Stop The Madness! At Least Until The PCs Are Gone

| Particle Debris

We're in a comfort zone right now. Tablets have emerged and are maturing, but there are still plenty of PCs with Windows all over the planet. They coexist. But what about a few years from now when a combination of new tablet technologies and wholesale discarding of PCs takes place? Then we'll see some serious upheaval.

David Morgenstern has taken in all the talk about Apple moving the Mac platform from Intel to ARM at some point in the future. His view is a refreshing step back from the Mac echo chamber, and one of his arguments is that Apple's (strategic) leak may be just a ploy to get Intel into a proper frame of mind with its CPU roadmap, one that would satisfy Apple's specific technical needs.

Here's Mr. Morgenstern's essay. "Apple ditching Intel for ARM on the Mac? Stop the insanity!"

Personally, I agree, and I think that would be unwise in the near term because it would just introduce new, needless technical headaches for Apple, and it would be a critical loss of our steadfast virtualization capabilities with Intel CPUs.

On the other hand, consider this for the long term. We've seen that Microsoft is not eager to divulge sales numbers for the Surface RT tablet.  A significant number of PC customers are thinking about switching to Mac instead of Windows 8. And the tablet market is cannibalizing PC sales Big Time.

But wait. There's more. At the heart of the looming Windows 8 disaster is the way Microsoft rolled out Windows 8 and the Surface RT tablet -- that doesn't run conventional Windows apps -- simultaneously.  Here's Paul Thurrott's scathing analysis of what Microsoft has brought upon itself: " Windows 8 Sales Well below Projections, Plenty of Blame to Go Around." This is a must-read analysis from an expert Microsoft observer.

So if the handwriting is on the wall, why not conjure up a two-fer and plan for a day in the post-PC world when virtualization is no big deal anymore for Apple customers. Apple gets to design its own CPUs for the Macs, and -- who knows? -- maybe we'll be able to run iOS apps on our touch screen Macs. All of this is very sobering indeed and could portend much upheaval in our Apple world. We've never known that before.... oh, wait.

Tech News Debris

I love the exploration of unintended consequences. It makes for some good stories. In this case, however, the different ways the iPad mini can be utilized may well be intended by forward thinking Apple people. In any case, I particularly like the section on loaners plus the assessment why other 7-inch tablets aren't as competitive in some areas of use. This is another thoughtful article from John Kirk, "An iPad mini Epiphany."

There's no better tutorial on iOS 6 Passbook possibilities than advice to marketers on how to exploit it. "Five Things Marketers Should Know About Apple Passbook."

I recently saw an ad on TV for a monster VAIO 20-inch tablet, well, "mobile desktop." Here's Sony's product page. It's an 11.4 lb monster. But what's notable is that it does have a battery and could be moved around if necessary. Here's a video introduction.

This is a touch screen desktop that tries to be a 20-inch mobile tablet in some circumstances, and I think it may start to show up in some science fiction movies or TV shows. I don't think it will sell well, but it does seem to be the first significant camel nose under tent of the, OMG, larger, laptop tablet.

I was one of the early believers in the idea of Apple shipping a 7-inch iPad after I saw what Amazon did with the Kindle Fire a year ago. Now, I'll go on record: in 2013 or early 2014 at the latest, we'll see 15 to 17-inch iPads from Apple weighing not 11.4 lbs, but 6 lbs. Don't worry about reminding me; my colleagues at TMO, eager to take my beer money, will keep me honest.

Image credit: Sony.  VAIO Tap 20.

Here's the spice of the week for the students of Particle Debris, a full length, sound, detailed analysis of Apple's innovation and business prospects by Adam Levine-Weinberg. Good stuff here for the patient and studious. "Apple: No Innovation, No Problem (For Now)."

I think I've mentioned before that my wife and I have both been involved in some large, team programming projects. The opportunities for failure crop up at every turn, and so I was intrigued to hear about how the Democratic party utilized computer technology during the presidential election. This story isn't about politics; it's about the very level-headed, intelligent use of off-the-shelf technologies by some very smart people in order to get a job done. No matter your affiliation, this is instructive reading: "Built to win: Deep inside Obama's campaign tech."

It's not often we hear about companies whose security practices turn the tables on crackers. This is a fun one: "How David Koretz Hoodwinks Hackers."

Final note: the next Particle Debris will be published on November 30. Happy Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) to all.

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Goldfish & Bowls via Shutterstock.

Comments

Khaled

Is iPad replaced Mac?

7”-10"is not enough for many VS 13-15” Ultrabooks & Notebooks & not enough VS 20”-29” Desktops & AIO

PC evolving in many form factors, Windows 8 in
1-Ultrabooks
2-Notebooks
3-Desktop
4-AIO
5-Convertibles Ultrabooks
6-Convertibles Tablets
8-Tablets support USB, Keyboard & Mouse

Touchscreen is ergonomic with handy devices even ipad users buying keyboard while Windows 8 Tablet support mouse unlike ipad

archimedes

Along with Khaled, I don’t want an iPad mini - I want a “maxi” which is BIG, like 13”, 15”, 17” !!!  I want a replacement not just for my MacBook Pro, but for a desktop system !! Currently iOS is stuck with tiny little screens, while graphic designers and artists shell out big bucks for giant Cintiq touchscreens, because they are really, really useful for their work !!

Jordan Rudess demonstrated playing his (formerly iOS-exclusive, but now he is developing for Android and Windows as well) music apps on a BIG Windows 8 tablet - it’s obvious that more screen real estate is a good thing for many applications!!

Lee Dronick

There are quite few places where a PC style of arrangement is a better fit than a tablet. Not just for graphics, video, programmers, and such, but for in retail, warehousing, administration where the ergonomics is better suited to not touching a screen. Not that they need a beige box, monitor, and keyboard, but they need a monitor/cpu, and a keyboard. Yes a tablet and keyboard may be the thing, but that is in effect a PC.

Sidebare - Yesterday I was messing around with a Surface in the MicroSoft Store in the mall. My Apple Fanmanism aside I was not favorably impressed with the device. The apps seemed clunky, like something out of the early ‘90s. I did not like the texture on the Microsoft keyboard, it felt gritty. The tablet was nice, the display and all of that, just the software was not to my liking. Your milage may vary

Dorje Sylas

In a Post-PC world PCs become Home Servers. Tablets are ‘Smart’ terminals with enough brains to do ‘normal people’ levels of things and can go run to a HS for more power when needed. In a Post-PC world this interplay between mobile smart terminals and servers would be seamless.

Currently both Apple and Microsoft are kinda stumbling here. MS possibly worse then Apple only by virtue of swinging and missing with Windows RT and not understand why they missed. If RT and Windows 8 interfaced with each other seamlessly and allowed RDP/Multiuser session on a more powerful Windows 8 desktop there wouldn’t be the level of facepalming going on. Especially I’d done like various remote program use things like Citirx and such. Put a remote App onto screen in such a way that it almost looks like its running native. Leave Metro/Start for ‘smart terminal’ tasks that the iPad and current Android tablets have demonstrated. In sort MS is not levering their interdevice networking to the level they should.

Apple’s just doing it too slow and kinda confused. The AppleTV should be running Apps by now, or at least letting Apps pair for mutual networked support. The Mac should be able to take AirPlay video streams, and should have been able to stream it with the launch of 10.7 and update for support in 10.6. AirDrop file transfer should be available between Macs and iOS devices alike. At least they have a kind of working multiuser remote login in system finally. However the more touch/trackpad centric design bleed will start getting in the way soon (see push back on 10.8) if it doesn’t get moved to its proper place, i.e. when a Tablet/Terminal is connected remotely and not trying to pretend its got a mouse and keyboard (see Mocha VNC/iTeleport/TeamViewer/etc). However a note there, tables will still need that option (see Windows RT and Surface for how that lack is hurting it.)

MS, if it can get over itself and listen to consumer feedback they’ve been getting for months, can wipe out most of Windows 8s desktop flaws with one service pack.

David T.

Tablets and phones fall flat on content creation: graphics, media, school papers/essays, etc. They are information consumption devices. Content creators need good size screens, keyboards, and a UI with the level of on-screen information density that is better suited to a mouse pointer than to touch.
I will also point out that serious multitasking is best accomplished in a windowed, relatively information-dense UI. No tablet for work, please.
To the extent that Americans are more consumers than creators, sure the PC will give way to tablets and phones. It’s just depressing.

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