May 13, 2004

Tablet PCs, a dying breed

The folks over at eWeek are reporting something that the market has already known, folks just aren't snapping up Tablet PCs. Oh, sure, they look cool, but get beyond that, and they're just overgrown PocketPCs.

And there are a number of reasons that they haven't caught on, but here's my short answer: OS. Now, unlike PocketPCs which run the Windows Mobile OS, the Tablet systems run Windows XP, but it's the Tablet PC Edition. So, yet another custom OS to support.

What this means is that it can run some, but not all, Windows XP software, and this comes with it's own support issues because of having a different OS, and a fundamentally different hardware platform.

To me, these same issues are what's held the PocketPC and Palm systems back, each run their own specific OS, making software development more difficult than developing for a mainstream system, and hardware limitations in handheld type devices have forced them down a different road from traditional computer systems.

Apple's CEO Steve Jobs has previously predicted the death of the PDA and the Tablet PC, and though they're not dead yet, they both hold a rather limited segment of the market, but those that do use such devices love them. So, what we seem to need at this point is the proverbial nail in the coffin to seal their fate. I have a few thoughts on that, so stay tuned.

Posted by Jim at May 13, 2004 8:33 AM | TrackBack