Apple’s Cook right about PC-tablet fusion fantasy: Tablet and PC not a marriage made in heaven

“Apple’s Tim Cook expounded on prior comments he has made on trying to shoehorn a PC into a tablet at the D10 conference,” Brooke Crothers reports for CNET. “The Microsoft-Intel camp should listen.”

In my view, the tablet and the PC are different. You can do things with a tablet if you aren’t encumbered by the legacy of a PC — if you view it as different. If you say this is another PC, all of a sudden you’re pulling all of the leadweight of the PC market and you wind up with something not as good.

Trying to do all those things that the OS of the PC does, and perhaps should do, it’s trying to converge laptops and tablets and therefore you’ve got a clamshell kind of thing and you’re lugging this thing with you, and so the industrial design is not optimized for tablet. People want tablets to be incredibly thin. – Apple CEO Tim Cook

Crothers writes, “He’s right. A shotgun marriage between a PC and a tablet isn’t going to produce an eminently elegant device along the lines of an iPad–or even a Motorola Xyboard or Samsung Galaxy Tab.”

Read more in the full article here.

19 Comments

    1. Really? And perhaps you also think that circuit boards are made out of wood? And when you got room and board in college, you thought that was made out of wood? Perhaps you might be advised to look up the word ‘board’ and learn its etymology.

  1. If the argument is one of cost (why have two devices that do a lot of the same things), then tablets fare badly. But I think that the real strength of the tablet is not to view it as doing most of what a PC can do (whether laptop or desktop). Instead, it offers extreme portability and maximum flexibility in offering web access, email, entertainment, and other forms of information gathering and exchange.

    Hey, I am no expert but I find that in my little ecosystem of computers, I now use my laptop purely for writing longer and more involved documents and handling multiple documents. It also serves as my primary storage and back up although that could change with cloud access. I now use my iPad for most of my pure reading tasks and for a lot of entertainment. It and my iPhone are also my primary task management tools when it comes to finding things, scheduling, and other time-sensitive activities. I like having choices and I find that these tools shape how I think about things.

    Perhaps too simple an analogy but in looking at tools used in the kitchen, a blender does some things very well and some not so well. A food processor on the other hand does a great job of doing what a blender cannot. Depending on how serious I am as a cook, I will want to use both. And of course if by having these complementary tools I can work more efficiently and achieve better results, then I am happy to have both.

    1. Why do you need 2 devices???

      Your assumption is that 99.9% of people cannot do 100% of thei computing tasks on a tablet OS like iOS.

      This assumption is patently false.

      The vast majority of people use their “computers” for email, internet (facebook), and games. These tasks are something that tablets like the iPad have centered their experience around.

      People act like the majority of people want to run some 3D rendering program or Final Cut. Those people are actually in the far far far far (far far) minority.

      1. You missed Alex’s point entirely. There are some things that are better to do with a keyboard and a laptop/desktop, such as lengthy writing in Alex’s example. While 3D rendering will likely not move to tablets (at least not in the near future), there are other applications for which tablets are not well suited — QuickBooks, PhotoShop, web design, and other more processor-intensive activities need something more than a tablet, and often need other input devices like keyboards, mice, Wacom tablets, etc.

        Alex is correct in that if you have a laptop and tablet on which you do the same things (email, surf, etc.), then the argument about having two is not very strong. But each tool has its strengths and weaknesses, and so each is well suited for specific tasks.

  2. Ballmer promises to deliver “One OS to rule all tablets, laptops and PCs.” to the Board of Directors to keep his job, by keeping the income stream up…hopefully.

    1. I agree, I have tried the beta of M8 and it’s not as great as some of the blogosphere makes it out to be, its still clunky.

      Windows XP was a better OS then what has come after it.

      After being a Windows user since version 3.0, I switched to Apple, it’s been since 2006 I have enjoyed more production and unbelievable smoothness of what is OSX.

      1. I think Windows 7 will be remembered as the high point for Windows as an operating system.

        XP was extremely versatile and possibly the most used operating system in history but Windows 7 really fixed the glaring faults in XP.

        Windows 8 is going to be the start of the death chant for Windows. MS can’t possibly expect to make one OS that can morph between form factors and have it succeed. There will be a backlash of the core desktop users and the development community.

        iCal Windows 8 launch date as it will be the beginning of the end (for MS).

        1. Apple definitely has the correct idea on multiple OSes: 1 OS for mobile, 1 OS for desktop, but make them work seamlessly together and take the best features of each and implement them on the other (as far as it makes sense). Maybe someday in the distant future Apple would merge the two when we have the next leap in processor technology, but frankly that’s not likely because the demands placed on desktop machines will continue to move upward even as mobile processing becomes more powerful.

  3. As BoC said, Microsoft merely wants to keep selling a lot of licensed copies of Windows OS because that’s how they make their money. I find it hard to imagine that Microsoft actually believes most consumers need a full version of Windows on a thin tablet. I’m sure there is some appeal for a few power users of being able to do nearly everything on one device but the average consumer shouldn’t need a full desktop OS to accomplish simple daily tasks. I say this because we see how many consumers can use smartphones to manage their daily lives.

    Apple’s method of tailoring the OS for a particular device is just far more efficient for most consumers. I think that a thin Windows tablet trying to run standard desktop applications would put too much stress on the hardware and consumers wouldn’t be satisfied with the overall results.

    Of course, my opinion doesn’t matter and only time will tell what consumers think about Windows 8 tablets. I think most consumers will skip Windows 8 tablets and carry Windows Ultrabooks instead.

  4. After a brief dabble with Windows Phone 7 (not as bad as you might think, but also no iOS either), I was intrigued enough to give Windows 8 a try as a dual boot on my Hackintosh netbook. I wanted to see if they’d done anything to make Metro more useable on non-touch devices, as the xbox 360 Metro-style dashboard is clumsy and awful. The verdict? It stinks. It absolutely stinks. I have the light and stable Snow Leopard running like a dream on hardware it shouldn’t even be anywhere near, and yet the newest version of the OS designed for the system won’t run properly on it (no Metro apps unless you fudge the screen resolution). It makes multitasking clumsy and unintuitive, it’s incredibly confusing even to do something as simple as set C or F for the weather app, and the least said about the desktop with no Start menu (where even finding a program you’ve downloaded is a head-scratching chore) the better. Microsoft have gambled and lost. This isn’t one OS to rule them all, it’s one OS that suits one system bodged onto everything in an attempt to be different for the sake of it. Apart from tech freaks and diehard Win enthusiasts, Windows 8 is going to go down like a concrete zeppelin. Anyone who’s ever been even slightly frustrated with trying to do something in Windows will hate it. Absolutely hate it.

    This is it, folks – the tipping point. This is when Microsoft release a product so designed by committee and focus group but with no bearing on what people actually want that people finally walk away in droves. Anyone wanting a new desktop PC that they can work simply and easily will look at a Mac now even if they never did before, as the jump from Win 7 to OS X is far, far smaller than the jump from Win 7 to WIn 8.

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