The blog of Eric Sibly; focusing on mountain biking, .NET development for the Desktop, Smartphone and PocketPC.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tablet PC platform in trouble...

I see from this post and a number of other over the past day or two talking about the Tablet PC being in trouble based on some IDC forecast. Whatever!

It amazes me sometimes the weight that these so called analysts have in the market with their reports. They remind me a lot of weathermen, they come up with some forecast based loosely on some fact and some posturing, work in a sensationalist element to sell for their network/organisation, and then inevitably get it wrong! And much like for the weatherman, in time the errant forecast is forgotten - trouble is someone in the meantime has acted on the advice and made a poor decision based on this crystal ball analysis.

I think the Tablet PC is a fantastic concept; there are times where the pen is the more natural way to interface with the device versus punching away on a keyboard and chasing a little mouse. To me the greatest limiting factor of the device is the price, in general we all just can’t afford it. When the price of these devices comes down and laptops by default are Tablet enabled then everyone will want it and use it. Look at Windows XP Media Centre, now that they are not so expensive and a number of the restrictions on its use have been relaxed it is the biggest sellers in the desktop market – price was the primary reason – everyone wanted one they just couldn’t justify it.

Somehow Microsoft needs to convince Dell to sell and then the device will really gain mass credibility. So when the tablet is a $100 premium over an equivalent laptop on Dell I’ll definitely get one.

Finally, I am surprised there has been little/no comment from Scoble on this seeing he is typically such a strong supporter of the device.


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