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Why Tablets Haven't Taken Off In Business

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the try-this-electric-notepad-bill dept.

Businesses 449

An anonymous reader writes "On PC World's blog, Keir Thomas suggests reasons why tablets have never taken off in business, and explains how Apple's iPad was able to waltz in and steal the entire market. It's all about giving users freedom to figure out how useful tablets can be, he says, rather than forcing them into narrow usage scenarios: 'There's a lot to be said for having faith in users to make best use of their computer, without pushing and pulling them in ways you think are best for them.'"

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does not compute (3, Insightful)

spiritplumber (1944222) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294178)

So that's why the first tablet that doesn't let you do everything a laptop would succeeded?

Re:does not compute (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294252)

So that's why the first tablet that doesn't let you do everything a laptop would succeeded?

More like it succeeded because it was the first tablet that wasn't just a laptop with the keyboard hacked off.

Re:does not compute (5, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294272)

You don't carry a full PC tower around with a display, a keyboard and a mouse. You buy a laptop.

You don't walk around with a laptop in your arms while trying to use it, you buy a tablet computer.

There's also the fact that Apple didn't try to force the desktop UI interface into the iPad, they used one that was designed as a touch interface from day one.

Re:does not compute (3, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294394)

you don't walk around with a tablet computer, you walk around with a phone that can do it.

Re:does not compute (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294406)

By walking around I meant people working in warehouses, offices, etc, not carry-in-your-pocket uses.

Re:does not compute (1, Insightful)

jhigh (657789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294550)

This has always been my confusion with the iPad. Why the hell would anyone buy what is essentially a giant smartphone that won't make phone calls? Is it really JUST for the bigger screen?

I have a Motorola Droid, and I can't fathom buying an iPad or anything like it. The device would have to actually do something that I can't already do on my phone to justify me spending hundreds of dollars on it. To me, the iPad was the epitome of Apple exploiting their fanboy base and just cramming devices down their throats while they happily swipe mommy and daddy's credit cards to pay for crap they don't need.

Re:does not compute (5, Insightful)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294634)

Spoken by somebody with young eyes and fingers. Get to a certain point in life and 'just the bigger screen' is not a phrase that makes sense.

Re:does not compute (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294668)

Spoken by somebody who didn't take very good care of their body. There is no reason that you have to lose dexterity or have bad eyesight just because you get older.

Re:does not compute (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294696)

Spoken by a fucking moron.

Re:does not compute (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294638)

Use one for awhile, then post.

When you say, "I can't fathom" or "I can't understand," what you're really saying is "My mental model of reality is flawed in a way that brings it into conflict with what I see and hear around me." You can't fix this condition by complaining incredulously about it on Slashdot. You need to use an iPad for a few hours and see what you think after that.

I don't even own or want one of their locked-down shiny objects, but I've used the iPad enough to understand why it's a good fit for the wants and needs of a lot of other people.

Re:does not compute (5, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294656)

Just a guess - you're not the target market. How about an 79 year old woman with bad hands, bad eyes and not much computer savvy?

That's my mother - who, after years of trying every single computerized gizmo that my brother and gave her (and failing rather dramatically) has fallen in love with her iPad. As have her neighbors at her Assisted Living place. We gave her the iPad a couple of months ago - I just visited the place and now there are perhaps a dozen of the things crawling around the place. The old folks are browsing the web, playing Mah jong, doing email and all those other fancy things (the home has a nice wireless setup). They're perfect for people that can't handle a 'real' computer and don't want / need a smartphone. The bigger screen is a big deal for some folks.

There are more things in heaven and earth, jhigh, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. The fact that Apple has sold millions of these things indicates that they know a teensy bit more about the market than you (or the rest of your rather narrow minded ilk) do.

Re:does not compute (0, Troll)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294704)

You are positing a person who can handle the app store on their own, but couldn't handle any of a dozen all-GUI package managers for linux, with a tablet-oriented distro (such as the ones that run on PDAs, or Android). I believe this is false. Apple succeeded because of marketing, not because of superiority of their product.

Re:does not compute (3, Informative)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294674)

Well, are you a business, which is what this article is about?

Anyway, do you have a job that requires you to walk around while also having access to a lot of information at the same time?

I happen to have both an iPhone and an iPad, and for non-trivial things, the iPad kills the iPhone. Being able to see more items in a list, easier typing [course, I'm 6'5"], WAY longer battery life would be things that people actually using the device for work might actually want.

I'm sure Fortune 100 companies rolling out iPads is solely because of Job's RDF.

Re:does not compute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294686)

Actually I use both....for note taking, task management, email in meetings, calendar in meetings, presentations, etc. I use the iPad. For quick mainly read only access to my data I use my phone.

Re:does not compute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294418)

You don't carry a full PC tower around with a display, a keyboard and a mouse. You buy a laptop.

You don't walk around with a laptop in your arms while trying to use it, you buy a tablet computer.

There's also the fact that Apple didn't try to force the desktop UI interface into the iPad, they used one that was designed as a touch interface from day one.

Yeah but imagine how big iPad would have been if it ran Linux;-)

Re:does not compute (4, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294520)

well that, and in 8 yers MSFT developed ONE and only ONE tablet application.

Every other application required a keyboard to be really useful. MSFT never ported things like office or outlook to a tablet interface. Apple redesigned their mail, web browser, etc applications. MSFT designed one Note and left it at that.

Where was the outlook for tablet interfaces? how about excel? The problem with tablets before apple, wasn't processor or battery, but the fact that if you weren't using a keyboard or mouse the interface was a royal pain in the ass to use.

Re:does not compute (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294570)

To be fair, numbers for iPad isn't exactly usable for anything but the most basic spreadsheets.

And for all the apps for iPad, there isn't one that even comes remotely close to the functionality and utility of One Note. It really is a killer app, and if it's the only app I had on my tablet, it would be more useful than an iPad for my needs.

Re:does not compute (4, Insightful)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294738)

There was another issue with tablets before. If a device is too heavy it fails in a lot of usage scenarios. Compare the weight of the iPad with the Microsoft tablet devices. The iPad still has one issue: it has low precision input compared to a regular pencil. It is a minor issue for the usage scenarios they propose, which consist of consuming content, however this still leaves content creation off the table.

Re:does not compute (4, Insightful)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294308)

I was more confused by the attempted assocation between Apple and freedom.

Re:does not compute (1, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294562)

I was more confused by the attempted assocation between Apple and freedom.

Aw, come on, Apple fanboys, it's a perfectly legitimate comment: I had the exact same reaction as CarpetShark. Moderate with honesty, not with your adrenal glands.

You can't tell me you're not aware of the controversy regarding Apple's management of the iPhone Market (or maybe you are, perhaps in your minds there can be no controversy) as one example. You may not like it, and it's obvious that you consider trading freedom for technical polish to be a worthy one, but it's the truth nevertheless.

And yes, the truth can hurt.

Re:does not compute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294328)

Why do we need a laptop to surf the web, e-mail, play little games ? One thing that I noticed with the iPad is that computers are really frikking inefficient.

Re:does not compute (2, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294434)

It doesn't have Windows. Since it doesn't have Windows, it can use a lightweight ARM processor. Since it uses an ARM processor and flash memory, it doesn't need a huge thick battery. Since it uses a lightweight touch-centric OS that's not Windows on ARM it's so naturally intuitive that small children can use it, and adults want to. Because it doesn't need ridiculously expensive engineered hardware tricks to work at all, it can be priced reasonably. Because these technologies came online just prior to launch and they put them together secretly they hit a sweet spot and caught everybody by surprise at just the right moment to launch an ecosystem that peaks just in time for Christmas. Brilliant design, planning, timing and flawless execution.

It's succeeding because it's the first tablet that doesn't completely suck.

Re:does not compute (2, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294532)

And its ability to do lots of sophisticated work, today, isn't very good.

Worse, there are no anti-malware/virus pieces (yeah, probably unnecessary but probably required anyway).

There are no fleet management components or APIs.

There are no policy controls to prevent data theft of give data protection at all (aside from DRM).

There's no saction from Apple to use the iPad in business. They claim it's a consumer device, and not one for business. Ask them.

Re:does not compute (1)

mehemiah (971799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294670)

It doesn't need anti malware for the same reason XO doesn't. NO IPC means you can't infect one program with another.
There are no fleet management components or APIs.
go to an anderoid tablet for that. This is a consumer product that wants to mantain a consumer image. Do you actually like the fact that your IT department emposes fleet management software on your desktop at work?
There are no policy controls to prevent data theft of give data protection at all (aside from DRM).
whats that kill switch people have been harping on about? I have this suspicion that the iOS security model is made by the guy behind bitfrost [laptop.org]

Re:does not compute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294614)

If it did everything a laptop did why not just use a laptop. That's why the laptop without a keyboard tablets fail.

It's all about customer convenience (4, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294184)

>> why tablets have never taken off in business

No cupholders.

Re:It's all about customer convenience (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294286)

>> why tablets have never taken off in business

No cupholders.

No donut holders.

Re:It's all about customer convenience (4, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294566)

>> why tablets have never taken off in business

No cupholders.

The reason tablets have never taken off is because you have to press that stylus really, really hard to cut into the stone.

Re:It's all about customer convenience (4, Funny)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294692)

Have you tried to use the cupholder on a laptop? On a desktop, the cup more or less stays put, but the last time I used one on a laptop, I ended up spilling half of it on my lap.

I can only imagine how difficult it would be to balance use a tablet based cupholder.

bass ackwards? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294202)

"It's all about giving users freedom to figure out how useful tablets can be, he says"

Umm, aren't people buying these *because* the software ecosystem is more locked down and controlled than a traditional computer is? To a lot of people that is an advantage if it reduces their risk of malware.

Something seems backwards. There are far less restricted machines out there, but people prefer the iPads instead of those.

Re:bass ackwards? (2, Insightful)

dwightk (415372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294240)

different kind of restriction

Re:bass ackwards? (1, Interesting)

Mysteray (713473) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294384)

Restriction is freedom. Apple. 1984.

Re:bass ackwards? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294364)

To a lot of people that is an advantage if it reduces their risk of malware.

You seriously think that is a consideration for more than say 1% of iPad buyers?

If that's so high up on the general public's priorities, how come Windows is still the most popular OS, IE is still the most common browser, PDF is such a common document format, etc?

Re:bass ackwards? (2, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294450)

Because everyone uses them. It's not choice, it's doing the same things as almost everybody else.

And there's nothing wrong with PDF, btw. The problem is Acrobat Reader on Windows.

Re:bass ackwards? (2, Interesting)

narcc (412956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294658)

And there's nothing wrong with PDF, btw. The problem is Acrobat Reader on Windows.

Adobe Reader is terrible; but I'm not willing to let PDF off the hook that easily.

Check out the PDF 1.7 spec. It's a total disaster.

Re:bass ackwards? (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294710)

There was nothing wrong with PDF, sort of like how there was nothing wrong with .DOCs either. But then some genius got the idea that it might be fun to embed a programming language in there for whatever reason and the rest is history.

In the modern era securing PDFs shouldn't take much effort, declaring the region that it's loaded into to be non-executable ought to go a long way towards that. Although since PDFs can be essentially executed, that kind of makes that a challenge.

Re:bass ackwards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294458)

More restricted = more things out of box = higher average quality = average MLE of things working. Also IE hasn't been the most common browser for awhile.

What? (2, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294208)

However, there exists another key to Apple's success: its products are built around giving people freedom in the user experience. Apple lets you figure out how best to make use of their handhelds. The App Store is a beautiful demonstration of this--it's all about choosing what you want to do with your iPhone or iPad, and not being badgered into using them in a particular way.

Err no. Apple locks down the user experience and rejects apps that change it or threaten it in any way, like widgets and alternate browsers etc.

By way of a demonstration of how not to do it, take a look at Windows Phone 7. Everything is built-in, making for a very focused device. You want Facebook? It's built-in. You want Gmail? It's there. It feels like Windows Phone 7 is trying too hard.

Although it might sound like built-in tools present a lot of usability, what Microsoft is actually doing is limiting the user by pushing them into particular usage scenarios. It's feels too limiting. The user has little freedom to adapt the phone to their way of working without a significant amount of tedious configuration.

That makes no sense whatsoever. Slow news Saturday?

Re:What? (4, Insightful)

Roogna (9643) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294284)

Apple may lock it down for the average user, but not for ENTERPRISE. Who within some minor boundaries (No using the enterprise program to build your own app store to sell to others, and no using it to write software that does it's best to harm the cell phone network) are free to develop and distribute within their business whatever they'd like.

Re:What? (0)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294508)

So some are more equal than others.. How very Animal Farm of them.

Must be nice to have inner-circle chocolate, instead of the dry, bitter stuff they give everyone else. But remember, Steve Jobs loves you.

(Blach. I'll never buy an apple product willingly.)

Re:What? (4, Insightful)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294618)

Actually no one is more equal than another. An enterprise or private user can pay the fee and write all the code they want for their own device(s). Only when they want to distribute to the app store do any rules come into play. What enterprise is going to put their apps for internal use on the app store anyway?

Re:What? (2)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294358)

and rejects apps that change it or threaten it in any way

Yeah, no, that is complete and utter nonsense. You need to stop listening to the bullshit the Internet feeds you and start paying some attention to the real world.

Re:What? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294714)

[citation necessary]

Re:What? (2, Informative)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294716)

and rejects apps that change it or threaten it in any way

Yeah, no, that is complete and utter nonsense. You need to stop listening to the bullshit the Internet feeds you and start paying some attention to the real world.

Oh really? So you mean this not out of the real world?
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/01/apple_boots_widgety_apps_from_app_store/ [theregister.co.uk]

Maybe it's not real in the RDF zone.

Re:What? (0)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294492)

pretty amazing for the company introduced its flagship product with this ad YouTube Apple 1984 [youtube.com]

Re:What? (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294650)

[blockquote]
Apple locks down the user experience and rejects apps that change it or threaten it in any way, like widgets and alternate browsers etc.
[/blockquote]

Just so you are up to date with your FUD, there are a lot of alternate browsers for iOS now. Additionally, not long ago Apple changed their app policy to be much more liberal with the allowed apps. The big example app that everyone used to point to was Google Voice which is now available.

It was cost. (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294228)

The reason the tablets we've had since the 90's never really caught on was because they didn't do enough beyond what a notebook did to justify the difference in price.

Re:It was cost. (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294422)

The reason the tablets we've had since the 90's never really caught on was because they didn't do enough beyond what a notebook did to justify the difference in price.

Yet well before the iPad was this company [axiotron.com] which took your Apple laptop and made a tablet out of it. They have been around for a while so there must have already been a market for high priced tablets.

Re:It was cost. (2, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294690)

The reason the tablets we've had since the 90's never really caught on was because they didn't do enough beyond what a notebook did to justify the difference in price.

Yet well before the iPad was this company [axiotron.com] which took your Apple laptop and made a tablet out of it. They have been around for a while so there must have already been a market for high priced tablets.

And Axiotron is doing how well? Not very. They're barely creeping along. Interesting you mention them however - their primary customers are arsty fartsy types who utilize the fact that they've married a Wacom tablet to a MacBook. Not many Enterprise users, I'll warrant. They're trying to develop a MacBook Pro based unit and their promo literature hints at expanded uses in business setting, but I don't even think the product is shipping.

weight and battery life (2, Informative)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294584)

No, it wasn't cost. It was weight and battery life. I had a couple of tablet-style computers over the years. They were nice machines and not all that expensive.

But at over 1" thick and weighing 6 pounds, you simply couldn't comfortably carry them around. They also took too long to turn on and off. You couldn't build a powerful lightweight tablet at the time at any price.

Now that we have the processors, batteries, and screens that make lightweight, long-lasting tables possible, they are appearing from many companies.

Well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294238)

giving users freedom to figure out how useful tablets can be rather than forcing them into narrow usage scenarios, plus liberal use of the reality distortion field.

Steal the market? (5, Interesting)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294246)

I'm not sure I'd say the iPad has "stolen the market". Nearly every presentation I've been in/been a part of still has a laptop as the primary source of information. An ipad is great to carry around if you're just trying to get email. If you're trying to do any real work, it fails miserably.

The reason the tablet never took off is because it's just a more expensive, less powerful laptop. The iPad isn't REPLACING the laptop anytime soon. Hell, it isn't even REPLACING the tablet. The people who have adopted the tablet will continue using it. Everyone else will continue using their laptops for 99% of their business oriented tasks, and keep their iPad's around when they don't want to lug around a full laptop, and don't need to get any "real work" done. If I'm going on an overnight trip to attend a meeting where I'm not presenting, you bet your ass I'll probably just grab an iPad for the flight to watch movies and check email. If I have to get any work done, I'm taking a laptop.

I would be willing to bet the reason most business users have picked up an iPad is the same reason I have: 10 hours of movie playback. I can watch movies for almost my entire trip to Sydney on one charge. You aren't getting anywhere close to that with anything else on the market today.

Re:Steal the market? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294318)

This:

"I can watch movies for almost my entire trip to Sydney on one charge."

Yep. Jokes aside. It really *is* a giant iPod Touch.

And that's exactly what the people want.

Re:Steal the market? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294470)

Now if only Apple could bring a bigger iPad with a bigger battery life. Same display resolution but bigger display. Older people hate "small displays". Give them 13" displays minimum. Bonus side: lower DPI means the display shouldn't cost more than the 9.7" and you can put a bigger battery inside it.

Nintendo proved there is a market for that with their Nintendo DSi XL.

Re:Steal the market? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294604)

Older people hate "small displays".

God, that is so true. In my business many of the people who use our software are older people, folks that have been in operations for decades. And you're absolutely correct: we are always getting requests to make things more easy to read.

And frankly, I'm at that point in my life where I realize just how much of modern consumer electronics are a young person's game. I remember when the very first Casio scientific calculator watch came out. Little teensy-tiny buttons, watch-sized display ... yet, I could read and use it just fine. That was a quarter century ago. I bought a few of them at the time, figuring they wouldn't be on the market long (and I was right.) Not that it matters now: I look at the thing and all I see is a reddish grey blur.

The aging process sucks, any way you look at it.

Re:Steal the market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294326)

I get 24 hours of video on my archos 5.... so yes, something on the market can roll right over that figure... then again it's useless for anything other than video or audio...

Re:Steal the market? (1)

hakey (1227664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294446)

Maybe you are thinking about audio. They advertise "Video playback time: up to 7 hours" and "Music playback time: up to 22 hours". That is with low backlight.

Re:Steal the market? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294454)

Yes, but at the expense of having a 4.8" instead of a 9.7" screen.

Personally, anything less than my laptop's 12" isn't enough to watch a movie, and even this is pushing it.

Re:Steal the market? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294728)

I take it you've got poor eyesight. Because 4.8" is plenty of screen space for a personal video device to have, you just can't sit three feet away from it and expect to make out the details.

Re:Steal the market? (4, Informative)

PDG (100516) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294412)

Are you kidding me? I used my iPad are the office all the time. Granted, I'm not compiling Java on it, but there are plenty of uses over and above email at the office.

It makes a great portable Web-Ex client, as well as GotoMeeting and other presentation formats. It handles documents well. Using iAnnotate lets me markup and read PDF docs.

I also found it great for reading specs rather than killing trees with paper or trying to read them off a computer screen. I can take them with me with ease.

I also have RDP and VNC clients plus a shell terminal (no, not jailbroken) lets me SSH into other boxes and do sys admin work as well as a slew of other network tools available.

Add on top of that the fact that I can do Voip calls and listen to my music all at the same time.

Re:Steal the market? (4, Funny)

605dave (722736) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294476)

It doesn't matter, Apple is evil. And closed. And all that other stuff. Stop pointing out the obvious benefits of Apple's approach. Don't you know it doesn't adhere to our strict open philosophy? It doesn't matter that people seem to like it, it seems to work, and it seems to be secure.

Re:Steal the market? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294608)

It doesn't matter, Apple is evil. And closed. And all that other stuff. Stop pointing out the obvious benefits of Apple's approach. Don't you know it doesn't adhere to our strict open philosophy? It doesn't matter that people seem to like it, it seems to work, and it seems to be secure.

"Seems".

Re:Steal the market? (2, Informative)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294612)

Are you kidding me? I want to throw mine across the room whenever I try to type text into it. Why the fuck are you using it as a terminal when perfectly usable computers with keyboards are available?

Re:Steal the market? (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294522)

Lots of the current generation Netbooks can run at 9hours on their batteries.

My personal view: (1, Interesting)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294258)

Doesn't matter how pretty and comfortable you make the prison, it's still a prison. And if you need to run anything that isn't valid depending on Apple, you're out of luck.

Re:My personal view: (4, Insightful)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294316)

If you're buying an iPad or iPhone and think that you can run something that didn't come from the App store, you should have done better research. For many people what Apple produces is sufficient. For those who want features that Apple doesn't provide, there are other options. I see no point in complaining that a device doesn't do what you want if you're never going to buy one in the first place, buy something else.

Re:My personal view: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294362)

My personal view: Prisons are an actual thing. They're terrible places where terrible things happen to possibly-terrible people. They're worse than you can imagine.

They're not a metaphor for a fun gadget with a closed development environment. This is up there with using "rape" to describe someone charging $5 for a coffee.

Re:My personal view: (2)

605dave (722736) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294486)

Exactly. Hyperbole never helps.

Re:My personal view: (2, Funny)

greenbobb (1869506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294648)

Yeah, no more music, poetry or any other form of creativity either. I say we never look at things in new ways ever again.

Re:My personal view: (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294748)

I'd like to know where you go to buy coffee that makes you think that somebody would compare buying it there to rape. At least with the prison analogy there is some component which is analogous, if a bit of a hyperbole. I mean they do call unlocking an iPhone jailbreaking it for a reason. But in no respect to any extent is rape like charging $5 for coffee.

Market Belongs to Microsoft? (1)

Reverend_Sin (673486) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294322)

I was given to understand that the reason the Ipad hasn't succeeded in a business environment is because the Windows based Tablet already dominates that market. I know the local hospital purchased a ton of tablets recently when they underwent a huge remodeling.

Re:Market Belongs to Microsoft? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294426)

I was given to understand that the reason the Ipad hasn't succeeded in a business environment is because the Windows based Tablet already dominates that market. I know the local hospital purchased a ton of tablets recently when they underwent a huge remodeling.

Except that's not what the article or the summary say. It is about how the iPad is supplanting those traditional tablets.

Re:Market Belongs to Microsoft? (4, Interesting)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294500)

I was given to understand that the reason the Ipad hasn't succeeded in a business environment is because the Windows based Tablet already dominates that market. I know the local hospital purchased a ton of tablets recently when they underwent a huge remodeling.

Except that's not what the article or the summary say. It is about how the iPad is supplanting those traditional tablets.

It isn't the first time the article has been full of shit. I work in 2 government departments, they bought a stack of ipad's with the assumption that the intitial trial would lead to full scale rollout and do as the article suggested. It took all of about 3 weeks before most of the 30 trial ipads been returned to IT (think the number stands at 22 returned) and they went back to laptops/tablets. The Ipad is nice but it just isn't a good work tool, it is something for entertainment.

Re:Market Belongs to Microsoft? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294636)

I was given to understand that the reason the Ipad hasn't succeeded in a business environment is because the Windows based Tablet already dominates that market. I know the local hospital purchased a ton of tablets recently when they underwent a huge remodeling.

Except that's not what the article or the summary say. It is about how the iPad is supplanting those traditional tablets.

It isn't the first time the article has been full of shit. I work in 2 government departments, they bought a stack of ipad's with the assumption that the intitial trial would lead to full scale rollout and do as the article suggested. It took all of about 3 weeks before most of the 30 trial ipads been returned to IT (think the number stands at 22 returned) and they went back to laptops/tablets. The Ipad is nice but it just isn't a good work tool, it is something for entertainment.

I'm not surprised at that result, and I agree: it's an entertainment device but then again ... so what? Apple has never shown much interest in the business market. There are a whole host of headaches and liabilities (not the least of which is support) that Apple Computer is perfectly willing to leave to the likes of Dell, HP and others. The fact the the iPad (or the iAnything, including the Macintosh) don't serve as well in business roles as software and hardware meant for that purpose is likewise no surprise. If you want a business computer, buy a business computer from the hundreds of vendors that sell them. If you want what Apple has to offer, that's great, but it's best not to pretend that it's something that it isn't, and was never intended to be. People that do might as well complain that their PCs aren't any good at making mixed drinks.

Re:Market Belongs to Microsoft? (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294524)

Yeah but what "market" are we talking about here? I've walked around a lot of enterprises and I haven't seen many tablets, Windows or otherwise. My understanding has always been that except for individual enthusiasts, the markets (plural) for Windows Tablets have traditionally been verticals -- healthcare, oil and gas, things like that. These aren't Compaq tablets that you order from Tiger Direct, either; they tend to be purpose-built, ruggedized devices. I don't really see the iPad worming its way into those markets with any great speed.

And even if iPad has "stolen the entire market" -- a statement I choose to interpret as saying that people who have bought iPads are happy with them and have no plans to switch to something else -- how big is that market really? I hear vague statements about iPad sales. I live in the City of San Francisco and I've maybe seen 2-3 iPads out in the wild. Maybe most people keep theirs at home, I don't know -- but you would think that if mobility is such a big factor in why people are buying these things, I'd see more of them around town. By comparison, I feel safe to assume that just about every single person I pass on the street has access to a laptop, or at the very least a desktop PC or Mac. The iPad's true market presence does not seem very significant by comparison.

Re:Market Belongs to Microsoft? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294688)

Yeah but what "market" are we talking about here?

Beats the shit outta me. I was merely pointing out that the grandparent was replying to something that wasn't said in the article or in the summary. Hell, after reading the 'article', I see it was merely an opinion piece that doesn't really cite anything other than a Samsung VP (or was in engineer?)

Re:Market Belongs to Microsoft? (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294554)

Except that the Ipad isn't supplanting those traditional tablets. As far as I can tell, for the most part, the Ipad is entering into a market that didn't exist before the Ipad. Everyone I know who owns one bought it as an entertainment device. On the other hand every traditional tablet in end user hands that I am aware of is in a business environment.

Re:Market Belongs to Microsoft? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294708)

You're right. I thought about including verbiage to that effect in my reply above. It looks like tablets (and the opinion piece the /. story refers to speaks to 'new tablets' like the iPad and various Androids vs. XP laptops sans keyboards) are moving into new spaces.

I anticipate that some Android manufacturer will find a way to boot those traditional tablets to the curb. The only trick at the moment is that many of them seem to run some custom application that the vendor may not wish to port. But given the potential smaller size and greater efficiency of the new hardware/OS combos, it should only be a matter of time before 'supplant' is the correct verb.

Not yet though.

TL;DR: you're right.

Partially correct (1)

Mysteray (713473) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294352)

I think he's got it partly right: from the outset, the big markets identified for tablet computers were hospital, warehouse inventory, and maintenance person type jobs. Note these are cases where somebody probably runs just a single app and they didn't choose the app themselves it was a condition of their job. In other words, its a crummy data entry device.

The iPad seems like the first tablet that's positioned as something someone would actually enjoy using, rather than being a Windows XP notebook with a barcode scanner in place of a keyboard.

That said, to this hacker it seems absurd to think of an iPad representing freedom. It looks to me more like a cross between an etch-a-sketch, finger paints, and a television.

Re:Partially correct (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294438)

That said, to this hacker it seems absurd to think of an iPad representing freedom. It looks to me more like a cross between an etch-a-sketch, finger paints, and a television.

Except that two of the three things you mention are totally freeform products for creating all sorts of stuff. It gets even weirder when an avowed Apple fan such as myself acknowledges that this isn't the iPad's forte.

Methinks people shouldn't denigrate the etch-a-sketch and fingerpaints.

Re: Finger paints, Etch-a-sketch (1)

Mysteray (713473) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294542)

Yes, you're right. Etch-a-sketches and finger paints are creative media.

I apologize. I shouldn't have compared them to the iPad.

Consumer features vs. Business features (2, Interesting)

HumanEmulator (1062440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294366)

The features that have made the iPad a huge success are very consumer oriented features:

  • affordable everywhere internet
  • the complete lack of anything that requires a 3rd party to support
  • a really polished playful user interface

Will those benefits apply to business customers? Maybe, but none of those are things that business really cares about. In fact, some people (service providers and IT departments) have a lot to lose by recommending a device with those first two features. It's possible the only effect this will have is on how happy business users are with the equipment they're given.

Of course there are no iPads in businesses (5, Funny)

pankkake (877909) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294382)

...hipsters don't have jobs.

Re:Of course there are no iPads in businesses (5, Funny)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294534)

no, but In soviet america, Jobs has Hipsters!

It's pretty simple (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294392)

Tablets as they exist currently are more or less useless for business purposes. They target a different market. Must be a slow news day.

Surely he jests (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294408)

"There's a lot to be said for having faith in users to make best use of their computer, without pushing and pulling them in ways you think are best for them."

He said that about an Apple product??? Believe me, in the past the limits imposed on tablet users were mostly because of limitations in the technology; with Apple it's blatantly lack of faith in users to make best use of their computer, by pushing and pulling them in ways they think are best for them.

And no, I don't often partake in Apple bashing, but come on!

Re:Surely he jests (2, Insightful)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294740)

That's one way to put it. Or one could say they make it really, incredibly easy to do 90% of the stuff people want to, while making it near impossible to shoot yourself in the foot trying to do the other 10% (by preventing it from happening).

A more cynical explanation ... (1, Insightful)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294420)

... would be that historically, the "business" community has rarely adopted anything computer-like until it comes out with the IBM logo on it. Back in the 1980s, lots of little companies were marketing desktop computers, but they were considered toys by the business community, until IBM came out with theirs.

Now, I can hear people saying "What about Microsoft, huh?" This is an example that supports the thesis, since Microsoft's first successes were with the machines labelled as "IBM Personal Computers". Furthermore, if you go to ibm.com and look for available small computers, you'll see that all of them are advertised as running "Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Edition"(or sometimes "Vista" or "XP"). This supports the general business-world belief that Microsoft is the software-development division of IBM.

Yes, I've asked business people about this, and I've gotten funny looks, because "everyone knows" that Microsoft is part of IBM. If you try going into an explanation of why this isn't technically true, you merely find yourself dismissed as a geek trying to confuse them with Too Much Information. They don't need to know the details of the arrangement; they just know that "computer" and "IBM machine" are and always have been synonyms, and the small ones run Microsoft software, so Microsoft is IBM's small-computer software developer. That's all they need to know; the rest is left to the hired help to discuss. And they don't order "tablet" computers because they haven't seen one sold by IBM yet.

(Hey, is there one? I don't see it at ibm.com, but that doesn't mean that they don't have one. Sorta like how yes, you can get an IBM PC running linux -- if you can find it to order it. But try digging around at ibm.com to find it. It'll probably take you hours, and you should bookmark the page when you find it, otherwise it'll take you more hours to find it again the next time. Or it'll have moved and your bookmark doesn't work any more. But you can find MS Windows Pro all over the site. I's hard to find tablets there, so IBM probably doesn't sell them -- or doesn't want to. ;-)

Anyway, it's likely that Apple has never much marketed to the business community, because like everyone else selling non-IBM-branded stuff, they know that they can't sell enough there for it to be profitable. But they can sell to individual purchasers, who might take their Apple toys along to work with them, and that's fine.

There's an old saying that nobody ever gets fired for buying IBM. Similarly, nobody ever stays in business by trying to sell non-IBM stuff in IBM's market. That's a recipe for disaster and bankruptcy. The folks at Apple are smart enough to understand this, and don't try to sell in an arena where IBM/Microsoft will squash them.

Of course, there may be a third and fourth theory for why Apple stays out of the business arena. Anyone want to explain the others? ;-)

Re:A more cynical explanation ... (3, Interesting)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294590)

Given that IBM has pretty much exited the personal computer market I really don't understand what you are trying to say. You do realize they just market re-branded Lenovo stuff in that space right? I also think any executive issuing a PO for such equipment is not so clueless that they can't understand the differences between Microsoft, IBM, and Lenovo and I also doubt very much your thesis they don't care to understand.

You either have astonishingly poor communication skills or actually do work with a bunch of monkeys and PHBs. I am not suggesting most Officers don't have their PHB moments but if yours are still having that moment in Q4-2010 you might want to look for another job because your firm's days are probably few.

Re:A more cynical explanation ... (1)

InfiniteZero (587028) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294596)

> Microsoft is the software-development division of IBM

There is an old joke.

Q: What does IBM stand for?

A: I Built Microsoft.

Re:A more cynical explanation ... (1)

Mysteray (713473) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294600)

Hmm, I think your information is about 15 years out of date.

Today, surely every businessperson knows Microsoft isn't the software-development division of IBM anymore. They're the software-development division of Dell.

Re:A more cynical explanation ... (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294602)

Yes, I've asked business people about this, and I've gotten funny looks, because "everyone knows" that Microsoft is part of IBM. If you try going into an explanation of why this isn't technically true, you merely find yourself dismissed as a geek trying to confuse them with Too Much Information. They don't need to know the details of the arrangement; they just know that "computer" and "IBM machine" are and always have been synonyms, and the small ones run Microsoft software, so Microsoft is IBM's small-computer software developer.

Which business people have you been talking to? Montgomery Burns?

Actually, scratch that. Montgomery Burns would associate IBM with OS/360 and AS/400. You, on the other hand, appear to have been talking to someone who got trapped in a cave sometime around 1983 and only emerged last year.

FWIW, IBM hasn't made PCs or laptops since 2005 at least, and even then they were losing money on the PC business hand over fist. Maybe you're thinking of Compaq? (They're part of HP now, BTW.)

Re:A more cynical explanation ... (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294752)

1985 called, it wants its worldview back.

Rather off the mark (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294496)

isnt it rather because technology finally reached a point where a device that is the size of a tablet provides acceptable resolution, processing power, battery life, thinness/lightness, and an acceptable touchscreen interface ? and apple jumped in at the right time ?

Re:Rather off the mark (2, Insightful)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294734)

isnt it rather because technology finally reached a point where a device that is the size of a tablet provides acceptable resolution, processing power, battery life, thinness/lightness, and an acceptable touchscreen interface ? and apple jumped in at the right time ?

They also jettisoned the inappropriate WIMP interface, a not inconsequential addition to what you've stated. (Yes, I know, save me the effort of point out a dozen products over the years that used a similar interface. Those devices lacked the technical merits that the post I'm replying to mentions. Good hardware with WIMP fails, bad hardware without WIMP fails. The current popularity of tablets requires not only good hardware, but non-WIMP)

Facebook (1)

Ebbesen (166619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294528)

We all know, the main reason is that pre-iPad tablets kinda had to be placed on the table. It made it impossible to use Facebook while in a boring meeting, compared to an ordinary laptop where the screen provided some privacy.

My view on the success of the iPad? (2, Insightful)

MDillenbeck (1739920) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294640)

Timing, as others have said. People loved their iPods, then fell in love with their iPhones and iTouches - they got use to the interface. True, the iPad is more in the smartphone device category than in the netbook/laptop/tablet PC market (it doesn't even have a wacom digitizer to permit inking... what good is a notepad you can't write on naturally?) - and people have grown accustom to those with the recent emergence of powerful smartphones. If the iPad was launched 2 years ago it wouldn't have succeeded.

A business tablet? Add barcode input (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294666)

I thought about it. I could see it work for us for use with data collection for our DDs, which are internet/web based. But for me I would think if there was an integrated barcode to key entry feature that would do it.

Looking at the iPad/iPod/iPhone the barcode apps are more for amazon, not so you can use it as an entry alternative in another app. So without that they don't have much value here.

mod 04 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294730)

hot on the heels of ofone single puny been siiting here
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