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Bill Gates Responds To Apple iPad 503

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the tired-of-these-yet dept.
superapecommando writes "Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has called Apple's iPad a 'nice reader' but claims netbooks are the way forward. Speaking briefly to BNET's Brent Schlender, the Microsoft Chairman, who had admitted to being in awe of the iPhone on first release, saw nothing in the iPad to really excite him."
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Bill Gates Responds To Apple iPad

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:28AM (#31143676)
    The article is only short so here's the whole thing:

    "Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has called Apple's iPad a "nice reader" but claims netbooks are the way forward. Speaking briefly to BNET's Brent Schlender, the Microsoft Chairman, who had admitted to being in awe of the iPhone on first release, saw nothing in the iPad to really excite him. "You know, I'm a big believer in touch and digital reading, but I still think that some mixture of voice, the pen and a real keyboard - in other words a netbook - will be the mainstream on that," Gates said. "So, it's not like I sit there and feel the same way I did with iPhone where I say, 'Oh my God, Microsoft didn't aim high enough.' It's a nice reader, but there's nothing on the iPad I look at and say, 'Oh, I wish Microsoft had done it.'" The Microsoft founder and his wife Melinda now devote much of their time to good causes. Last month, they announced plans to donate $10bn (£6.2bn) over the next 10 years to develop and deliver new vaccines. The couple believe it should be possible to save the lives of 7.6 million children under five between 2010 and 2019 in poorer countries."

    Good on you Borg Bill, saving the life of one child is a life-changing thing, a million I can't even get my head round.

  • Uh, what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by consonant (896763) <shrikant.nNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:29AM (#31143692) Homepage
    Isn't the iPad essentially a netbook of the future?
  • by xtracto (837672) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:33AM (#31143738) Journal

    Definitely not, netbooks cannot be the way forward.

    That being said, neither is closed-DRMd-not-really-yours iPad like appliances.

    The way forward is tablets using electro-wetting like technology with touch based input capabilities.

    Of course the keyboard will always be necessary, but a on-screen touchable keyboard is an option for the stuff that people would need to write while using these devices (say, small emails, forum posts, login info, etc.... something like Opera's Wii text-input)

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Etrias (1121031) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:33AM (#31143742)
    A DRM riddled, unable to multi-task, underpowered tablet with no ability to expand? Lord, I hope not.
  • by rimcrazy (146022) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:36AM (#31143780)

    Yea, I remember Balmer dissing the iPhone. "So what so they sell a million phones. WE have the OS in millions of phones"

    So we fast forward a few years and there are what, 30 million or so iPhones out there at $600 a crack to Apple and if I remember correctly iPhone installed base just surpassed phones with Windows Mobile in them. Yea.... right. Well they are not perfect but for me I think I would like Apple's revenue per phone much more than Windows Mobile but what the hell, gives Steve another reason to kick some more chairs.

  • Oy. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by schmidt349 (690948) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:37AM (#31143798)

    Is this like a cottage industry for you Apple haters? You post every possible negative comment about the new product you can find, drum it up into some kind of grand pronouncement on the future of the device, then complain that there's too much media coverage and everyone should just shut up now!

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:40AM (#31143830)
    Depends. Follow this handy process to decide:

    Q: Are you an Apple fanboy?

    Yes: OH MY GOD THE IPAD IS AWESOME IT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING NETBOOKS ARE OVER! HOW CAN YOU ALL NOT SEE THIS?!

    No: What the hell is this thing for? It looks pretty damn useless to me.
  • iPad vs netbook (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:40AM (#31143832)

    I got an iPod touch for Christmas. I really wanted a netbook. So, I bought a netbook and ended up with both. I can honestly say that I use my iPod touch far more than the netbook. The reasons are:

    1) pocket portability
    2) instant on
    3) very nice UI
    4) lots of free or inexpensive apps
    5) variety of entertainment

    I don't much care for the typewriter interface to the iPod touch. I haven't checked out voice recognition yet and maybe that is the way to go.

    I would be very interested in trying the iPad to see how its keyboard interface is. Perhaps an iPad docking station would be nice.

  • Re:Of course... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 91degrees (207121) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:41AM (#31143838) Journal
    Microsoft hasn't stared an opinion. A major shareholder and founder has. This is the opinion of a private individual.
  • Give the pad time (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stokessd (89903) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:41AM (#31143842) Homepage

    If the iPad is a game changer, it won't be one overnight. I see the iPhone as being an instant success not because of what it was, but because of what all other phones weren't. The rest of the smartphone landscape at the time was dismal, both in terms of hardware and plans (yes, this is a USA centric view). So the instant success of the iPhone was an anomaly, not the "apple norm".

    Think back to the iPod, it languished and didn't really gain a whole lot of traction until the third version. That's a lot of time to wait and watch. If the iPad does turn into a "gamechanger", it will also be over time.

    The apple store will be the big game changer. I would drop my cable in a heartbeat if I could get shows (all the shows) when I want them. I pay like $100 a month to comcast for a DVR and their crappy compressed digital cable. I'd be willing to pay at least that for a vast and deep menu of shows I could watch when I want. The same holds true for books, newspapers, and magazines. The content will be the killer app, and the ease of getting that content will differentiate the iPad from all others.

    If what I've outlined above happens where I can get my TV shows and movies from an apple store, it will also revive the appleTV which is like an airport express just waiting for content.

    Sheldon

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:44AM (#31143872)

    A DRM riddled, unable to multi-task, underpowered tablet with no ability to expand? Lord, I hope not.

    Yes, this is exactly what has kept Tivo and cable company DVR's out of the market now entirely dominated by MythTV... oh, wait, no. It's not that I don't agree with your assessment of the iPad, it's just that I don't think it will in any way stop the iPad's success in the market. Don't worry. I'm sure there will always be alternatives for geeks; just don't expect your idea of the ideal product to be mainstream.

    (For the record I use MythTV, an HDHomeRun, and my own homemade antenna to record OTA TV.)

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by p0 (740290) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:47AM (#31143908)
    If it ever succeeds in the market, I'm going to use your comment as the "Less space than a Nomad, lame" equivalent for the iPad.
  • by zeromorph (1009305) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:49AM (#31143938)

    It would have been interesting to here some of Gates' reasons behind his statement.

    Indeed it would be, from TFA:

    "You know, I'm a big believer in touch and digital reading, but I still think that some mixture of voice, the pen and a real keyboard - in other words a netbook - will be the mainstream on that"

    So he says that he believes in touch and digital reading, but voice, pen and keyboard will be the mainstream on that!?

    WTF, seriously WTF! Either they mangled his statement beyond recognition or he has a very strange perception about what the iPad is, where digital reading is now (and what its problems are) as well as what most people do with their computers and smartphones

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stuntpope (19736) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:51AM (#31143954)

    It's just an overgrown PDA.

    In other words, as asserted earlier, a netbook of the future. Netbooks were conceived and marketed for purposes befitting an overgrown PDA. Not devices to do your programming on, or write your term papers, or edit videos, do your Photoshop work on, etc. But a portable device to carry around and share your photos, movies, music, or check your email, browse the Web, without the bulk/weight penalty of a full-sized laptop. That's why they're called netbooks, not "mini laptops".

    Netbooks aren't merely cheaper, smaller, lower-performing laptops, the idea was "why carry all this around when in reality you want a device for only a small subset of the capabilities of a full laptop?" Not "people need smaller laptops with full computing capabilities."

    I see the iPad as the best expression of that type of device thus far.

  • by viraltus (1102365) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:53AM (#31143974)

    Really, the article says the guy is about to save 7.6 million children's lives and the head title is about the iPad? I can imagine the day someone cures cancer; the head news title will be "Dr. X uses an iMac to do his things"

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:57AM (#31144026) Journal

    ...the diff between Gates and Ballmer should tell you why Microsoft is so damned moribund these days.

  • Re:Of course... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by 91degrees (207121) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:58AM (#31144032) Journal
    It's still Bill Gates' opinion as opposed to that of the company.
  • Shocking! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:01AM (#31144056)
    Shocking, one of Microsoft's largest shareholders is talking down about a competitor's product. Who would have guessed?...
  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by macs4all (973270) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:04AM (#31144084)

    A DRM riddled, unable to multi-task, underpowered tablet with no ability to expand? Lord, I hope not.

    DRM? Where, EXACTLY?

    Unable to multitask? Um, since the OS is Darwin-based, it most certainly CAN multitask (and does). And it is quite likely that the artificial limitation on third-party app multitasking will disappear very soon, due primarily to the iPad having more breathing-room, battery wise.

    Underpowered? For what, exactly? At least one hands-on report called it "Wicked fast." Doesn't sound "underpowered" to me. Also, all the demos I have seen show it to be extremely responsive and "fluid". But if you DO want to see "underpowered", there are a plethora of UNSUCCESSFUL Windows-based "Pen computers" around. Check eBay, I'm SURE you can find a deal...

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clifyt (11768) <sonikmatter@gm a i l . com> on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:06AM (#31144118) Homepage

    "It's just an overgrown PDA."

    To some of us, this is perfect.

    I have a superpowerful desktop that I can use if I need to...honestly, except when I'm needing to process 100 tracks of audio at once or need a compiling station for the few times a decade I actually get back to programming, I rarely turn it on (and even with my music, my laptop or macmini that is ultraquiet and fits in my rack case in a smaller slot than any of my outboard gear is powerful enough).

    I have an iPhone for 99% of the rest of what I do these days...I felt constricted to my office otherwise until I picked this up. I've been a gadget junkie for most of my 4 decades on this earth and the last device that was as compact as my iPhone that was useful to me? My Newton...had to invest in cargo pants to have this with me (had palm and a sony branded palm before those...or was it after...I forget).

    I can get to my servers anywhere with my phone...can do just about anything. And yeah, I can do that on my friends Droids or Win phones, but never quite as easily or quickly...the OS just gets the hell out of the way with this device which should be the goal of ANY device so that you can focus on the task at hand.

    My only complaint with the iPhone is that the screen is too small. I still find myself using it more often even at home or the office than I do my computers sitting around (and in some ways, I use to do that with my other gadgets...its faster to pull up email on a device where it is always running...I thought of buying one of those Peek emailer devices for the same reason (and they are pretty cool, but when I tried one, was slow for what I needed...didn't speed up my life and one more gadget).

    So yes, an overgrown PDA might be EXACTLY what is needed. I played with the Dell Tablet, but it felt like using a PC with a stylus. I generally like Dell products if I go the PC route (at least the business class ones...other than the one I'm installing today has no fricken XP drivers and I'm having to scour the net to get the appropriate install!!!) and I thought it would be great. Honestly, it felt more cumbersome using than simply having laptop with a wacom on it. Why aren't tablet PCs going anywhere? Because they think they are PCs (I saw one recently that once you unplugged the keys and otherwise, it pulled up a custom tablet environment that was simplified to this world...might have to see if I can get a loaner sometime to check it out!).

    So current tablets don't work because they try to be too much. PDAs are perfect because they don't. Geeks don't get that...limiting what you can do will help you focus on your job, not focus on technology. If your job IS technology...well, then this is the wrong device for you. If you job is making certain you get your life together? A more limited device with the appropriate apps might just be the thing...My only concern right now is I don't want to carry two deviced (i.e., if the pad could be a phone too, it would be an instant choice...except for the times my headphones run out of juice, but then again, I also find it just as akward to hold the iphone as well and just throw it on speaker 90% of the time!)

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:07AM (#31144124)
    You clearly want a computer. Buy a computer. A tablet is not a computer.

    Feel free to point out all the tablets that are trying to be a computer. Now try pointing out the ones that have been successful products. Perhaps the market does not want a tablet that is a computer. Perhaps the market wants computers that are computers and tablets that are something else. Perhaps what you want is not what the market wants.

    Something to contemplate.
  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:09AM (#31144146) Homepage

    The iPad hasn't exactly had fawning reviews and...

    What is wrong with you?

    The iPad was announced 3 weeks ago. No one has reviewed it. In fact, next to no one has touched the thing. We're getting these stories like "iPad becoming less popular" but you can't buy one for another 3 months.

    I know people like to bash Apple (and MS, and....) but why not wait until you've touched the thing to declare it a failure of a netbook without a keyboard.

    "The Mercedes Personal Jetpack is widely known as not being the game changer they say. Everyone knows a 200 mile range is too short, and the I hear the exhaust smells like bananas. The controls (which I've never felt) feel awkward and the Mercedes emblem isn't chrome-y enough. I look forward to a more thorough bashing it once the product is announced."

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Etrias (1121031) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:16AM (#31144230)
    I'm going to posit that the success of the iPod, which was not instantaneous, is really tied to the Apple store and their ability to deliver songs, especially individual songs at a reasonable price point. That was the piece that was missing from the scene at the time which led to other players (Amazon, mostly) trying to imitate the store. The iPhone delivered more functionality than the other phone manufacturers were willing to dole out to us (secretly because phone companies hate their customers). Unless Apple somehow comes up with a really revolutionary idea with the iPad, there's nothing to get excited about here. There's not a single feature here that isn't already on another Apple product or netbook.

    Of course, some people will buy it because it's Apple, but you could hardly call them technologists. Early adopters and Apple fanboys will eat it up, but really, is there anything to get excited about here?
  • Re:That's it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by otrtiresupply (1745886) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:17AM (#31144242) Homepage
    The problem with the iPad, from my perspective, is the fact that it is an LCD vs. EInk . Eyestrain is a big deal. I think Jobs should have innovated, and placed heavy development on a color device that would be easy on the eyes. I'd rather have an ugly device that limits my trips to the optometrist, than a beautiful device that fatigues my biological sensors.
  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Etrias (1121031) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:22AM (#31144274)
    Oh, but people have said plenty about it. I'm not going to link to all of it (you would expect people to Google these things), but here is a link [pcworld.com] to one article that links to several.

    And for sake of clarity, I have and iPhone, own an iMac, spent many years working support on Apple products. I don't call them out just because I'm a "hater" because I like some of their products. But honestly, look at this thing and its specs and try to tell me what there is to get excited about this.
  • Re:That's it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by quadelirus (694946) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:24AM (#31144312)
    I hear this argument from everyone, but I use a computer with an LCD screen 10-12 hours a day, 7 days a week, and I've never (ever, ever) had a problem with eye strain. That was a problem with CRTs, sure, but are there really that many people who actually have a problem looking at an LCD screen, or is this just a lot of hot air brought about by tech pundits? I sort of think that most people have heard there is a problem and believe it the way most people thought the Atkin's diet was a good nutritious diet. Maybe the e-ink guys are just marketing hard from this angle and no one has bothered to respond?

    I'm not an optometrist or anything, so I could definitely be quite wrong, but I just haven't experienced this "problem" and I asked around to fellow long-term computer users and nobody I know has either. By the way, I'm a CS doctoral student and programmer and gamer, so I basically do look at screens ALL DAY. I even read academic papers on my laptop regularly (and read printed novels but I don't mind using a screen at all).
  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GordonBX (1059078) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:25AM (#31144318)

    ... The iPhone delivered more functionality than the other phone manufacturers were willing to dole out to us (secretly because phone companies hate their customers). ...

    Except that the iPhone delivered significantly LESS functionality than other phone manufacturers were giving us, and was significantly behind the times (like 4-5 years) compared to actual features in things like Symbian and Windows Mobile. The thing it did was take what functionality they had, and make it really easily accessible - so much so that people like you, apparently, think that it had more functionality than it's contemporaries. That's what puts the iPad in competition with netbooks - it's a netbook that is easy to use, which is where it will find its market.

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by beh (4759) * on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:28AM (#31144374)

    What is the bl**dy obsession with whether it multitasks or not?

    For this kind of device, in my opinion, multi-tasking is almost meaningless. The iphone's notification system could use some improvement, but real multitasking? Come on folks, it's not meant to replace your desktop or be your little Mersenne prime hunt in a pocket.

    It was the same when the Zaurus was released - great it has Linux on it, yea! But apart from that, it sucked, compared to a lowly palm-pilot, which was just made to get the stuff done it was built for.

    If I look at what I want from a device in that form factor, book reader, organizer, the fact that it DOES ITS JOB, and that it is well integrated with my stuff comes up WAAAYYY higher than multitasking.

    Priorities, people - priorities!

    If it had multitasking, 100 different chat clients for all chat systems ever written, could run gimp and do some powerful image processing, run all my databases (including SQL stored proc support), do some folding@home (or is that folding-on-the-road?) in the backgroup and everything else you might want to think up, it would neither be this small and light, nor likely very responsive, nor run as long as it does... ...and - most importantly, it would no longer be the device that MOST people can use easily: Apple isn't just thinking of the slashdot crowd as its potential customer base...

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:32AM (#31144422) Homepage

    A note on expandability: Over time, we have gone from highly super modular devices, to cheaper, more specific, less expandable devices. The cheaper is a key part of that. In the 80s, you bought a motherboard with lots of expansion slots. Then you could add sound, better video, a newer drive controller, etc. Buying something with those on board was considered cheap and bad. Then in the 90s, every board had built-in audio, video, and IO. It was just so cheap and so ubiquitous that there was hardly a reason not to have it built-in. After 2000, it got to the point where hardly anyone even buys a sound card, and only specialized IO cards exist. Most laptops come with built-in webcams that are good enough for 99% of usages and are too cheap to not include, just for the 1% who want something better.

    For many electronic devices, it is easier/cheaper to buy a newer one than to upgrade. That saddens me, but it is has become a fact of economics. So the "no ability to expand" might not be as bad a thing as you think. If it comes with a camera, a GPS, accelerometers, bluetooth, wi-fi, and sufficient storage... by the time the next generation of wi-fi comes out, it might be cheaper/easier just to buy a new iPad than to upgrade the current one.

  • Re:iPad vs netbook (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Steauengeglase (512315) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:37AM (#31144492)

    I'd swap out very nice UI (as it brings the GUI to mind) with multi-touch. After playing with other devices and netbooks, I'd say that this is the one feature that I wish everyone else would copy instead of attempt to re-imagine. It seems like every smart phone out there tries to do something with a zoom bar, when it is almost ingrained in me to simply put my fingers on it and try to "stretch out" the page. The GUI, on the other hand, feels more and more lacking as I tinker with it. It has all of the appeal of shuffling a deck of cards.

  • by macs4all (973270) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:43AM (#31144580)

    Please don't call it a 'Computer'.

    Fine, because Apple makes a big point of distinguishing the iPad from a computer.

  • by guidryp (702488) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:46AM (#31144650)

    "I'd rather have an ugly device that limits my trips to the optometrist, than a beautiful device that fatigues my biological sensors."

    This is nonsense. I remember being a kid reading and my Mom saying: "turn on more lights or you will strain your eyes". Old wives tale then and nonsense today. It might be a story sold by e-ink evangelists, but I have ridiculous hours looking at an LCD without eyestrain.

    E-Ink has two actual advantages: Battery life and Sunlight visibility.

    Not remotely enough to put up with disadvantages IMO.

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by slim (1652) <`ten.puntrah' `ta' `nhoj'> on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:56AM (#31144788) Homepage

    Trying to get into the designers' heads, I think there's a couple of reasons for the inability to multitask apps.

    1. Performance. Not so much that the hardware is underpowered, but that they're committed to a very slick, responsive UI experience (what I gather Mac people call "teh snappy"), which they don't want to jeopardise no matter what. I gather iPad's browser is awash with cosmetic stuff that makes browsing feel tactile. A little jitter while scrolling or scaling would spoil that. They don't want another app to steal cycles and spoil that.

    Of course, a smart scheduler could orchestrate things so that the foreground application got everything it needed. I expect this in a future revision.

    2. UI. Simply, that they've not come up with a completely idiot-proof user interface, such that knuckle-draggers understand the difference between closing an app and backgrounding it.

  • by macs4all (973270) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:58AM (#31144820)

    Even hardcore mac fanboys think the Ipad is a bit of a joke.

    Speak for yourself. I am an embedded developer who, in most cases, (including iPad) also happens to prefer Apple's products.

    iPad is far from a joke. It is the VNC device I've been wanting for over 20 years. I could give a shit less about it being an eReader, iPod, or "video consumption" device. For me, it's all about bringing my computer screen to my easy-chair.

    And no, balancing a netbook on my lap, crunching my arm around to reach the trackpad, isn't my idea of "comfortable".

  • by qazwart (261667) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:59AM (#31144840) Homepage

    Hang around with a non-geek for a while. A typical intelligent person who doesn't difference between Star Wars and Star Trek and doesn't even care. Look how they use their PC.

    That PC might even be a "Mac" which they're told was "easier to use". They don't know about "right clicking". They don't know how to use the file browser (Finder or Windows Explorer). They simply want to get their work done. What do they do? Mainly browse the web, email, Facebook, Twitter. They sometimes even use Microsoft Word and maybe rarely use Excel if they want to make a table of some sort (and they have no idea how to do things like sum up a column).

    For these people, an iPad is a godsend. It does exactly what they want. They know how to use it. They don't care about DRM. They don't care about Open Source. They don't even care about free beer. (Actually, they might take a pro-free beer position on that last statement).

    Am I tossing out my laptops and desktop systems and getting myself an iPad? No way. I am a developer and need the full power of my computer. I need to run multiple things at once. I need my command line. I need to be able to configure my development environments and to test out my stuff on our QA environments. I can't do that on an iPad, and won't get one for myself.

    However, my wife mainly looks at her mail and browses the web. She has no idea how to use the Finder to browse her files. She has no idea how to use Spotlight as a search tool. The other day, she lost the icon on the Dock for Quicken, and asked me to put it back. This is a Mac, and she even finds it overly complex to use.

    How does she respond with Windows? We have a Windows Media Center as our TV, and she always asked me or our children to help her set it up, so she can watch her program.

    She also has an iPod Touch she uses as an organizer and she loves it. She has no problems using the contacts, email, using the web browser, or checking the weather. She has even taken to installing her own applications and rearranging the icons on the screen. She loves the touch screen and the ease of maneuvering.

    My wife's current desktop computer is over six years old and is showing signs of its age. I need to get a replacement. I could try to use a cheap windows system, but she hates Windows. She knows Macs, and an Mac Mini might be a nice replacement.

    Then again, why not an iPad? It does everything she wants, and uses an interface she knows and loves. I'll get a BlueTooth keyboard and it's her desktop system. If she wants to lie down on the couch and browse the web, she can do that too. For my wife, the iPad is perfect.

    The iPad is an appliance much like a toaster. A chef might find a toaster limiting, but if all you want to do is warm up your Pop Tart, you can't go wrong with a toaster.

  • Re:PC version (Score:2, Insightful)

    by macs4all (973270) on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:00PM (#31144864)

    I will wait until a PC vendor starts making a similar device for half the price running windows and all the software I like to use.

    Well, they've had about a DECADE to do so (and failed MISERABLY); so I wonder just exactly WHEN you'll feel you can stop waiting.

  • by JourneymanMereel (191114) <jake@NosPaM.bugzilla.org> on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:05PM (#31144928) Homepage Journal

    The couple believe it should be possible to save the lives of 7.6 million children under five between 2010 and 2019 in poorer countries."

    What happens when they turn 6?

    They get to celebrate their 6th birthday? Something they may not to have otherwise been able to do.

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Blue Stone (582566) on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:07PM (#31144962) Homepage Journal

    >You clearly want a computer. Buy a computer. A tablet is not a computer.

    An iPad is not a tablet. It's a consumption-oriented appliance.

    And some people might want that. Wait and see, I guess.

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slim (1652) <`ten.puntrah' `ta' `nhoj'> on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:14PM (#31145028) Homepage

    What is the bl**dy obsession with whether it multitasks or not?

    Forgive me if I've misunderstanding what "not multitasking" means in the context of the iPad. I'm assuming it means that switching from one app to another means completely closing app 1, then opening app2.

    So, let's say I'm reading a book. Maybe Paul Auster's City of Glass, in which part of the story focuses on the shapes a man traces out walking the streets of New York City. I'm curious about the exact streets, so I want to flick to the mapping app (or a browser), to see what part of Manhattan he's talking about, and how it's actually laid out. Do I really need to note down the streets to look up, close down the book reader, open the map app, browse the maps, close the maps app, return to the reader app?

    (I had exactly this scenario earlier this week, except it was a paper book, and I looked up the maps in a paper Lonely Planet guide to NYC)

    There are plenty of use cases like this. Apple is publishing iWork for the iPad. How often do you control-tab between a word processor and a browser? I do it often.

  • Re:That's it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bemymonkey (1244086) on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:21PM (#31145110)

    I'm actual pretty sure that the people who complain about LCDs frying eyeballs are the kind of people who use LED-backlit desktop screens on 100% brightness and contrast in a darkened room (or basement).

    A decent (matte) LCD that doesn't need to be turned up to searing levels in order to be readable outside, and that can be turned down to suit low-light environments, isn't exactly problematic. Hell, unless I'm actually outside in the sunlight (or watching a movie - that's one of the few cases in which I like to crank the brightness), my laptop TFTs rarely go above half brightness, and they're both older CCFL-based models.

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:29PM (#31145220) Homepage

    Where exactly does the iPad fit?

    My wife. Who takes her MacBook Pro from the kitchen to the living room and back again. Surfs the web. Looks up recipes and newspaper sites. Reads her email.

    Wouldn't know multitasking if it jumped up and bit her on the nose. Likes the idea that she can read it on the couch. Has no use for a 'real' computer.

    Just like most people.

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sandbags (964742) on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:30PM (#31145228) Journal

    Wrong. It's an "instant gratification" platform. A PC Companion. The bridge device you use to control your home theater, chat on social sites, make a phone call, respond to messages, and more (most importantly including EDIT THE QUICK DOCUMENT), WITHOUT having to turn on a PC. In addition to that, it's a a full color e-reader, surfing platform, comic book platform, media player, and car video screen (hang it from the back of your seat and let the kids watch, instead of adding a SEPARATE car movie screen).

    It;s everything the iPod/iPhone isn't good at because of the small screen, it's always on receiving notifications like a phone and powers on instantly unlike a PC, and it requires no active patching regiment or security software. Finally, it shares apps with all your other Apple devices without buying additional (expensive) licenses.

    Its a near perfect platform in between. Something to leave lying around that keeps you informed and communicating without having to lug around (and contactly plug in) a PC.

    When i see something on TV i want to look up, I don;t want tyo wait 3 minutes for a laptop to boot, connect to the net, and finally do a search, with an iPad, I can do that, and also handle more than the occasional message (managing e-mail is as important as simply reading it, and the iPhone is a terrible e-mail management platform, but a PC is a wholly inconvenient platform, this solves BOTH issues. It;s is SO worth $600 to me...

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rexdude (747457) on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:46PM (#31145436)
    Every time Apple launches a product like this, the geeks/Slashdot crowd (myself included) are quick to point out and rant on the shortcomings-lack of features and vendor lock-in. This despite the fact that we KNOW that we're far from the target audience for such a product. We KNOW that Apple is never going to produce anything that's not tightly locked down and controlled- which also gives a tightly integrated,easy to use and coherent user experience. I think it's a kind of frustration.
    "Why is everyone hung up on looks? Can't they see that it's hyped up, overpriced and locked down? I can do so many different things with my competing phone/eReader/desktop OS/media player" etc.
    To us, it is plain as daylight-devices should be open and flexible, people should just learn to use them (Try a Symbian OS phone for instance, it may not be popular in the US, but is still widely used and considered easy to use in the rest of the world) To Apple, the choice was easy. Target the Grandma demographic- people who cannot use tech if their life depended on it and will not exercise a single brain cell in learning to use something. The majority of people anywhere are like this, and this attitude has even won a few converts from the technically more competent. We will never see this much hype around any other company's products, even if we personally would prefer using them. And we can't convince the tech non-savvy about the merits of our choices, so that would cause some degree of frustration.
  • by RazorSharp (1418697) on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:47PM (#31145444)

    That's a poor hypothetical. As a college student I can tell you that neither a netbook or iPad are well suited for that situation. Writing papers on a little netbook screen with its little netbook keyboard is just as ridiculous as doing so on an iPad (I would actually probably prefer the iPad w/ a keyboard but there's no Word/OOo). You present a situation in which a regular laptop or desktop would be the best choice and claim the iPad will fail because its not well suited. Well no shit Sherlock. The iPad isn't supposed to replace the MacBook or iMac, but it will be popular among people like my mom who don't use a computer for anything the iPad doesn't do and like to read books.

    The iPad would be a nice complementary device for my laptop if they get nice prices on textbooks. Then it would pay for itself as I spend hundreds on textbooks each semester.

  • by guidryp (702488) on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:49PM (#31145474)

    I see a lot of people simply reading a laundry list of what a laptop(and netbook) does vs iPad does and proclaiming laptop the winner.

    But the two devices are not mutually exclusive and in fact are complementary.

    You don't do your work on an iPad. You do your work on your Desktop/Laptop and when you want to kickback and read e-comics on the couch, you grab your iPad.

    Want to check the news at breakfast, grab your instant-on iPad that you can control with a finger while eating at the breakfast table.

    Cooking up something new for dinner, iPad in the kitchen with your recipe (no worry about food in the keyboard).

    Finish reading a book in your bedroom at night.

    This is internet/reader device for every room of the house, highly portable with a slick interface.

    I am as big a tech geek as anyone here, but I have other devices to hack. I have no problem getting a really nifty reader/net tablet with a different form factor, high quality user interface and yet unimagined possibilities.

    Even with the limited uses I am considering now it is enough for me to head to the store once they are released.

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:50PM (#31145486) Homepage Journal

    What is the bl**dy obsession with whether it multitasks or not?

    I have an iPod Touch. I like to use it to listen to Pandora, but because it's restricted to single tasking, that's all I can do at once. Get an IM notification and want to reply to it? Tap the button to leave Pandora and go into the IM app and the music stops. Send the message. Hit the "home" button and find the Pandora icon again, wait for it to launch and re-buffer, then start listening again. About 10 seconds later, get a reply IM and repeat the process.

    I can listen to my iPod playlists regardless of which app I'm in, but not so with Pandora or Last.fm. That is why I see the lack of multitasking as a complete PITA.

    Oh, and while it wouldn't address the root problem, I wish there was a global stroke or gesture that would bounce you back to the previous app you were in. I had a hack on my old Palm that did exactly that so you could flip between two apps quickly without having to mess around with the launcher. That would at least ease a little of the pain.

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:51PM (#31145504) Homepage

    In another way of looking at it, the iPhone had greater effective capabilities. You could theoretically do more with other phones, except that you wouldn't. Ok, maybe *you* would do more, but I worked in IT and supported people with various kinds of smart phones, and the only functionality that most people used was email, and those email applications weren't too friendly and often lacked html support.

    So which phone is more capable, one with 500 features of which you'll actually only use 1, or a phone with 10 features of which you'll use 9?

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rockoon (1252108) on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:56PM (#31145574)

    Yes

    The question was rhetorical. The correct answer is 'no.' Any other answer is bullshit, for why stop at classifying at netbooks? The same logic you use to promote mobile phones to netbook status also promotes them to desktop status because it can do browsing and email, just like a desktop!

    The logic is straw grasping nonsense. Mobile Phones are not netbooks and neither is the iPad. The iPad is a TABLET.

  • by PCM2 (4486) on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:57PM (#31145586) Homepage

    A simple Amazon search for "Eee PC" [amazon.com] reveals a raft of models comparable to your Acer. Why does everybody seem determined to forget that Asus basically created this category?

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kangsterizer (1698322) on Monday February 15, 2010 @01:00PM (#31145626)

    What if I just want to read a book, find something interesting, want to look it up on wikipedia, get back to reading.. oh, something else, look up again, etc ? Heck, I might want to paste the info to a friend quickly in a mail/sms/whatever as well.

    That's multitasking. I don't wanna have to quit the app, start it again, load the page, etc. Waste of my time. I'd need 2 iPads. Waste of my money.

    So quit your irrelevant SQL/foldingathome/What-not claims. No one is running that shit either on maemo or webos.

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday February 15, 2010 @01:23PM (#31145874) Homepage

    The lucky ones got to play with it for 20 minutes in an Apple controlled environment. That's not a review, it's a hands-on. And there is basically no software for it, except for one or two apps Apple got converted. First impressions by tech journalists who had ideas of what the thing should be just minutes after finding out about the "changes" is not really a fair way to judge a device.

    Let's wait until about the time it's released. There will be software. People will get to use it in real life, the way it's meant to be used. I really wonder if the "it doesn't have a keyboard" or "but it can't multitask" things really matter, or if the market will decide if those are features like the old "but the iPod doesn't have an FM tuner, people will avoid it".

  • Re:Uh, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sancho (17056) on Monday February 15, 2010 @01:50PM (#31146162) Homepage

    Except that the iPhone delivered significantly LESS functionality than other phone manufacturers were giving us, and was significantly behind the times (like 4-5 years) compared to actual features in things like Symbian and Windows Mobile.

    Ah, but the market that the iPhone really captured was composed of people who had never owned a smartphone before. For them, the iPhone gave more features and did "smart" things better than any other phone they'd ever used.

    And a lot of techies liked it for no reason other than because the browser was great. It rendered the majority of websites correctly and similarly to your desktop.

    I used Windows Mobile for a long time. When you look at the way those phones worked, it's kinda pitiful. When the iPhone came out, Pocket Internet Explorer was still using a codebase based on IE4. The rendering was absolutely terrible. Pocket Outlook was almost equally awful--a feat for something as simple as a mail reader. Don't get me started on dialing. Or on accidentally triggering a "right click". So while WM might have been capable of a lot more, the iPhone managed to do most of the things it was capable of much better.

  • Re:That's it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by noewun (591275) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:02PM (#31146340) Journal

    What for? The iPad is little more than an iPod Touch that won't fit in your pocket, and the market will judge it accordingly. Apple had an opportunity to redefine the tablet computer market, and they decided to waste it by offering us yet another box to run their apps.

    It's official: The Slashdot Inverse Rule of Success is now in effect. Expect the iPad to sell 10 million in its first year.

    And I'm not kidding. The Slasdot consensus is so wildly out of touch with market success it has become and inverse barometer.

  • Re:That's it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by s73v3r (963317) <s73v3r AT gmail DOT com> on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:25PM (#31146584)
    Why? Putting a "real" computer in tablet form has been tried several times before, and has failed miserably. People don't want a slate tablet to do actual computing work on. I don't really want an iPad, but it seems like they're at least trying not to duplicate what the rest of the tablet market has done.

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