Legendary designer Alan Kay says Apple iPad will rule the world

“Alan Kay is one the greatest minds in the history of computing,” Jesus Diaz reports for Gizmodo. “He worked in the 70s at the legendary Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, where he said that ‘the best way to predict the future is to invent it!’ He did precisely that.”

“His Dynabook design was the first laptop and tablet concept ever. And his idea of always-connected mobile computing is exactly what we have today,” Diaz reports. “Not only he came up with these ideas out of nowhere, but he was also responsible for the overlapping windowing graphical user interface of the Alto.”

“Lately, however, Kay doesn’t seem to love the windowing GUI concept as much as he did back in the 80s, when the Macintosh came out,” Diaz reports. “This is what he said to Om Malik in a recent interview, before the iPad was introduced:”

When the Mac first came out, Newsweek asked me what I [thought] of it. I said: Well, it’s the first personal computer worth criticizing. So at the end of the presentation, Steve came up to me and said: Is the iPhone worth criticizing? And I said: Make the screen five inches by eight inches, and you’ll rule the world. – Alan Kay

Diaz reports, “I didn’t see the quote back then, but his judgement seems to me spot on.”

There’s much more in the full article, including why many so-called experts ignore why the iPad is the computing device for 95% of the population, here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Steve understands desire.” – Alan Kay, January 2007

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dow C.” for the heads up.]


  1. Diaz defines the passive-aggressive nature of modern tech blogs. Gizmodo alternately fellates and bashes Apple, depending on the page hit yield, I imagine. This is the same guy who relentlessly pounded the Jobs health story and declared the vaporous Windows 7 Series Phone thingy as an “out-Appling of Apple” that “feels like an iPhone from the future”.

    Good job with the obvious, Jesus. Try not to be such a dickhole the other 99% of the time.

  2. But, but, but . . . No flash!

    (although I do think we shouldn’t have to wait for a 2G for a frickin’ front facing camera, and if cellular broadband technology is to blame then make it work only with wi-fi to begin with)

  3. I hope this is right. To achieve this level of dominance, however, it does need to be able to function independent of another computer (i.e., updates & backup).
    Go Apple!!

  4. Who says that Microsoft doesn’t innovate?

    ” …. While Bill Gates’ idea of a tablet was a market failure, it achieved one significant success: It demonstrated that transferring a desktop user interface to a tablet format was a horrible idea, destined to fail.”

  5. “Comment from: justified
    I love it, but it really needs a DVD player.

    Feb 22, 10 – 06:15 pmComment from: deepdish
    It needs a floppy drive.”

    It needs an 8 track.

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