profit-taker, which makes him a hero to most of us developers working for $70,000 a year in cubicles decorated with Dilbert and World of Warcraft art.

Steve Jobs looking very Apple Gay"The future," Jobs said, unconsciously mimicking the "1984" ad Apple ran back in 1984, "is not the faceless corporations, but a corporation with a face: Apple!" The crowd cheered, and I found myself caught up in it. After the presentation, people drained from the auditorium like wound seepage, and I went to the back of the stage. The security guys were both Linux early adopters and so waved me in. Jobs was banging back a glass of something that looked like water but ran more thickly, and I immediately suspected vodka.

"I can't believe the damn thing crashed," he was muttering. When he saw my face, he said, "It wasn't the OS, it was the GUI," and I relaxed immediately. I began to like him. He was such a modern masculine presence, not violent or assertive at all, but always working for his own best advantage. I knew here was a guy who would ask a girl what kind of condoms she preferred, would always vote Democratic, and would never be cruel to another person, knowing that they would someday be his customers. I put down my beer and broke out the bag of Israeli ecstasy I got from the guys at the IBM "Eclipse" table.

Jobs -- Steve, "call me Steve," a real man of the earth like Bill Clinton, he was -- ripped a bag of exciting white powder from his waistline, in the process nearly dropping his pants. An aide wearing one of those vintage Apple rainbow tshirts, now worth about $170 on eBay (the same price as an Apple keyboard in the year they were printed), came running to resurrect the pants. "No worries, we're solid," said Steve, catching his acolyte by the shoulder and propelling him into a prone position where he proceeded to defile him anally. The aide expired with a sigh of deep pleasure, clutching a sweat-and-semen stained iPod as he passed into the next world.

Jobs and I then smoked cigars while the police team, coming from subdivisions where over 89% of the owners were Apple employees, cleared away the wreckage of the Accidental Death, Horse that previously occupied him. "You know the thing is," Steve said, "When you run a multi-billion dollar company that is the only sane corporate alternate for liberals opposed to the corporate products coming from Redmond Washington, it's hard to ever slow down. I can drive our stock price up when I fart, I can shit out a new Macintosh that millions adoringly purchase despite its triple price increase factor, and I can give a press conference that has every right (I mean left) thinking individual out there in orgasmic sense of self-worth. But I've never met someone who could put me at ease like that, make me think everything's alright, and hold me after they come."

Apple iPod iAnal iSodomy 3 anal!My Nordic eyebrow arched. It had been a long time since I had last spent a loving night with my previous mantool, "Commander" Rob Malda of the neo-Nazi group Slashdot. After exchanging vows of Linux unity, we passed many hours in each other's strong mostly-masculine grasp. We're not homosexuals. Homosexuals are weak. We're men, real men, titans of the computer industry, and we express our faith in each other and the direction of humanity in the hands of technology through our potent inner touch. When I looked back at Jobs (I mean "Steve") I saw this same virility and overpower metrosexual but masculine force within him. My hands trembled.

"You know, L," he said, using my informal name, "We're two of a kind. Solitary individuals, like lone families crossing the prairie to settle in a new land, and we could really have something going here."

"We could," I said, with a wistful smile, as he reached over and pulled me to him.

It was quality tongue on tongue action, with secretive probings below the belt where his six-inch manhood stiffened to attention. "I've always wanted a man who could master me," he said, gasping for air, and with the same forthright laboring that brought us Linux, I yanked him to his feet and dropped his pants. The two Apple staffers nearby, accustomed to sodomy and other drama at work, continued attempting to load a Word document in Open Office without success. I felt his perfectly round buttons with the rough palms of my hands, pushing against the flesh to hint at what was ahead. "I can't wait any longer!" he howled.

Grabbing a decanter of Fair Trade salad dressing from a nearby cart, I splashed the thick goo onto his rectal area and began a warlike attack with my sharpened Nordic sword glistening in the fluorescents. Steve groaned, gushed, wheezed, gurgled and moaned as I probed deeper toward his 802.11g spot, the prostate, with the regal purple head of my iDong crushing intestinal tissue with a delicious slick whisper. "You're a real man, Steve, a man of industry," I murmured in his ear, reaching around to crown the strident head of his member with a gob of Italian dressing. "We can go far."

"Go farther, harder, faster! Think different!" he moaned, and I pushed myself deep within him, touching that crest of pleasure stimulation which made his sturdy stubby vomit forth genetic material never to be translated into child. He collapsed in my arms, sobbing with pleasure, and I stroked his remaining hair with a hand glistening in oil and vinegar, and semen. This scene was to be repeated several times that night as we violated each other with delicious abandon, alone in our world of power while ten thousand ingrates munched hors d'ouvres and guzzled cheap Napa knockoffs amidst a thousand Macintosh computers crashing in unison.

Re:Been There, Done That (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32343082)

whisper_jeff is that you?

Re:Been There, Done That (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342392)

Mainly because general end users don't want a desktop OS in a slate form factor.

There are some domains where a desktop OS tablet is very desirable.

Re:Been There, Done That (3, Insightful)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342458)

Mainly because general end users don't want a desktop OS in a slate form factor.

There are some domains where a desktop OS tablet is very desirable.

There are some domains where a Barium Enema is very desirable. That doesn't mean the general population wants one.

Re:Been There, Done That (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342684)

Nonetheless, the OP said "people don't want them". Some "people", however, find them very useful and do want them.

Re:Been There, Done That (1)

wondafucka (621502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342548)

Slate tablets running a regular, desktop OS have been around for almost 10 years now. And they still have yet to gain traction or become popular. Mainly because people don't want a desktop OS in a slate form factor. Part of the reason why these new phone OSes are making inroads in the tablet space is because they were designed from the ground up to work in low power conditions (ARM processors) and work with a finger based input. What's more, the app catalogs of these OSes are full of apps that are designed with these limitations taken into account from the beginning.

People say they want a slate running a desktop OS so they can use all their existing desktop OS apps. But what they fail to realize is that any slate tablet is going to have the internals of a netbook or worse, and the apps they're gonna try and run are going to be designed with a keyboard and mouse in mind, which will make finger usage difficult. Sure, you could carry around a keyboard and mouse with you in case you need it, but then you've kinda defeated the purpose of a slate tablet in the first place (portability), and might as well carry around a much more powerful laptop.

1) Something doesn't have to be popular (i.e. ubiquitous) to be purchased and make the manufacturer money.

2) The slate will have the internals of a netbook? Really? My slate has a core 2 duo and 8 gigs of ram.

3) I have a laptop that flips around to a slate. It would be worthless for drawing / video editing if it didn't have the full OS features.

Sure, there is a market for a computing device that is a slate. There is also a market for a slate with a full fledged OS.

Doesn't Win7 have a "tablet mode"? (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342332)

I could have sworn I heard in the run up to release that there were tablet features built-in to Win7. Pare down the install footprint by ripping out unneeded drivers, and then you've got a full OS on a tablet. Sure, it's probably not as good as an OS designed specifically for a tablet, but you'd still be able to connect whatever peripherals you had ports for, and install whatever you wanted.

Or is the tablet mode just not that useful for
touch/stylus computing?

Re:Doesn't Win7 have a "tablet mode"? (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342416)

You basically repeated the summary. Yes, it has a tablet mode. Yes, some manufacturers are going to ship with it. Yes, it's going to suck.

As much as I loathe Apple's restrictions, they have the right idea with the iPad. As a device, the entire desktop UI metaphor needs to be rethought.

Microsoft is the type that's always going to throw a stylus and a full keyboard into the mix "just in case", and developers will enevitably end up writing with those in mind because it's closer to what they already know how to work with on the desktop. In short, Microsoft's products in new markets suck because they just don't have the balls to try something REALLY different. They take baby steps when they should be taking leaps.

Re:Doesn't Win7 have a "tablet mode"? (1)

jaavaaguru (261551) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342676)

As much as I loathe Apple's restrictions, they have the right idea with the iPad. As a device, the entire desktop UI metaphor needs to be rethought.

The iPad has a desktop UI metaphor? I've used my friend's iPad a lot and to me it definitely doesn't appear to have a "desktop" UI. In fact I'd say it's UI is perfectly suited to the device, although it might benefit from multitasking.

Re:Doesn't Win7 have a "tablet mode"? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32343114)

The iPad has a desktop UI metaphor? I've used my friend's iPad a lot and to me it definitely doesn't appear to have a "desktop" UI.

That's exactly what the post you were replying to was saying. It was praising the iPad for not using a desktop UI. Basic reading comprehension is quite a useful tool.

Why don't they... (2, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342350)

Build a tablet that can run .Net and Java apps native, can render CSS3 (gotta get at least 80% on Acid3), and can run both Flash and Silverlight in the browser. I'd be willing to part with some hard earned cash for it.

But for now, if my choices are between "be a tool, buy an Apple" iPad and a "more bloated than 3 day old roadkill" Windows 7, I think I'll wait.

-Rick

Re:Why don't they... (1)

Miros (734652) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342368)

What about one of these? [pcmag.com] (dell tablet running android)

Re:Why don't they... (1)

ihxo (16767) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342418)

Dude, you are getting a Dell!

Re:Why don't they... (1)

jaavaaguru (261551) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342712)

At 1.5" bigger than the iPhone's screen, and being tied to a mobile carrier, this seems more like a slightly-too-large cell phone and less like a tablet.

Re:Why don't they... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342956)

Screens too small. But too large to be a cell phone. LOSE.

Re:Why don't they... (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342560)

Not gonna happen. MS would never let .Net run anywhere else and the same will be true for silverlight soon enough. Note no play ready DRM for moonlight and the fact that the windows version is gaining features the mac one will never get. Microsoft would never do anything that does not serve to prop up their windows desktop monopoly.

Re:Why don't they... (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342822)

what does Build a tablet that can run .Net and Java apps native mean?

WebOS (1, Informative)

codepunk (167897) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342398)

So the slate is going to run WebOS instead? Good luck with that.

Apple may insist that developers use native C or Objective C for device programming but that is
exactly the reason that IPhone apps smoke any other platform when it comes to performance.

Re:WebOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32342494)

Remember when HP bought palm?

Re:WebOS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32342496)

Except, of course, that it doesn't.

Re:WebOS (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32342514)

Hugh? You can use javascript or native C code to write your apps for webos too, so I fail to see your point.

Re:WebOS (4, Insightful)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342536)

You make it sound as if WebOS is slow and bloated, which it clearly isn't. WebOS is built on top of Linux kernel and is specifically designed for use on devices with touchscreens. Android and WebOS are a much better alternative than windows7 for slate devices and OEMs seem to be realizing that now

Re:WebOS (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342598)

Sounds like you missed the news of the availability of a native development plugin system...

Re:WebOS (2, Interesting)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342976)

that is exactly the reason that IPhone apps smoke any other platform when it comes to performance.

So why not let the consumers decide? If apps written in Objective C or C++ will "smoke" the competition, what does Apple have to fear?

Time will tell if Android will succeed (1, Insightful)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342406)

Android market can get segmented quickly in terms of display resolutions and hardware capabilities, how do these "big players" expect to deliver quality apps to the Android devices?
I already have an iPad (that makes me a sheep according to some of you more "in the know" experts, I know) but I do like the idea of a strong competitor to Apple. Unfortunately, I don't think Android will deliver.
Had HP, Dell or anyone else had the balls to embrace Linux a few years back and deliver a few meaningful apps, I think they maybe would have a leg to stand on. But as it is right now, Apple provides you with all (well, maybe not all) your tunes, videos, pictures, comic books, books and a decent website experience, with some really nice apps, I think other manufacturers have a really steep hill to climb.

I am not convinced that the average consumer is interested in a fragmented (albeit "free") experience. Or to use a car analogy, at some point it was fun to start the Monte Carlo by sticking a pencil in the carb, but at this stage in my life, I just want the car to start when I turn the key...

Re:Time will tell if Android will succeed (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342534)

Your "car analogy" doesn't have anything to do with what you wrote.

Re:Time will tell if Android will succeed (2, Insightful)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342872)

Your "car analogy" doesn't have anything to do with what you wrote.

Sure it does. He's saying that he no longer wants to be forced into dicking around to get his tablet computer to do what he needs it to do, much in the same way that he no longer wants a car that requires him to pop the hood and stick a pencil in the carburetor in order to get the engine started. He's also saying that the iPad is the equivalent of a newer car that just starts when he turns the key.

Re:Time will tell if Android will succeed (2, Funny)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#32343112)

No, he was writing about fragmentation of the market. He does not say a word about being forced to dick around -- which you correctly point out is what the "analogy" is about -- and neither does that have anything to do with the problems of the android platform. So basically, he plain forgot what his complaint was, and veered into the stale cliché of Macs "just working", and you support him because you're an idiot fanboy just like him.

Re:Time will tell if Android will succeed (2, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342588)

Android is selling more units than iphone at this point. It has already delivered. How is that flash video working out for you?

The android market is not fragmented in any meaningful way, if you target 1.5 or 1.6 it will run on everything later. This whole Android is fragmented thing is FUD from the apple camp.

Re:Time will tell if Android will succeed (2, Insightful)

WiseWeasel (92224) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342876)

"How is that flash video working out for you?"

It's blessedly absent, thank you for asking!

Re:Time will tell if Android will succeed (2, Insightful)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342894)

Android is selling more units than iphone at this point.

Not really. Roughly half of all those Android phones that were "sold" over the last quarter we're actually given away by Verizon.

Re:Time will tell if Android will succeed (1)

jbeach (852844) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342920)

Almost all iPhones were given away by AT&T, by that criteria.

Re:Time will tell if Android will succeed (2, Insightful)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32343024)

Almost all iPhones were given away by AT&T, by that criteria.

No they weren't. All last quarter Verizon was running a two-for-one offer. Buy an Android phone (with a two-year contract, of course), get a second one for free. AT&T has offered nothing like that with the iPhone.

Re:Time will tell if Android will succeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32343040)

AT&T don't do the 2 for 1 deals verizon is doing. Also, re sales volume, we'll see what happens after the iPhone refresh next month...

Re:Time will tell if Android will succeed (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342986)

Yeah buy-one-get-one free tends to cause lots of units to move. That said the Droids are great smartphones and really don't need the desperate firesale to sell. The HTC Incredible lives up to isn't name indeed.

Re:Time will tell if Android will succeed (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342988)

And how many iPhones were subsidized by AT&T?

Re:Time will tell if Android will succeed (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32342960)

Tsk, seems droid-boy all Adobe could show is Flash, crash baby crash when they were attempting to show it working in Seattle a couple of weeks back. Suck it up you'll enjoy HTML5 and how it works with mobile safari...

Oh irony. (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342972)

How is that whole Flash thing working for us on Android 1.5 or 1.6? Maybe the Apple fanboys have a point....

Re:Time will tell if Android will succeed (3, Informative)

sootman (158191) | more than 4 years ago | (#32343068)

The android market is not fragmented in any meaningful way, if you target 1.5 or 1.6 it will run on everything later.

So I should ignore all the great new features that came out in 2.0 and 2.2? And continue to do so? What a fantastic solution!

From Wikipedia: [wikipedia.org]

Issues concerning application development

  • Developers have reported that it is difficult to maintain applications working on different versions of Android, because of various compatibility issues between versions 1.5 and 1.6,[112][113] specifically concerning the different resolution ratios of the various Android phones.[114] Such problems were specifically encountered during the ADC2 contest.[115]
  • The rapid growth in the number of Android-based phone models with different hardware capabilities also makes it difficult to develop applications which work on all Android-based phones.[116][117][118][119]. As of May 2010, only 32% of Android phones run the 2.1 version, and 37% still run the 1.5 version[120]

Follow the links in the footnotes. This is not just "FUD from the Apple camp."

Re:Time will tell if Android will succeed (3, Informative)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342828)

I disagree. Android is a multi-touch OS through and through, and its stock form is simple enough to be used by most people (or at least those who would purchase an iPad otherwise), but is flexible enough under the hood to allow curious types to modify to their heart's content. While it's true that Apple provides all of the apps most users will want to use the tablet for, Android does the same thing AND allows alternatives. Don't like the stock browser? Download another from the Market. Want a better eBook reader or camera app? Download them from the Market. iPad/iPhone users don't have that option.

Additionally, Android has another huge advantage in the tablet arena: it's capable of TRUE multitasking for all applications. This is somewhat detrimental for a phone since battery life and memory is already limited, but is not as much of an issue for tablets, which are expected to be way more powerful and don't have to dedicate resources to the cell phone component. Getting similar multitasking on iPhoneOS is only possible through jailbreaking, which is a concern for a LOT of people, considering they either aren't technical enough to do it (yes, I know it's super easy) or are afraid of potentially long-term consequences associated with it. Basically, it makes the tablet that much closer to a computer, without the extra overhead.

I dare say I agree (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342420)

Windows 7 is the first OS that "could in theory" work on a tablet/slate, but like TFA says, it's taking Windows and down-scaling it for a much lesser subset of it's design. Windows CE did this; tried to have the full/normal Windows desktop experience on a (much) lesser device and now they've scrapped it in favour for a massively redesign & specifically engineered mobile OS, because that too was ultimately a shit idea. Horses for courses.

I don't see tablets/slate as being productivity work-horses; you get a laptop if you want that. Tablets require something tailored, and as much as I hate to admit it, Apple have gotten off to a good start on that at least. I think it's way more likely Windows Mobile 7/8 would be a better fit, or indeed Android.

For the same reason (0, Troll)

Stan92057 (737634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342448)

For the same reason Jobs wont allow flash on anything apple runs with a batteries?? It will suck the batteries dry too fast.

Archos 9 (4, Informative)

riboch (1551783) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342460)

Archos 9 (http://www.archos.com/products/nb/archos_9/index.html?country=us&lang=en) ships with Windows 7, the older Archos 7 and Archos 5 shipped with Angstrom Linux and they even release the source code.

Does anyone praising the iPad actualy have one? (1, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342498)

I see a lot of talk about it changes everything, but I found it to be nothing more than an giant iPod that is marginally more pleasant to use than a smaller device for surfing the web and watching movies. It doesn't replace a real computer, because entering text on it is a pain in the ass. You can't even put things to read on it without third party software and a ridiculous sync process in iTunes.

Re:Does anyone praising the iPad actualy have one? (0)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342638)

Plugging in a cable into a device is ridiculous for a sync process?

Someone's never used ActiveSync or whatever the hell Palm fed the general public before going to WebOS.

Re:Does anyone praising the iPad actualy have one? (5, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 4 years ago | (#32343010)

For those of us running Linux or that choose not to install the bloatware that is iTunes on our PCs, yes...it is an arduous process. Simple documents such as music and pictures should have the capability to be dragged and dropped as if the iWhatever were just another removable drive.

Re:Does anyone praising the iPad actualy have one? (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32343104)

You have absolutely no clue of what I'm talking about.

Though it is funny you should bring up HotSync and iTunes. That is one of the many similarities between the iPhone and old-school Palm devices.

Or rather, anything Jobs says, goes. (1, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342502)

At this point, while the products Apple is shipping obviously have good points (many of them) and in many ways are going in the right direction, it still wouldn't matter. If Apple had released an e-Ink tablet, we'd be reading how anything non-e-ink is bound to die and that backlit tablets are dead. If they released something that is in every way opposite to the iPad, we'd be reading about how anything close to the current ipad is dead and simply "not the right tool for the job".

Apple, the greatest marketing company in existance. A company that can make the most closed product ever, and have even OSS advocates embrace it as the holy grail.

Windows 7's issue here isn't anything based on capabilies, design, or limitations. Its that "It wasn't approved by Apple fanboys" and nothing else.

Re:Or rather, anything Jobs says, goes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32343128)

I hope you acquire a string of people saying I hope you acquire a string of people saying you are talking total wank. Anyone who agrees, copy and paste. Madness. Does it prove anything? Nooooo...

Only Apple could convince the industry that... (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342532)

Only Apple could convince the industry that limiting features is a good idea.

I wont touch the iPad... not until v3.. and until it can sync in other ways without itunes etc.

Re:Only Apple could convince the industry that... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342700)

I won't touch the iPad until it has a USB interface. Sometimes being able to add flash memory or a real keyboard is a good thing...

The problem with adapting Windows 7 is that apps designed for WIMP need to be completely redesigned for a tablet anyway, so keeping a common GUI API buys you nothing. Tablets don't support right click, scroll wheels, shortcut keys, tool tips... e.g. many of the UI conventions that PC software designers take for granted. Mac software is a little easier to port because it assumes only a 1-button mouse, but it is still a different paradigm; a touch screen is like using a mouse where the computer has no idea where the mouse is unless the button is pushed! Most games also suck on a tablet, simply because most games are designed to need more than a single button for input.

Re:Only Apple could convince the industry that... (2)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342932)

I won't touch the iPad until it has a USB interface. Sometimes being able to add flash memory or a real keyboard is a good thing...

I agree that a real USB port would be a great addition to the iPad. In the mean time, however, any standard Bluetooth keyboard will work with one and Apple also sells one that will plug into the docking port.

ive noticed recently (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342546)

it either feels like microsoft isnt driving alot of this casual, tactile technology...either that or they just arent getting the same level of coverage as Mac (which is certainly entirely possible.)

another point...Being a techworker i also feel like most of the tablet, slate, plate, and whatnot technology doesnt have anything to offer me, or is flat out just not designed to be something for me. id like something ssh/vi/telnet/fluxbox and FLOSS if possible but it just feels like alot of the cutting edge stuff is also horrendously proprietary and places the user at an egregious loss in terms of privacy and cost. Whats on the horizon to fix those issues? i guess if i ask it another way: when do i get my content back?

Re:ive noticed recently (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342626)

An android device that lets you load your own roms should be fine for that. Well there are some closed drivers, even the N900 has those.

Probably off topic but (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342586)

Probably off topic but, i think way too many are expecting too much for a tiny tablet.Its not a computer,its an Internet device. For it to do everything everyone thinks it should do you need a full sized laptop. Until there is better batteries technology,windows would have to be way stripped down to work,and i don't think MS wants people to have a stripped down windows experience. Why do you think jobs controls what goes into an iphone or ipad.

Why? Cause nobody will buy them (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342644)

All your future is belong to iPad.

Get used to it.

Re:Why? Cause nobody will buy them (1)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342694)

Actually it doesn't. Like so many others I will be looking at the Android and other competitiors. Apples 15 mins is up. The competition has shown up in large numbers and are once again going to relegate Apple to their small niche. Noone wants to be told that they can't run flash and can't develop using Java, etc. Apple could get away with that nonsense with the Mac because only 5% of the market was ever impacted and they were diehard fanboys to begin with. When it comes to phones the majority of people aren't going to put up with that sort of nonsense and as expected they're jumping ship. It's like the 1980's all over again. LOL!

Re:Why? Cause nobody will buy them (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342804)

LOL. For techies, sure.

But the rest of the world doesn't care.

Apple ftw.

Get used to it.

How's your Betamax holding up?

Tablate to Slate config?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32342654)

I disagree to a point. I am using a Tablate PC's right now and with no bloatware to support the touch screen Windows 7 does the job very well as per touch design of Windows 7. Where I agree is I think the "Slates" today just simply don't have the power to run Windows 7, thus the Atom CPU. HP EliteBook 2740p is running Windows 7 just fine and its not any bigger then a Slate. I think the way to go is make these tablates more like "Slate" configurations and it will work perferctly.

The problem isn't the OS (3, Informative)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342660)

The operating system isn't the problem. It's the GUI. There is no reason why you can't run Windows 7 on a slate with a different GUI that is custom-tailored to a touchscreen environment.

If slates are going to stand any chance of being successful they need to be full computers running a full OS (even if it's Android) that have a properly-designed GUI. Smartphone OSs just aren't going to cut it.

Re:The problem isn't the OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32342832)

Last I checked, Windows 7 requires about 4GB of ram to run well, yes it CAN run with 1gb or even 2gb, but it's slow as sh*t, even with most services turned off it still runs like dirt on a 1.6 Ghz with 2GB of ram netbook.

Now imagine a scaled down mobile 1ghz processor like the snapdragon with 1GB of ram trying to run Windows 7? I don't want to wait 2 minutes for my device to boot up, and then another god knows how much longer for my Internet Browser and Email programs to load. Desktop applications are bloated with crap features nowadays, and are not meant to be run on lower powered devices, and just imagine cleaning up spyware and viruses on a tablet... yay fun!

Now put Windows 95 on a tablet and I'm down.

The iPad proved what?? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32342666)

The thing's been on the market for like a couple of months, and it's already proved something other than that Apple knows how to sell hype? Feh.

Multi-touch, Multi-touch, Multi-touch.... (1)

rothstei (1357055) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342688)

A guy in my building was showing me his Fujitsu multi-touch tablet the other day. Running Windows 7. Looks pretty sweet. But here's the deal:

hot-off-the-assembly-line Intel SSD
4 Gigs of RAM
Microsoft Software ONLY

Microsoft software only, because nothing else was designed for multi-touch. Without multi-touch, your finger's just a mouse. With multi-touch, everything is "iPad magic".

I think this lays bare the reason the iStuff is so successful: everything is designed for multi-touch, and the system is designed with a processor and RAM to match what it is trying to do. You want to run a souped-up smart phone, you end up with an iPad. You want to run a laptop with a full operating system, you end up with a $2K+ laptop, running only Microsoft software.

But believe me, you make your system suit the needs, and Windows 7 looks just like an iPod. The transformation is pretty amazing. But you run it on a cast off Dell, and you get the Windows we all know.

I think the crux of the matter though, is multi-touch. If only let in apps designed for multi-touch, everything looks slick, even if you run lame little apps. You try and open it up to the widest development platform, you end up with regular programs, "regular computer style". Which is not what people are apparently looking for on a tablet.

Conclusion? I don't know, but Apple seems to have the sweet spot of hardware and operating system match, plus the market to force developers to work in their system. Microsoft can't expect Windows to fill the same OS balance with a tablet, unless they close it down.

But then again... if a browser is designed with multi-touch, any web app that works in the browser should meet the bar, and be pretty tablet friendly. I wonder if there's anyone out there designing ONLY a browser as an OS. I wonder if it will be multi-touch capable....

Some common sense is starting to show (3, Insightful)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342810)

The input method for an OS or its applications is very basic stuff; what works well for input from a keyboard doesn't work well with a mouse. Try operating programs in a Windows CMD window with your mouse and see how far that gets you. Operating Windows from a keyboard is possible but you wouldn't want to try to do serious work this way - and even today there's important menu functions that don't have keyboard equivalents. Neither of those designs is wrong, they're just designed for a particular input method. You can attempt to patch things so that the support for a wrong input device is a different kind of wrong but the only way to do it right is to start from scratch and design from the ground up for the input method.

A touch screen interface - especially multi-touch - is also a different input method. Your finger isn't a mouse and while you can try to emulate a mouse with a finger you'll quickly find that there's information a mouse supplies that a finger can only do awkwardly if at all. You'd think that Microsoft - who was right there in the thick of the battle to change input methods from text to mouse - would know these things. I suspect their engineers do but their marketing people apparently don't.

Anyone that has a digitizer tablet connected to a Windows box can easily verify that attempting to operate Windows with nothing more than "point" and "click" is a frustrating experience. Everything is much more difficult to do until you reach a critical point where you won't be able to proceed any further. Their tablet add-ons try to address these fundamental problems but they can only do it imperfectly - Windows is designed from the ground up to be operated with a mouse / keyboard. The companies making tablet PCs have known this for years and you might note that they include a detachable keyboard and a PS/2 mouse port in their designs. Their hope was that your in-house programs would be good enough to work from the touch screen and that this would make their product truly useful. Trying to use Office apps on a touch screen just doesn't work well enough to be usable.

Apple's success with their touch screen devices is largely due to the simple fact that the OS that runs them was built to use a touch screen as its primary input device. And much of their app approval process is there to insure that quickie ports of mouse operated apps aren't inflicted on their users. Touch is another different input method and like the others, only works well when the system is built from the ground up to be operated in that way.

If Microsoft wants to play in this market they're going to have to break away from tradition and build a lightweight touch operated OS - they've got the talent to do it but I'm not sure if they have the willingness to do it. I suspect they'll just keep on pushing their desktop OS on tablets and watching them fail in the market.

Linux on tablets is going to face the same challenges. To operate not just the kernel but the applications using an interface that reports nothing more than a "click" at a screen address and do it well will require some very serious effort - and a willingness of the various programmers to support not only the keyboard / mouse version but the touch version as well. If we want to see successful Linux tablets this will need to be done - or else Linux can follow the Windows model and suffer the same fate.

it may work for me (2, Interesting)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342874)

Truth is, I'm not looking for a replacement to my Laptop. I want something robust and minimal that I can take on the road from time to time. Maybe watch a movie or read pdfs on the plane, use to deliver my pre-prepared powerpoint, maybe touch up the powerpoint a little the day before the presentation when I find out I have mis-spelled someone's name. Allow me to keep some notes perhaps. Let me ssh into the servers at work if one of them needs attention while I'm travelling, maybe let me skype home from the hotel.
My needs are quite modest and, frankly, are tied to the application stack and the standard list of PC ports (VGA, USB etc.)
I'm not looking for a new computing paradigm, just something to fill a niche. Hell - I'm not so pure that I can't plug a wireless mouse into the thing if it helps. Something a little slicker than my netbook would be nice.

Management upheaval. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32342888)

Hey now that MS has *retired* lots of senior VPs today, you can expect the development teams to spend 100 of thousands of hours doing PowerPoint presentation to the newly appointed Czars. Lots less time actually producing a workable product. So kiss that vision of having a mobile windows 7 OS (whatever) for smart phones available for Christmas. In a week Apple will be showing off new gems at WWDC as MS attempts catchup to iPhone OS 1.x, so there be another round of hung heads at MS. Not helpful that the Supreme Court has told MS they just can steal people's patents either, makes their copy machine malfunction I think.

Braindead Slashdot story (1)

nnnnnnn (1611817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32342936)

The primary function of a tablet is web right? Pray tell what kind of touch interface/ease-of-use the iPad Safari browser provides that you can't do in a Windows Firefox or even IE?

iPad gives you touch apps? How long would it take a high school student to write a CNN/NY Times/generic-web-parser iPad app in C#?

'The iPad proved a .... (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#32343008)

'The iPad proved a tablet shouldn't be a portable computer that happened to have its screen always exposed.' Oh, that's why I didn't buy one. If anything the iPad proves that the weight of a screen can actually be less than the weight of the money in single dollar bills you had to pay to get one.

The HP TX2 running Win7 tablet is very good (1)

irishatheist (1069144) | more than 4 years ago | (#32343022)

I have been using the HP TX2 1020ea tablet for a year, first with Vista then with Win7 32 bit ultimate It was only reciently that the multitouch drivers for Win7 kicked in, but regardless it worked well with stylus input. Don't take these criticisms as rejecting win7 tablet by faint phrase. The onscreen keyboard for the stylus improved with some text prediction over vista. Under both operating systems, to enable full screen text recognition, I used ritescript. Mindjet Mindmanager is the killer app for this platform. There's lots of other configuration changes, utilities, ect I needed to do. The bios/multiio chip for the TX2 is flaky, sometimes not responding to the keyboard, sometimes the stylus requiring removing battery and power supply and awkwardly holding across sliding power supply button, probably to discharge a capacitor to have things recognised again on a clean boot The machine is in for repair after the screen was cracked. The upgrade to Win7 was in no way smooth. Too many windows applications assume a horizontal screen resolution of 1024 and when in portrait mode the screen width of 800 is frustrating. The clunky new interface to Office 2007 was intended to make it tablet and finger friendly, but the criticisms in the article above are correct once you have to start navigating dialogue boxes etc. Onenote also starts to become useful. It would be a better laptop if the onboard sound card worked better with Dragon dictate, though it can be persuaded to do so with tweaking. In summary, long term I agree with the article because of the drag of pc architecture and windows adds to the expense in consumer hardware but I disagree in the short term, as the HP tablet's got me through two semesters with almost exclusively stylus input (I've other machines too, with other adaptive technologies like maltron keyboards)

People Without Good TabletPCs Say TabletPCs Suck (1)

meehawl (73285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32343034)

I have a HP Tm2 tabletPC that converts between laptop and slate mode. 10W CULV Core2. Discrete/hybrid Radeon/Intel gfx. Wacom 512-pressure sensitive screen/stylus and capacitive multitouch screen. Total cost $900. Came with Win 7, which is much better at the whole tablet experience than most of the haters say and it seems to me that many of them have not used Win7 on a tablet or some of the touch-specific apps or the Microsoft Surface apps or the touch-loving apps such as OneNote. The whole package is actually quite pleasant to use... Especially with touch-aware apps it's a whole new experience for casual computing, and it amuses me when I read all these new iPad owners writing like they've discovered heaven in their fingers when in fact casual touch has been available for the best part of a decade... as long as you were prepared to go outside Apple's walled garden to look for it.

Just for kicks, I installed Ubuntu on it... touch experience is less pleasant and reminds me of WinXP. Installed OSX on it. Apple's PC OS's support for touch is currently also crap... even worse than WinXP/Ubuntu. Maybe it will change this if it percolates some of the handheld UI touches up into its PC line, but right now the Mac touch experience is seriously deficient.

Disclaimer: I wrote my first touch-enabled UI app (a beauty store sales kiosk) way back in 1991, so the current vogue for bizarrely UI-dissimilar iPad apps is just so ridiculously familiar in terms of touchscreen and CD-ROM development in the early 1990s.

Windows Mobile 7 (1)

1000101 (584896) | more than 4 years ago | (#32343134)

Windows 7 is great for laptops and 'netbooks' but I would think that Microsoft would be pushing Windows Mobile 7 for 'slates' once it is released. Isn't this the proper comparison for the iPhone/iPad OS anyway for these types of devices?
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