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MacRumors
Dec 31, 2003, 02:06 PM
According to ET Times (http://english.etnews.co.kr/news/detail_top.html?id=200312230003&art_grad=9), Microsoft will be dropping support for their 'Smart Displays' (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/smartdisplay/default.asp):
Last week, Microsoft sent a letter to a part of smart display developers including Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics notifying them that it would immediately abandon the development of 'Smart Display' OS 2.0, according to industry sources on Monday.
These Smart Displays went by the codename of 'Mira', and the concept was introduced in March 2002 (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/03/20020313114339.shtml).

The Mira was described as follows:
Unlike many other Web tablets, Mira actually doesn't function as an independent computer. Instead, it effectively relays data and commands back and forth from a PC via an 802.11 wireless network and Windows CE.Net, the latest version of CE. Letting the PC do most of the heavy lifting saves on battery life.

dho
Dec 31, 2003, 02:13 PM
Good new or bad news?

whfsdude
Dec 31, 2003, 02:17 PM
I think the whole idea of smart displays was kind of silly. Maybe I am wrong here but wireless in it's current state (802.11b/g) would not have the throughput needed for certain things. For streaming TV it would require 8mbits. That's the only reason I see to use smart displays. Without a keyboard it is for the most part useless for normal computing tasks.

A good smart display would have to be able to handle all types of media for viewing.

Didn't Steve say that people didn't want to watch media (TV, Movies…) on their computer. So why would Apple make a tablet/smart display?

arn
Dec 31, 2003, 02:17 PM
Originally posted by dho
Good new or bad news?

More interesting news.

I guess Microsoft feels it is not a big market. Also gives pause to those who think Apple should create a similar device.

arn

SeaFox
Dec 31, 2003, 02:20 PM
Good news I say. Just an example of Microsoft dropping a bad idea. Really, who needs a smart clipboard when there's a computer within 100 feet anyway. :rolleyes:

Now the M$ worshippers can shut up about how Apple is missing out on some 'innovative' M$ idea and folks here can quit talking about the Apple Tablet PC "about to be released".

This is just the first nail in the coffin of the will be techno flop of Tablet Computing.

Hawthorne
Dec 31, 2003, 02:26 PM
Considering how the Tablet PC has gone over like a lead balloon, this doesn't come as a surprise.

Microsoft, with Smart Displays and Media PC's seems to think that people will spend all of their time in front of a PC in one form or another in future. TV's will be PC's with large displays, in essence.

I sit less than a yard away from my PC at all times. And always sit more than a yard away from my TV. That usage difference alone should clue Microsoft that they're two different experiences. TV did not replace radio, it created a whole new market. And the Internet will not supplant TV, it is a media distinct on it's own.

Let's make a list of all the "interactive TV" success stories out there, shall we?
-
-
-
-
-
That was fun, wasn't it? :D

Okay, if we stretch the definition, we can add TiVo into the mix, and maybe the latest incarnations of the xBox and Playstation that allow for online gaming. But MicroSoft's vision of the future, where people are tied to there computers throughtout the day, is not one I want to participate.

whfsdude
Dec 31, 2003, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by Hawthorne
MicroSoft's vision of the future, where people are tied to there computers throughtout the day, is not one I want to participate.

But in reality that is what is going to happen. You don't think that each house is going to have an xserve in the basement running most everything in your house? Your TiVo would be contained in that. You TV would come into your house via FTTH. You could bring up your calendar on any screen in the house. Your VoIP server would be in this xserve. Everything in your house would have a ethernet port. Even your lights. The server could have timed lighting controls. Is this a bad thing? I don't think so. Technology isn't bad when you don't notice it. You will be working off your own personal computer but it might not be in the form we use it today. Microsoft fails to realize that using the computer doesn’t have to be in front of a blue screen.

rainman::|:|
Dec 31, 2003, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by whfsdude
But in reality that is what is going to happen. You don't think that each house is going to have an xserve in the basement running most everything in your house? Your TiVo would be contained in that. You TV would come into your house via FTTH. You could bring up your calendar on any screen in the house. Your VoIP server would be in this xserve. Everything in your house would have a ethernet port. Even your lights. The server could have timed lighting controls. Is this a bad thing? I don't think so. Technology isn't bad when you don't notice it. You will be working off your own personal computer but it might not be in the form we use it today. Microsoft fails to realize that using the computer doesn’t have to be in front of a blue screen.

I agree, we have the technologies and hardware to make this a reality, but it hasn't taken off yet... two reason for this: first, there's no software company willing to take the lead, form a consortium, and establish standards. standards will need to be enacted before different companies are willing to work together to create this type of network. The second problem is interface. It's the reason that tablets fail, i think... there's no good way to control and input information on your TV... i mean who cares if your coffee maker can check your email, it's a novelty. Once speech recognition really takes a solid hold, and they figure out a cursor for the interface, it'll start to become a recognized industry. Personally i think gyroscopic remotes will fill the needs of controlling the system, but even speech recognition falls somewhat short in surfing the web, emailing from your living room or bathroom display... so you need a keyboard. which is the main obstacle.

paul

Dstreelm
Dec 31, 2003, 03:17 PM
Originally posted by whfsdude
But in reality that is what is going to happen. You don't think that each house is going to have an xserve in the basement running most everything in your house? Your TiVo would be contained in that. You TV would come into your house via FTTH. You could bring up your calendar on any screen in the house. Your VoIP server would be in this xserve. Everything in your house would have a ethernet port. Even your lights. The server could have timed lighting controls. Is this a bad thing? I don't think so. Technology isn't bad when you don't notice it. You will be working off your own personal computer but it might not be in the form we use it today. Microsoft fails to realize that using the computer doesn’t have to be in front of a blue screen.


i agree, and the idea of having basically a wireless screen to scess this central server isint a bad one, but i think it isint really useful until you have a hous-wide system like this. lets say this wireless screen would cost $1000 (reasonable for a new technology) and you'd still have to buy a desktop to tye into with this screen. that brings your total up to at least $2000 more likely closer to $3000. now thats alot to pay for the ability to walk 100 feet away from your computer. personally i would just buy a laptop, you have the same portability around the house and you can take the whole computere with you! all for around $1500 - $2500!!

now id be interested in a smart display if i had a house where i could control everything fron the display, kinda like a remote control for your house, but until then, its kinda useless

beg_ne
Dec 31, 2003, 03:18 PM
Originally posted by whfsdude
Is this a bad thing? I don't think so.

Well it could be, the server would have to be much more stable on the software and hardware side before I would trust having my entire house run though a server.

The rare system freeze/crash could be livable, but in the case of a hardware failure it would really suck to have your TV, Computer, Refrigerator, Security System, Heating, A/C, Shower, Lights etc. all go down with it. :)

bensisko
Dec 31, 2003, 03:33 PM
They didn't say they are discontinuing the Tablet PC, just the smart displays.

When I first saw these things, I wasn't impressed. I wondered why someone would buy that when they could get a tablet.

Now, however, I think it could be a really good idea. Imagine you own several computers around the house. You could, in theory if this was done right, have a bunch of cheap computers around the house controling different things. With the flip of a on-screen menu you could switch between different computers. Imagine controlling your stero from anywhere in the house (assuming your stero is based on a computer), and all the other things you could do with it.

The major problems, which make the product infeasable for most consumers, are:
1) the wireless bandwidth isn't there
2) the display technology is too expensive ($350 -500 would be more like it).
3) most consumers would only think of it to surf the web (which isn't nessessarily a bad thing, but a laptop would probably be a better thing.

If you can develop the technology, make it cheaper and, in general, get it ready for prime time, it could be a really cool thing.

As for Tablet PCs, the ONLY reason they aren't doing better is because they are twice the price of a notebook of equal specifications. If Dell could offer a Tablet PC for $899, with similar specs to a laptop for that price, they would fly off the shelf.

Ktulu
Dec 31, 2003, 03:33 PM
Just a thought about the input/interface problems. Sony, as well as some other manufacturers, have had for some time now programmable, touch screen remotes for your TV/VCR/DVD/Stereo/etc. This could be used as an all pourpose remote for the previously listed items as well as your fridge/coffee maker/AC/Lights/ etc. The cost was not that unreasonable-(for what it did and allowed you to do/customize) about $200.00, and that was about 4-5 years ago. The biggest problem, as stated before, is not neccesarily the cost of the individual items-(we all have them in some form or another, TV/VCR/DVD/etc.) but in the hardware that controls them all. Before it can be used wide spread in homes you would need 2-3 failsafe mechanisms so that you don't lose lights/security system/AC/Heat/etc. That is where the problem comes into play with a possible monopoly. They won't let one company corner the market on this, however how can you control the quality when several different companies are doing the same thing, i.e. Apple and Microsoft. 2 companies with 2 very different levels of quality in their products.

OK, this went on a bit longer than I had planned, I will end it here. Thanx for listening.

SeaFox
Dec 31, 2003, 03:40 PM
Originally posted by paulwhannel
I agree, we have the technologies and hardware to make this a reality, but it hasn't taken off yet... two reason for this: first, there's no software company willing to take the lead, form a consortium, and establish standards. standards will need to be enacted before different companies are willing to work together to create this type of network. The second problem is interface. It's the reason that tablets fail, i think... there's no good way to control and input information on your TV... i mean who cares if your coffee maker can check your email, it's a novelty. Once speech recognition really takes a solid hold, and they figure out a cursor for the interface, it'll start to become a recognized industry. Personally i think gyroscopic remotes will fill the needs of controlling the system, but even speech recognition falls somewhat short in surfing the web, emailing from your living room or bathroom display... so you need a keyboard. which is the main obstacle.

paul


I agree as well. The key is standards. Companies have looked at how huge the web has become and they're all kicking themselves saying "I wish we'd figure out how to own that back in 1989." But they don't recognize that the reason the net has flourished is because it is standrds based and open to access by anyone.

So now it's starting again. The PC is branching out to become a central home automation/control device and base for all entertainment. But instead of establishing interface standards the respective tech innovators (Apple, M$ - yes Microsoft, HP, TiVo and others) are all trying to push their own proprietary solutions to potentially gain control over the digital living room.

But the public isn't buying, yet. The execution of the ideas has been poor (M$'s Media Center PC), or DRM too restrictive (most online music stores, and Media Center again), or the cost too high. Plus continued security issues are making the public wary of proprietary systems and homogenous solutions. The burst of the tech bubble has also made people leery of new technology. Nobody wants to buy a new device to have the company go belly up and have no one else to turn to because the device was built on corporate owned protocols.

Until there is an understanding among companies that someties it's better to share there will be no next big leap or "killer app" for the PC.

SeaFox
Dec 31, 2003, 03:53 PM
LG, it seems, has decided to press on though.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/68/34669.html

lind0834
Dec 31, 2003, 04:20 PM
Hopefully Apple has noticed the current sales figures on tablets, and don't have plans to release anything tablet like for a few years.

Les Kern
Dec 31, 2003, 05:11 PM
Originally posted by bensisko
If Dell could offer a Tablet PC for $899, with similar specs to a laptop for that price, they would fly off the shelf.

Maybe maybe not, and I don't know what I really think. One thing is for sure, I bought a decked HP Tablet for just over 1800 bills. I used it and I had lots of various people use it, and everyone initially thought "cool", but that switched later to "so what?" Nobody wants to use it except me... to play pinball. Whatever you hear about using the handwriting feature, think worse. Oh, it translated fine. You just can't easily use it for anything. Being in educationmyself, only a fool tech director would buy them at any price. Except maybe free. (For a number of reasons too long to list)
With this in my mind, I PRAY Apple doesn't come out with a tablet unless it has some earth-shaking, cutting-edge feature like wireless live video, a third processor planted in your frontal lobe, it hovers just in front of you at chest level, or some such rot as discussed in the forums.
My opinion, and there may be doubters. E-mail me and scream back if you want. I'm ready for you. :)

Swift
Dec 31, 2003, 06:25 PM
There is no reason on God's green earth to use a system like this. Handwriting recognition sucks. Tablets suck. This was invented by the same people who think a little cartoon paper-clip is a great way to show people how to use a software program that sucks.

UPS guys and doctors writing prescriptions. Uh, if I think for a while longer, I might come up with somebody else who wants to use a tablet. Oh, wait. Cops in progressive, wealthy towns. All the better to write your ticket on and make sure the court has a copy.

This whole idea sucks in the same way that MSN commercials suck, or the word "innovation" does when Gates says it.

clairiun
Dec 31, 2003, 06:52 PM
"This was invented by the same people who think a little cartoon paper-clip is a great way to show people how to use a software program that sucks."

Um, MS Office does not suck on either Windows or Mac. It's a good office suite. Excel is one of the best programs out there.

No, I only have to use a PC at work.

Thanks!
P

Dstreelm
Dec 31, 2003, 06:54 PM
yeah but the paper clip still sucks

dongmin
Dec 31, 2003, 07:28 PM
Originally posted by clairiun
Um, MS Office does not suck on either Windows or Mac. It's a good office suite. Excel is one of the best programs out there. Excel is pretty useful. But Word is a bloated mess. And PowerPoint is fast but retarded as a design tool. Entourage is cool but I prefer the Mail-Addressbook-iCal combo.

MS doesn't have a clue about innovation. The TabletPC and wireless Remote Terminal concept has been around for a while. But all the PC companies realize these ideas in the most dumb, uninspired ways. They have no clue about how people interact with computers.

I think some of the ideas are promising but it'll take a while for these ideas to develop unless we have someone like Apple to jump in. Really, in the post-dot-com era, is anyone innovating outside of Apple? (Yeah I'm bordering on fanboy-ism, but really, can you name one company out there innovating on a consistent basis? IBM is a distant second...)

bensisko
Dec 31, 2003, 07:28 PM
Originally posted by Les Kern
Maybe maybe not, and I don't know what I really think.... Being in educationmyself, only a fool tech director would buy them at any price. Except maybe free....My opinion, and there may be doubters. E-mail me and scream back if you want. I'm ready for you. :)

I was actually thinking more about vertical markets. As was mentioned (although negitively) before, such as doctors and police, there are industries that would love them. I think that many designers would LOVE tablets. Your average consumer probably wouldn't buy them, and I doubt alot of office types would use them (which is where MS is REALLY bombing. They are thinking office people would replace their Pocket PCs with Tablets, but it's not happening).

Education (except for MAYBE college level and higher) would be a terrible place for tablets I agree. Schools should keep their iBooks.

And, again, the negitive comment about geeks is, again, somewhat correct. The consumers who buy tablets would probably be the geekier types, however if Dell was the only one selling an $899 tablet, they could make quite a nice chunk of niche change.

BTW - I agree COMPLETELY that Apple making a tablet would be a waste of time and resources. BUT adding that functionality to a powerbook might have an audiance, epseically among designers.

Sabenth
Dec 31, 2003, 07:33 PM
the concept is great the idea would be great if it had been developed to a point were it was cost effective.

We have all this sort of stuff with laptops now.

bensisko
Dec 31, 2003, 07:39 PM
Originally posted by dongmin
I think some of the ideas are promising but it'll take a while for these ideas to develop unless we have someone like Apple to jump in. Really, in the post-dot-com era, is anyone innovating outside of Apple? (Yeah I'm bordering on fanboy-ism, but really, can you name one company out there innovating on a consistent basis? IBM is a distant second...)

Not to get you TOO down, but what 'innovation' (besides iTMS) has Apple done? I hate to say it, and even though I love Apple, Everything they have done since Steve's been back has been a rehack of something that's been done, Apple just did it better.

IBM innovates on a consistant basis, but we, as consumers, don't see most of what they do mostly because they may be good ideas, just not marketable.

Hawthorne
Dec 31, 2003, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by bensisko
Not to get you TOO down, but what 'innovation' (besides iTMS) has Apple done? I hate to say it, and even though I love Apple, Everything they have done since Steve's been back has been a rehack of something that's been done, Apple just did it better.

IBM innovates on a consistant basis, but we, as consumers, don't see most of what they do mostly because they may be good ideas, just not marketable.

People were building cars before Henry Ford, too. Sometimes doing it the right way is innovation enough.

But since you asked:

Negotiating the DRM that made the iTunes Music Store (and every other copy of it since) possible (remember Pressplay? I don't). Expose, widescreen in a laptop and the first computers available with 802.11g.

And that's just this year.

bensisko
Dec 31, 2003, 08:06 PM
Originally posted by Hawthorne
People were building cars before Henry Ford, too. Sometimes doing it the right way is innovation enough.

You are very right. I usually think of innovation as coming up with something new, but sometimes reinventing the wheel can more innovative than the wheel.

JoeRadar
Dec 31, 2003, 08:30 PM
Originally posted by Swift
There is no reason on God's green earth to use a system like this. Handwriting recognition sucks. Tablets suck.
I have read that the last version of the Newton did pretty good.

As 802.11g becomes ubiquitous in an organization, a lightweight screen or super-slim/simple laptop can make sense. No hard disk, very limited RAM; it NetBoots a minimum OS for display and network communications, and all applications actually run on a server.

People who roam around their business a lot would be the primary targets. It would not be used so much for data entry but for looking up information.

Decision makers, who are regularly away from their desk, could use it to tap into information to make their decisions.

System administrators would make another target.

A couch potato might have one by the couch so he could quickly look up who that actress is in "Bend It Like Beckham" and find out what other shows she is in. Add an iSight and it could be a nice video phone for people with fast networks.

An 8x10 inch system (designed to fit in binders/notebooks) could probably be priced as low as $500-$600.

Still, I admit it is a tough market with a long list of failures.

Rocketman
Dec 31, 2003, 08:52 PM
Obvious logic defect:

How can the "displays" be smart if the "processor" is remote?

Just the people at Rocketman asking.

And with the trend for embedded processors being (substantially) ever smaller, lower power, and more capable, why would you "distribute" the processor activity anyway since the communication bandwidth is necessarily crippled?

Just the people at Rocketman asking.

Maybe they were planning to sell to the typical Wintel buyer.

Rocketman!

Les Kern
Dec 31, 2003, 09:58 PM
Originally posted by bensisko
If Dell could offer a Tablet PC for $899, with similar specs to a laptop for that price, they would fly off the shelf.

Maybe maybe not, and I don't know what I really think. One thing is for sure, I bought a decked HP Tablet for just over 1800 bills. I used it and I had lots of various people use it, and everyone initially thought "cool", but that switched later to "so what?" Nobody wants to use it except me... to play pinball. Whatever you hear about using the handwriting feature, think worse. Oh, it translated fine. You just can't easily use it for anything. Being in educationmyself, only a fool tech director would buy them at any price. Except maybe free. (For a number of reasons too long to list)
With this in my mind, I PRAY Apple doesn't come out with a tablet unless it has some earth-shaking, cutting-edge feature like wireless live video, a third processor planted in your frontal lobe, it hovers just in front of you at chest level, or some such rot as discussed in the forums.
My opinion, and there may be doubters. E-mail me and scream back if you want. I'm ready for you. :)

phillymjs
Dec 31, 2003, 10:00 PM
Originally posted by dho
Good new or bad news?

Bad news, if you're one of the hardware partners who bought it when Microsoft declared this technology was "the future." They blew a bunch of money developing hardware for this boondoggle, and now that money might as well have been flushed down the toilet since Microsoft has axed the project.

On the plus side, perhaps the existing models will be blown out and hackers will pick up a few on the cheap and do something interesting with them.

~Philly

SiliconAddict
Jan 1, 2004, 05:52 AM
Originally posted by Hawthorne
People were building cars before Henry Ford, too. Sometimes doing it the right way is innovation enough.

But since you asked:

Negotiating the DRM that made the iTunes Music Store (and every other copy of it since) possible (remember Pressplay? I don't). Expose, widescreen in a laptop and the first computers available with 802.11g.

And that's just this year.

OK widescreen isn't an innovation. There have been widescreen displays on the market for years just not in mainstream computers. Hell they aren't the ones that made the displays in the first place its some company in Taiwan. That doesn't make it a bad idea. Apple just packaged it in a manner that made it palatable to the general public. iTunes Music store isn't innovation. Again they packaged it in a manner that made it ready for mass consumption. iPod. As someone corrected me before they weren't the first on the block to make hard drive players they just packaged it in a way….notice a trend here? Apple does do innovation with things like Expose and the like but its small incremental steps. The ideas and they tech generally comes from someone else but Apple's got the smarts to package and create that tech in a manner that allows an average person to not get blown away by the technical mumbo jumbo.
If anything I would say apple is less and innovator but more of a refiner. They tech undistilled technology and process it down into a fine wine palatable for the general public. This has been the case since day one. The GUI concept didn't come from Apple. They took that basic concept and refined it into a system that was user friendly. Its been that way ever since.
And frankly innovation is in the eye of the beholder. The fact that Apple is introducing tech into mainstream could be considered innovation. The again Microsoft introducing the Tablet PC with a EM digitizer instead of a touch sensitive digitizer in their tablets could also be innovation. Its all in what you define as innovation.

SiliconAddict
Jan 1, 2004, 06:45 AM
OK first off some of you guys are talking about a subject you know NOTHING about. The Tablet PC isn't being discontinued. Gates has a hard on for this computer. Hence the reason every 10 years it comes around again in some form or another. Before they called it Pen Computing. This time it’s the Tablet PC.
What is being discontinued is the terminal displays or "Smart Displays" as they are called. They use a built in feature called terminal services that comes enabled in every version of Windows XP. It’s a slimed down version of what the servers have which can support multiple virtual "sessions" on their servers. This has the potential to be big but not yet. I repeat NOT YET. The technology is not there for this.
Terminals need to be dirt cheap. I'm thinking in the high end PDA price range. This was not the case with the Smart Display. These things ran as much as a dirt cheap laptop. Why get a Smart Display when you can get the real thing. Secondly. You need a wireless network setup in advance. As pervasive as WIFI has started to become it isn't there YET. Maybe in 5 years. Microsoft is…er…was trying to push a technology that isn't ready for prime time yet. When it is ready you can be sure that Apple will be the first out of the gate with a solution that is cheap.

As for the Tablet PC. Its on the cusp of being ready. Several things need to happen. After playing with about 6 different models of Tablet PC's I still find that my Newton gets better handwriting recog then the tablets. The tablets handwriting recog is defined not by learning your writing or training the software but by taking several thousand samples of people's handwriting and using that as a dbase to reference. In a way this makes things simpler so you don't have to go through the training process like you have to do in some voice\handwriting recog programs. But it also makes it less accurate. There are also two other fact that I have argued over and over with the folks at tabketpcbuzz.com who just don't get it. (Which is the main reason I have up on the site. I hate close minded people/sites.)
First. Handwriting recog is bandwidth limiting. E.g. Most people can type a whole heck of a lot faster then they can write. This will never change. The only thing potentially faster then typing could be voice recog but that's at least a good 5-10 years from being to a point of near 100% accuracy. And even then are you really going to talk to your computer in an office environment? On a bus? In a meeting?
Second. I DO NOT want to ever have to try and interpret someone's handwriting. EVER! The Tablet PC, as it stands, first and foremost does NOT translate your handwriting. It has the capabilities but Microsoft wants handwriting text to stay as and written text. So you can scribble a note in an e-mail and send it off to your manager. I don't know about you guys but my handwriting is somewhere between legible and down right crap. The last thing I want my boss or a coworker to think is I need another $7,000 for a task even though I put down $2.00 Repeat after me. Handwritten text makes things complicated.
But on the flip side the tablet PC does have their place. Imagine a meeting where you have 10 people around a table. You don't open your laptop and start clicking away when you are about 3 feet from the person across from you. Its bad manners and not a good way of discussing things. A tablet PC is ideal in this situation because its flat and it takes notes which are silent. Also imagine meeting up with someone in the hall. You get a good idea and are brainstorming. Would you actually whip out a laptop or a tablet that can be used without needing to set it down on a table. Laptops are called laptop for their necessity to have a stable place to use. A tablet can be cradled in the arm and used there. How about school? I know in some of my college classes there have been times I wish I could draw some of the diagrams that the teacher was drawing on the board. I've tried drawing in MS word with a mouse but it’s a painful experience. At the time I ended up placing a maker saying ref page X on my pad of paper. Finally those written note, while still in handwritten form can be searched since the software indexes the handwritten text. This is very useful, IMHO. How many times have you guys fulled a tablet of paper with notes only to have to go back and try and look up a ref? God knows I've done that more times then I can count. I just passed my A+ certifications last week. I filled up 2 spiral rings of paper with notes. So I'm sitting at the testing center the last day doing a last minute cram. I spent 5 minutes looking for my notes on SDRAM. In a tablet PC environment I could have done a 10 second search. There is a time and a place for the tablet PC. Its not ready for the average user YET.
Even Microsoft admits that they expect at least 3 years of minimal growth for the tablet. I'm guessing they know of their 3 times to get a product passable routine. At some point you WILL see the Tablet PC OS. Which is basically Windows XP with a set of files installed. Small trivia note. All the various flavors of XP that are out there. Professional, Media Center, Tablet PC are all identical with one diff. They have additional cab files installed that adds additional features to the OS. The core OS is all the same: Windows XP. Anyways. At some point you will see all laptops with the Tablet PC edition OS. They will incorporate the swivel display that is found in a few Tablet PC models out there. (Most notably the Acer and the Toshiba.) But right now MS is price gouging the OEMs on the price of the OS making it at least a few hundred more expensive then XP itself. This is way bad form for a concept OS. There have been more then a few OEMs that have bitched about it too. I'm lazy search news.com for Tablet PC. You'll find the complaints there.
The Tablet PC is a good idea as long as you don't force feed the concept down people's throats. Allow them to use their keyboard but give them the option of using the pen when necessary.


PS- Happy new year. Now you will excuse me. I had to much to drink tonight and need to go pass out.

SiliconAddict
Jan 1, 2004, 06:49 AM
Originally posted by JoeRadar
I have read that the last version of the Newton did pretty good.



Exceptionally well. That is why my Newton is NOT gathering dust but still serving me as my uber PDA. Alas I do own a Pocket PC because there are some functions that the Newton can't handle. Damn you Jobs for killing my baby. :p :(

visor
Jan 1, 2004, 08:00 AM
basically they are noiselessness... lang battery life due to low computing power.
problem will be the low data trasfer speeds. i guess that won't make it a success.

porovaara
Jan 1, 2004, 10:46 AM
Again, Mira and tablet PCs are very different things.

The reason Msoft killed Mira is because they stated multiple times to vendors that they expected the prices to be around $500 street. Unfortunately hardware companies never even got close to this (around $850 was the cheapest).

Many reviews of the Mira devices stated things like "this would be a good product at half this price." Dumb terminals do have a place, just because you personally don't see it doesn't mean there isn't a market. Had the devices been around $400 I would have picked up one for houseguests to use to "check some email or a site real fast".

kingtj
Jan 1, 2004, 12:47 PM
The idea you suggest has been tossed around for at least 10 years now. I believe it was back in 1993 or 1994 I was working at a small computer store, where the owner was trying to get involved in the "SmartHome" project. This was a consortium of vendors and developers trying to unify standards for building new homes with computer technology integrated into them. The general idea was supposed to be replacing all the seperate wiring in a home with this universal ribbon type cable that would carry all sorts of signals, ranging from your electric power to cable TV - and would go to a universal type wall plate. (Any device in your home could simply plug into one of these plates, and the type and number of prongs on the end of its cord would determine what it tapped into.)

There was talk of a central computer server to run everything, and X10 type appliance and light controller technology would be integrated too.

As we've all seen, this really never took off. For it to work, you'd have to get all of the home builders to accept it, and retrain all of the union electricians on how to install all of it. New building codes would have to be written to accomodate all of the changes. Then, you'd have to deal with resistance from potential home buyers who just didn't want to pay extra for all of it. (Not everyone likes computers, don't forget!) To top it all off, companies were all fighting amongst each others with alternate, proposed "standards" for everything from the cabling to the wall plates, to the software the central computer "brain" would run.

Ultimately, it was just a huge fiasco - and here in 2004, we're left with what probably makes the most sense; leaving all of the "basics" at status-quo, and letting individuals modify their own homes with technology as they see fit. We can't even seem to keep a single PC on a desktop for more than a few years without upgrading lots of software on it, swapping out printers/monitors/scanners/mice/etc. The inevitable upgrade cycle would just be a more expensive and bigger headache for a centralized system embedded in a home.


Originally posted by whfsdude
But in reality that is what is going to happen. You don't think that each house is going to have an xserve in the basement running most everything in your house? Your TiVo would be contained in that. You TV would come into your house via FTTH. You could bring up your calendar on any screen in the house. Your VoIP server would be in this xserve. Everything in your house would have a ethernet port. Even your lights. The server could have timed lighting controls. Is this a bad thing? I don't think so. Technology isn't bad when you don't notice it. You will be working off your own personal computer but it might not be in the form we use it today. Microsoft fails to realize that using the computer doesn’t have to be in front of a blue screen.

the future
Jan 1, 2004, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by SiliconAddict
... There is a time and a place for the tablet PC. Its not ready for the average user YET... At some point you will see all laptops with the Tablet PC edition OS. They will incorporate the swivel display that is found in a few Tablet PC models out there...

You make a very long argument about why Tablet PCs in your opinion will someday take off – and at the very end you quote the numer one reason they won't: because if there is indeed demand for something like this, *laptops* with swivelling displays will take that market.

Oh, and bringing new technology to the consumer first (and in a user-friendly way) – like Apple constantly does – is IMO *exactly* what innovation in the computer market means. What you are talking about is not innovating, but inventing.

Darrin Bell
Jan 1, 2004, 02:37 PM
Good news I say. Just an example of Microsoft dropping a bad idea. Really, who needs a smart clipboard when there's a computer within 100 feet anyway. :rolleyes:



:cool: I do. I draw all my comics digitally, and I'm really tired of being tethered to the computer by a Wacom when the weather's usually so nice outside. If I had a tablet Mac running Photoshop & Painter, I could draw anywhere, the way I used to when I worked with paper and ink.

Laptops are a poor substitute for a tablet PC when it comes to artwork. It's extremely awkward to hold both a Powerbook and a Wacom pad on one's lap.

I know A LOT of other artists (pros, amateurs, students, etc.) who'd kill for a Mac version of the tablet PC. The creative market for such a device would be a lot bigger than people think.

SiliconAddict
Jan 1, 2004, 04:59 PM
Originally posted by the future
You make a very long argument about why Tablet PCs in your opinion will someday take off – and at the very end you quote the numer one reason they won't: because if there is indeed demand for something like this, *laptops* with swivelling displays will take that market.

Oh, and bringing new technology to the consumer first (and in a user-friendly way) – like Apple constantly does – is IMO *exactly* what innovation in the computer market means. What you are talking about is not innovating, but inventing.

Dictionary.com: Innovation (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=innovation)

in·no·va·tion
1. The act of introducing something new.
2. Something newly introduced.

Apple isn't intruducing something new. They are repackaging it. But as I had mentioned, if you had read my post, that innovation can very from person to person

As for the Tablet PC you aren't reading my post. Or know nothing about the tablet PC. The "swiveling displays" I talk about ARE Tablet PC's. There are two types of Tablet PC's. The convertible and the Slate. The slate does not have a keyboard built in. This works for meetings, boardrooms and the like. The convertible has the swivel displays. This give you the best of both worlds. So in essence the Tablet PC will take off. When MS doesn't force feed it down people's throats.

MorganX
Jan 1, 2004, 08:30 PM
Originally posted by SeaFox
Good news I say. Just an example of Microsoft dropping a bad idea. Really, who needs a smart clipboard when there's a computer within 100 feet anyway. :rolleyes:

Now the M$ worshippers can shut up about how Apple is missing out on some 'innovative' M$ idea and folks here can quit talking about the Apple Tablet PC "about to be released".

This is just the first nail in the coffin of the will be techno flop of Tablet Computing.

Don't confuse a Smart Display with Tablet PC or Media Center PC. The Tablet will be a niche for at least 5 years IMO. The Media Center PC still in the early stages. Needs more software. Media streaming and TIVO don't seem to be enough. Having said that, the new Gateway with an AV receiver form factor and optical digital out is very interesting. Now, if it had a fast smart display for the den, I would have one. But I can't do word processing at TV resolution and I don't need two PCs.

the future
Jan 3, 2004, 04:37 AM
Originally posted by SiliconAddict
Dictionary.com: Innovation (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=innovation)

in·no·va·tion
1. The act of introducing something new.
2. Something newly introduced.

Apple isn't intruducing something new. They are repackaging it. But as I had mentioned, if you had read my post, that innovation can very from person to person

As for the Tablet PC you aren't reading my post. Or know nothing about the tablet PC. The "swiveling displays" I talk about ARE Tablet PC's. There are two types of Tablet PC's. The convertible and the Slate. The slate does not have a keyboard built in. This works for meetings, boardrooms and the like. The convertible has the swivel displays. This give you the best of both worlds. So in essence the Tablet PC will take off. When MS doesn't force feed it down people's throats.

LOL I just love it when people quote a dictionary, especially when they obviously don't understand the quote at all. *Introducing* something new clearly doesn't implie that the person/company necessarily also invented that item.

I wouldn't call laptops with swivelling displays Tablet PCs but rather laptops with additional Tablet PC features. If you (and M$ marketing) prefer to call them Tablet PCs in an attempt to make that whole Tablet PC idea seem more successful than it actually is, fair enough.

MorganX
Jan 3, 2004, 10:32 AM
Originally posted by the future
LOL I just love it when people quote a dictionary, especially when they obviously don't understand the quote at all. *Introducing* something new clearly doesn't implie that the person/company necessarily also invented that item.

I wouldn't call laptops with swivelling displays Tablet PCs but rather laptops with additional Tablet PC features. If you (and M$ marketing) prefer to call them Tablet PCs in an attempt to make that whole Tablet PC idea seem more successful than it actually is, fair enough.

Actually, Toshiba's is a Tablet PC with a multidock (desktop & notebook form factors when docked). The problem with tablets is there's such a limited need. Doctors, stock brokers, coaches, etc. There's just not a huge market right now IMO, or in the near future.

I'd rather walk around with a Sony ultra-light TR series than a tablet.

bensisko
Jan 3, 2004, 12:19 PM
Originally posted by MorganX
There's just not a huge market right now IMO, or in the near future.


That's what HP said about the personal computer market.... :D