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Microsoft Portables Apple Hardware

The iPad vs. Microsoft's "Jupiter" Devices 293

Posted by timothy
from the that-was-then-this-is-jobs dept.
harrymcc writes "A dozen years ago, Microsoft convinced major manufacturers to put Windows CE inside devices that looked like undersized touchscreen personal computers. The platform was code-named 'Jupiter' and shipped as Handheld PC Pro, and it flopped — it turned out that people wanted full-strength notebooks. But in retrospect, it was a clear antecedent of what Apple is doing — much more successfully — with the iPad."
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The iPad vs. Microsoft's "Jupiter" Devices

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  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @05:35PM (#31850372) Journal

    It's actually quite funny to see how similar and in some aspects even better it is (and for a product 12 years ago!). Apart from the obvious (larger price and more weight), the older product actually has 12-16 hour life compared to iPad's 8 hour life. There's also dial-up modem (remember how bulky those were?), more apps, syncing software, and multitasking. 640x480 resolution and touch display.

    Pretty awesome for a product in the 1998, considering it even beats iPad at some aspects. Oh and Windows CE also let you install any app you wanted (there was a lot of freeware apps too), not just something Apple didn't block from AppStore or where you have to pay for every app you want, no matter how simple task it does. And you also could program your own apps to it.

    But what comes to current generation tablets, I'm waiting to see what happens with Courier. The two touch-screen booklike sure is something a tablet should look like [youtube.com]. I mean, you're supposed to hold these with your hands and on top you, while laying on sofa or bed. It's a lot more natural to hold them like a book, either for browsing the internet while having a game or IM window on the other screen or just to read an ebook. The non-book feel of tablets has turn me off. I have a bad feeling they will want to go the Apple route and have only App Store-approved apps like with Windows Mobile 7, but I still hope for the best. The ability to have what applications you want or code your own is a really importantant one.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by erroneus (253617)

      Just goes to show how stupid people actually are. Better doesn't always win. Better very often loses to market hype and brand recognition. Slap an Apple logo on any iGadget and people will buy it today even if they hated it 10 years ago.

      • by Golias (176380) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @06:23PM (#31850942)

        Making it a small fraction of the price in inflation-adjusted dollars might have something to do with it.

        Nothing could ever compel me to spend $1000 in in '98 on a touch-screen computer (with a non-touch OS).

        But $500 in 2010? Shit, I think I could dig that kind of cash out of my couch cushions.

        • by goombah99 (560566) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @06:35PM (#31851060)

          The Toshiba had a 129-MHz Toshiba TMPR3912U CPU which is something like 2 to 3 orders of magnitude slower than the 1Ghz A4. Sure it functioned but would you use it? Value s not just what you pay but what you get.

          You could say that in principle one could have made a Victorian mechanical turing machine into an ipad too.

          Apple is what is known as an early settler. ("pioneers get the arrows, settlers get the land."). Apple is also an early adopter. (e.g. see Gui, mouse, postscript printing, .... ) Thus they tred right at the line between pioneer and settler.

          How do they know when it's time to settle a market? Steve tells them the wine is ready now. Till then they make fun of the pioneers.

          Apple and Jobs sometimes jumps the gun too ( see NeXT or Newton or apples game console if you even remember that).

          Apple has more success lately, because it avoids the pitfall that most pioneers have in converting to settlers: undercapitalization. Apple has the resources to design things right and to set up ancilliary markets (see itunes) that an undercapitalized firm cannot. So for apple the wine is ready to serve early than the competition.

          • by toby (759) *

            The real antecedent of the iPad, around 19 years ago.

          • by jrumney (197329)
            In 1998 I was happily using a 100MHz laptop with a 200Mb hard drive and 32Mb RAM. In its day it was still a reasonably capable machine, though already a couple of years old at that point. I don't think it is 2 - 3 orders of magnitude slower than a modern PC either - maybe for certain applications like 3D graphics and video playback, but for everyday tasks using software of the day it was comparable to what I'm using today (bogged down by loads of mostly useless update and anti-malware tasks running in bac
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by ChinggisK (1133009)
          Can I come over and go through your couch cushions?
        • by Ogive17 (691899)
          Back then you were also paying $1500 for a brand new computer (normally without a monitor). Prices have dropped across the board.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by juancn (596002)

        Just goes to show how stupid people actually are. Better doesn't always win.

        You're oversimplifying. "Better" is a relative term, it needs context to be meaningful. Apple does many things right that aren't easy to duplicate and can't be reduced as check-boxes on a feature comparison chart. Using a different context, I could say that iPad is actually "better", just because it sells more units.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          What are those?

          Prevents me from easily accessing the device?
          Makes me move data through their crappy program?
          Isn't able to access standard data external to the device?

          Has a browser about as useful as Lynx?
          Has greatly restricted app choice preventing me from fixing that myself?
          Forces the user into web balkanizing "apps" because of arbitrary platform restrictions?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fusiongyro (55524)

        I love the slashdot groupthink! It's like it's never occurred to you that market research is something you can do, or that a product with better technology will lose to a competitor that doesn't break Mom's wrists and doesn't require a manual! "Obviously, it must be the cult of Apple!"

      • by sootman (158191) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @08:08PM (#31851918) Homepage Journal

        Who said it was better, and how? Specs alone do not "better" make. Plus it cost $999 back then which is like $1300 now. If the iPad, as it is, cost $1300, it would not be selling that well. If the iPad had a flimsy folding keyboard AND had an OS that was even MORE limited than what it has now (WinCE is MUCH further away from Win98 than iPhone OS is from OS X) AND required a stylus it wouldn't sell as well.

        Why can't people accept that Apple makes great products AND markets them well? If their products truly sucked, across the board, they wouldn't sell as well no matter WHAT the marketing. In fact, they HAVE had products that sucked AND tanked, like the G4 Cube. That thing was advertised just as much as anything else but it cost $200 more than a comparably-specced, more-expandable PowerMac G4. The Cube's failure is PROOF that Apple does not operate outside the laws of economics. They don't *actually* serve drugged Kool-Aid; their customers are NOT ad-absorbing, check-writing, brainless zombies. But geeks seem to resent their success because they make things that people want to use, not what kernel-compiling Slashdotters think is cool.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by gyrogeerloose (849181)

          In fact, they HAVE had products that sucked AND tanked, like the G4 Cube. That thing was advertised just as much as anything else but it cost $200 more than a comparably-specced, more-expandable PowerMac G4. The Cube's failure is PROOF that Apple does not operate outside the laws of economics

          The G4 Cube didn't really suck. Taken by itself, it was a very slick piece of industrial design and made sense for a certain subset of computer users, namely people to whom aesthetics are important and expandability is not. I know it's hard for Slashdotters to accept but the majority of computer users don't give a whit whether their computer is expandable. They buy it, use it for as long as it continues to work for what they use a computer for (typically Web browsing, e-mail and light word processing) then

          • by erroneus (253617)

            It's not the slick hardware and design. It's the company. All the things that are great about computing is controlled, limited, restricted and later sold to you at a premium and try to tell you it was their idea in the first place. Classic example is iPhone without copy and paste. Who else but Apple can haul out the bandwagon to celebrate "copy and paste" and get people to sing their praises?

            *iPhone does everything I want! It's the perfect smart phone! Browses the web perfectly and smoothly. It does

            • by s73v3r (963317)
              Does he care? Does he miss Flash? If not, then it doesn't matter.
              • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:45PM (#31852782) Homepage

                Flash content on the web represents a very large and significant portion of contemporary web experience. (And I can't believe anyone needs to state this.) The developing web standards are adopting most of the features presently provided by Flash. If a portion of the web experience is omitted, you know it is missed.

                Some people will admit it when they made a buying mistake. Others will defend their purchase decision until the bitter end. In this case, yes, he cares. Others will not say so. But it definitely matters.

                Whem Microsoft "breaks" the internet with its intentionally wounded implementation of HTML and CSS support, most of us understand the harm it causes. And when Apple holds functions and features back for ransom or just so that they can be a hero when they finally enable or allow them, their character is clear and obvious.

                Once again, it's not the coolness or slickness that makes "us geeks" jealous. It's the harm to the consumer and to the technology marketplace as a whole that bothers us.

                • by gyrogeerloose (849181) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:28PM (#31853122) Journal

                  Flash content on the web represents a very large and significant portion of contemporary web experience. (And I can't believe anyone needs to state this.) The developing web standards are adopting most of the features presently provided by Flash. If a portion of the web experience is omitted, you know it is missed.

                  I've had ClickToFlash on my computer for months now and am only rarely forced to view the Flash content to use a site. As it turns out, Flash is used mostly for needless embellishments that add nothing to the content and ads. I don't miss either one at all.

                  Comparing Microsoft's intentional damage to actual Web standards to Apple's refusal to include proprietary additions is specious.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nine-times (778537)

      the older product actually has 12-16 hour life compared to iPad's 8 hour life

      For the record, the iPad has a *minimum* battery life of ~10 hours. So if you play 720p video all day long, your battery is supposed to last about 10 hours, and reviewers have said that it stands up to the claim. Standby time is supposed to be 1 month.

      • by prockcore (543967)

        Playing video all day long doesn't use much CPU, if any, since it's all offloaded to dedicated hardware. Doing something CPU intensive will drop that battery life below 10 hours easy.

    • I'm pretty sure if Apple doubled the width and weight of the iPad to match, it could get, oh, 20 hours you think?
    • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      Form factor means a lot. Especially with mobile data devices. Apple's Newton was a nice device for what it did but it was no Palm Pilot.

      Of course, folks who really liked the Newton would complain that the Pilots were no Newton.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by AvitarX (172628)

      The iPad has a lot of value added because wireless internet is everywhere.

      Also the small weight difference counts for a lot.

      $499 is still a little more than I want to pay, and I do care (unlike most people) that it is locked down.

      But I would happily pay $300 for a similar device that is wireless only, the iPad is a temptation for me.

      if it started at $999 no way in hell. Especially if it was attached to 1998's internet, the added value of the iPad is almost entirely that it is now a decade later, and th int

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      Every review I read says that iPad meets or exceeds the 10 hour battery claim.

      If you cherrypick features, you can make many things look similiar that really aren't. Just look how successful the Windows CE OS is to this day.

      If the iPad and the follow-up proved anything, a checklist of features isn't the end-all be-all to devices, just like an accurate map isn't a replacement for being there and experiencing the place.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by sopssa (1498795) *

        Just look how successful the Windows CE OS is to this day.

        If you actually look at it and don't just look at the public marketing, I would say it's quite successful. It was used in millions of PDA's, mobile phones (and Windows Mobile is based on it too), embedded systems and most of the ATM's in the world.

        Difference is that Apple markets you to believe they're more successful, while almost any other player including MS is more discrete about those and doesn't have major marketing campaigns to get their systems around.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by GlassHeart (579618)

          So what? I used to work on a mobile browser that literally sold hundreds of millions of units. The problem is that very very few of those browsers were ever used, so I personally still consider that a failure. Similarly, Windows Mobile in phones did not create an appreciable rise in mobile data usage, while the iPhone did to the point that AT&T's network was strained. That's just marketing? And Microsoft's response to Apple marketing is to start from scratch to build Windows Phone 7?

        • by peragrin (659227) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @06:19PM (#31850896)

          Sure WinCE is used in millions of devices but none of them work very well.

          Windows CE had ONE major problem it was never designed around a multi touch interface. It was basically a mouse touch which means you "click and drag" with your touch finger. WinCE and the related Applications held promise but failed to deliver a consistent user interface, designed for small screens, allow for mutli point touch and gestures, Oh and Not look like s standard desktop shrunk to a screen that a Command line interface would have a problem with usability on.

          I repeat this over and over again a Tablet is not a desktop OS. you can't use a desktop application on a tablet and expect it to work well. You must shift the interface design away from desktop if you want your tablet to succeed. it is why Palm worked so well. it had a new interface. Windows CE, Mobile, all strived to look like windows Desktop and it was skinned horribly to hide that fact.

          • I repeat this over and over again a Tablet is not a desktop OS

            One example I've been thinking about: pressing a button with a mouse vs. touchscreen. Mice are much more precise. It's a little arrow and the point is only 1 pixel wide. If the arrow's point is over something when you click on it, it can have accuracy down to the pixel. That's impossible with a finger. Instead of being able to hit a target the size of a pixel, you need the target to be at least... 1cm^2? Something in that neighborhood.

            On the other hand, it's pretty hard to seek the button out with your mouse cursor. I mean, it's not really hard, we're all used to it, but it's more complicated that you probably recognize. Just the first step, which you probably took for granted: you have to find the mouse cursor's current location. Then you have to guide the cursor to the desired location, which means calibrating the motion of your hand to the motion of the cursor. It used to be that if the location was far away, you'd have to move to the edge of your pad, reset the mouse to the other side of the pad, and then move it again. So that was annoying. They've overcome that by putting some kind of acceleration variable in the mouse's motion-- the faster you move it, the more your cursor moves for moving the mouse the same distance. (If that last sentence doesn't make sense, this [wikipedia.org] might help.)

            So in both cases, before acceleration and after, it means that it's harder to hit a precise point with your mouse that is far away from your current mouse position than to hit a button that's close. That's part of the reason we have toolbars that cluster all the controls into a tight area, because seeking around for buttons that are spaced far apart is relatively hard.

            On a touchscreen, however, the situation is much easier. Touchscreens aren't precise, but they're as easy as pointing, and you're much more coordinated with your finger than with your mouse. This means that while the buttons need to be bigger, you can exercise much more freedom in their positioning.

            The difference in pressing buttons alone is enough reason why touchscreen application UIs should be designed rom scratch, and not just pulled over from desktop applications.

    • by GlassHeart (579618) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @06:02PM (#31850708) Journal

      It's similar in some respects, but not in several that really matter. One, don't take 3G/WiFi for granted, because that feature (obviously nothing unique to iPad) is a game-changer compared to wired networking. Two, 1024x768 is another game-changer, compared to 640x480, as anybody who is old enough to witness that transition should remember. Three, the content that you can consume, starting from music and video to the Internet itself, has also changed dramatically since 1998. Not to mention that the PV-5000 is also more than twice as heavy, twice as thick, and twice (more if you consider inflation) as expensive.

      Geeks have a tendency to look at specs and see quantitative differences, but often it is more important to see if the quantitative difference is big enough to become a qualitative difference. For example, a laptop is not just a lighter all-in-one desktop with a battery.

      • by Amouth (879122)

        i went through most of my college years using a desktop and an HP Jornada 820

        http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/abouthp/histnfacts/museum/personalsystems/0038/0038threeqtr.html [hp.com]

        Ran win CE and had a PCMCIA slot and i used a Cisco Aironet card with it - in fact still have it on a shelf here.

        it had the basic win CE office i could check e-mail it had craptastic version of IE (couldn't do much but i could do some things) it also had word processing and i could load an IRC client on it.

        it had a very good 12-14h USABLE batt

      • by lennier (44736)

        For example, a laptop is not just a lighter all-in-one desktop with a battery.

        Actually for most purposes it exactly is, and that 100% hardware and software compatibility is what makes a laptop usable. It turns a laptop from 'annoyingly limited specialist device' to 'generic portable desktop environment' where you can guarantee that yes, you can run everything you can run on your desk machine.

        Do you remember the bad days in the late 80s / early 90s when 'PC-compatible' meant 'not really compatible at all', when 'portable machine' meant you had a tiny incompatible screen which wouldn't

    • by geekoid (135745)

      add a pound ti the iPAd, and you could double it's battery life.

      The iPad is a fine way to read.

      I don't own an iPad, and don't see myself every buying one, but I may get one of these:
      wepad.mobi/en

      For what the main drive for these are(cloud media interfaces), the tables style is the way to go. If you want to replace for Franklin, then the courier is the way to go.

    • Courier (Score:2, Interesting)

      by joh (27088)

      If you really try to look at the Courier videos with an analytic eye you can't fail to see that this is just about "how to look good in a video". The user interface looks breathtaking -- because it is. There is no reason nor rhyme to the UI, it's a show of things you'd never discover how to use them on a real device. Every gesture and every touch and everything else does something different on every screen. Everything of this is convenient in the very moment it is done, yes. Because it's just a show-off and

    • A modem is better than Wifi/3G? THANK GAWD I don't have to use those horrible devices anymore. If someone could just convince everyone to stop printing you'd have killed my pair of most hated devices.

      I doubt there are more apps for WinCE than iPhone OS. My experience is WinCE typically doesn't run most Windows apps, or much of anything really. And writing apps for WinCE can be a real pain - at least as bad as developing for iPhone.

      Both have syncing but iPhone can sync many files over the air with MobileMe,
    • They are similar in some ways. But form factor and price are what is really important. I would readily pay 300 dollars for a well designed device that would let me surf(wi-fi), watch movies, and read e-books. The touch screen, good battery and flood of apps are all secondary. It was ahead of its time but the 999 price tag is what really made it tank. You will often see this with companies bringing out new tech and saying, "Oh well, no one wanted it." Yeah I guess no one wanted electric cars like they had in
    • It's actually quite funny to see how similar and in some aspects even better it is (and for a product 12 years ago!). Apart from the obvious (larger price and more weight), the older product actually has 12-16 hour life compared to iPad's 8 hour life. There's also dial-up modem (remember how bulky those were?), more apps, syncing software, and multitasking. 640x480 resolution and touch display.

      Pretty awesome for a product in the 1998, considering it even beats iPad at some aspects. Oh and Windows CE also let you install any app you wanted (there was a lot of freeware apps too), not just something Apple didn't block from AppStore or where you have to pay for every app you want, no matter how simple task it does. And you also could program your own apps to it.

      It hardly matters how much better it is if it's frustrating to use. Greatest app X doesn't matter unless it's easy to use, which is what apple has really done well (partly by restricting the things us nerds love- hardware specs and openness).

    • Just thought I would point out that there are THOUSANDS of _free_ (as in beer) apps in the App Store....

      Also... you can program your own apps for your own iDevice as well. Anyone that registers and downloads XCode can make apps that they can use and distribute (in a limited way) to friends.

      Finally... I'm not into the "hinged tablet" for one reason: how do you hold it in one hand and interact with it with the other? With a smallish book you can hold it in the middle in a somewhat awkward way... but for somet

    • Yeah, but does that 12-16 hour battery life include using the dial-up and playing music in the background? Can it even play music? Or is that what you get if you turn the screen down as low as possible and do nothing but type with one app open? How many apps are there that would work on that device?

      I don't see how the Courier is more natural. Books suck compared to a single pane; ever noticed the way many people fold their magazines while reading them? The only reason books have two panes is because of the

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      It's actually quite funny to see how similar and in some aspects even better it is (and for a product 12 years ago!). Apart from the obvious (larger price and more weight), the older product actually has 12-16 hour life compared to iPad's 8 hour life. There's also dial-up modem (remember how bulky those were?), more apps, syncing software, and multitasking. 640x480 resolution and touch display.

      You would be far less impressed if you remembered what Windows CE, its multi-tasking, and its apps were like back then. You would wince (har har) even more if you remembered what LCD displays were like back then.

      Windows CE, especially the 2x series, was half-assed and its apps would not impress you. Part of the problem is that internet wasn't ubiquitous like it is today. That's not the 98 tablet's fault. There's most of the usefulness of the tablet gone right there. Windows CE could multitask, but the

  • At least according to this site [bls.gov]. Now how about some comparisons of the Courier [gizmodo.com] versus the iPad!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by EdipisReks (770738)

      Now how about some comparisons of the Courier versus the iPad!

      i'll believe Courier is anything more than a mockup when i see it in stores.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mdwh2 (535323)

        I've yet to see an Ipad in stores, personally. Anyhow - there were daily stories about the Ipad months before it was released, and even when it was just rumours (in fact, the first Apple tablet rumour on Slashdot was in 2005). Yet when it's another company, we have to have the product in store, for you to see?

    • I'm surprised we're not hearing/talking more about the Courier here. So far it looks like it's everything I had been hoping the iPad would be (but unfortunately wasn't).
  • Apples and Oranges (Score:5, Interesting)

    by moogied (1175879) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @05:38PM (#31850418)
    Modern systems like the Ipad(and various replicas using linux & windows) face entirely different issues. Older systems were incapable of most productive features at the time. PC's were used to do "power hungry" things like run excel and word. There was almost no way an older system could run those in anywhere near the same level.
    Now even my G1 can read and let me edit spreadsheets. My blackberry as well. Also we live in the age of web 2.0 and cloud computing, most of the crap people do on the internet is pretty processor friendly.
    • by fermion (181285)
      I don't know if I would say that older systems were incapable of doing what people wanted to do. The newton, 17 years ago, over a few year period, achieved the ability to network, browse, and even had an external keyboard by which I could type any document or create a spreadsheet. At that time everyone was into fancy fonts, and how many colors could one add to a memo, generally making thing with no real content look important. The newton could not do that, so many people did not think it was worthwhile.
    • by DMoylan (65079)

      the jupiter based systems were competition with the psion 5. they failed. microsoft even bought a key company who supplied their microbrowser but thankfully opera stepped into that breach. http://www.ericlindsay.com/epoc/bweb5.htm [ericlindsay.com]

      i could work on word and excel documents on the device which i could convert on the device or the desktop to the psions formats. when i was given a very old word doc when the euro came into force to update some banking software the psion was the only computer in the building tha

  • by Dachannien (617929) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @05:44PM (#31850492)

    The reason the iPad is more successful than the Handheld PC Pro is because the iPad looks like a giant iPhone, while the Handheld PC Pro looked like a small laptop.

    • Bingo (Score:2, Insightful)

      And there you have it folks. You expect a phone. When you see how well it does movies compared to your phone instead of how poorly it does compared to your computer, you're happy.
      The interface simplicity also emphasizes this. We associate complicated interfaces with complex, difficult to use machinery. A 747 cockpit has a ridiculous number of switches, gauges & dials, a door just has a knob.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Golias (176380)

        And there you have it folks. You expect a phone. When you see how well it does movies compared to your phone instead of how poorly it does compared to your computer, you're happy.

        The interface simplicity also emphasizes this. We associate complicated interfaces with complex, difficult to use machinery. A 747 cockpit has a ridiculous number of switches, gauges & dials, a door just has a knob.

        Yeah, but who wants a 747 filling the entry way to the bathroom, when a door does the job so well?

        A lot of things about a 747 which make it very valuable, but comparisons of different tools, meant for different jobs, is completely silly.

    • by mdwh2 (535323)

      Yes, everyone loves brick sized phones - whenever someone calls my slightly not up-to-date phone a "brick", I know it's a compliment. I can't wait to spend all that money to have a giant phone, like I'm back in the '80s. I'd much rather have an oversized phone, than a tiny phone and a powerful but small laptop.

  • Expectations (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @05:46PM (#31850526) Homepage

    The iPad has a lot going for it, especially that you can get one for about 1/3 the price of that thing (if you convert the 1998 dollars, see eldavojon's post) and that you have wireless networking (a major plus).

    I think a big part of this (and one that Microsoft has run into with their tablet attempts) is that of expectations. If it looks like a PC (because it has a keyboard), and acts like a PC (because the interface looks like Windows 95/98 did), people expect it to operate like a PC. They should be able to install normal software, it should be fast enough to do normal computer things, etc.

    Netbooks ran into this too. They were cheap and cute, so people bought them. Then they found out that weren't "real" laptops and had 1 GHz processors, and were never going to edit video or edit 8 MP photos fast. The things looked like normal computers, but cheaper, so why not get it? Then they weren't happy. Now many "netbooks" are full computers that are just tiny. You can buy netbooks that cost $600+ instead of the early $200-$300. They are what people expect out of a laptop, only tiny.

    Apple, on the other hand, made a device that is very clearly not a Macintosh. It does look like an iPhone, which is a plus since people see the iPhone as a appliance and not a computer. These two things add up to people seeing the iPad as an appliance and not a computer, which is exactly what Apple intends. It does what it does, and that's what it's supposed to do.

    If Apple released the iPad with a fold out keyboard, people would compare it to another netbook or a normal laptop and criticize it for being so inflexible. I was actually very surprised that Apple is even making a keyboard dock, as it makes it look more like a laptop. The flexibility of being able to easily type a document on the road with the dock (or a bluetooth keyboard) must have been enough to overwhelm the worry, and I can see that being the case.

    • Re:Expectations (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DdJ (10790) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @06:04PM (#31850744) Homepage Journal

      I was actually very surprised that Apple is even making a keyboard dock, as it makes it look more like a laptop.

      You may have just explained why the keyboard dock forces the iPad into portrait mode instead of landscape, and why the "Pages" word processor only exposes all of its features if you're using it in portrait mode. When the thing is actually attached to its dock, standing there with a screen that's taller than it is wide, and an extreme mismatch between the width of the display and the width of the keyboard, you cannot mistake it for a laptop.

      • I was actually very surprised that Apple is even making a keyboard dock, as it makes it look more like a laptop.

        You may have just explained why the keyboard dock forces the iPad into portrait mode instead of landscape, and why the "Pages" word processor only exposes all of its features if you're using it in portrait mode. When the thing is actually attached to its dock, standing there with a screen that's taller than it is wide, and an extreme mismatch between the width of the display and the width of the keyboard, you cannot mistake it for a laptop.

        Have you ever stopped to consider how inefficient it is to have a widescreen for word processing? Back in the 80's-90's there were some world processing workstations with portrait view monitors so that you could see more of the page at once. Widescreen = great for video, portrait = good for word processing.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      People knew what netbooks were, they wanted something light weight and then they bought them in droves. MANUFACTURES bowed to pressure from resellers to make a bigger screen so they would be more expensive and the retailer could make more money.

    • by mdwh2 (535323)

      I agree the Ipad is a consumer appliance - given that, I wonder why there's so much coverage here (if Apple started making an "iFridge", would Slashdot, "News for Nerds", start covering fridges and other kitchen appliances?)

      And yes, the Iphone isn't really a general computing device like a smart phone, but a consumer feature phone.

      But having said that, I'd like to see evidence that netbooks had this problem with consumers. They've still be more successful than tablets AFAIK. And any power limitations is goi

      • Re:Expectations (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @07:05PM (#31851396)

        I think what irks geeks is that these devices could be general purpose computers but Apple chooses not to let them be. It's the same logic that drives them (and by them I mean us) to install Linux on consoles, another of the modern computing appliances. In many ways modern computing has failed to bring its advantages to the public at large (and gloated over the "stupid (l)users" while doing it) and now the mainstream is moving away from general purpose computing to a new way of doing the tasks they want to do. A lot of geeks can't see it though because they can't understand why anyone would want to. It's not lower expectations it's a whole new set of expectations, a new experience.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by nine-times (778537)

          I think that's pretty insightful. In trying to understand what Apple was doing with the iPad I had come to the conclusion that it wasn't meant to be used as a full computer any more than Microsoft intended the XBox to be a full computer. I hadn't drawn the connection between wanting to use it as a computer and geeks trying to hack everything. I mean, there are people who are seriously upset that Sony isn't supporting Linux on the PS3 anymore.

          I'm not making fun of geeks for wanting to do that sort of thi

      • The thing about netbooks are that they're priced right and they fit into almost any bag(the power brick not included).

    • by spectecjr (31235)

      The iPad has a lot going for it, especially that you can get one for about 1/3 the price of that thing (if you convert the 1998 dollars, see eldavojon's post) and that you have wireless networking (a major plus).

      The thing is, you can't do the math that way. Tech gets cheaper as it gets older, and new tech gets more powerful but remains roughly the same price, whereas inflation just goes up. If you look on Amazon, someone is selling it for $375, used.

      Never mind any number of other UMPC devices... [umpcportal.com]

  • "Successfully"? (Score:5, Informative)

    by bradgoodman (964302) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @05:50PM (#31850568) Homepage
    I don't know that you can say that Apple is doing it more "Successfully". The Newton sold like hotcakes when it first came out. Just because it got an initial rush of die-hard Apple fans and "early adopters" doesn't mean the product won't go the way of the Newton, too. I thing it's too early to call the iPad any kind of a success, just yet...
    • by L3370 (1421413)
      AHAHA! Are you comparing the newton to the ipad?
      The newton sold 50000 in 1993. Ipad sold over 300,000 ON ITS FIRST WEEKEND.

      The ipad IS successful. Period.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by geekoid (135745)

        No, he is comparing intial releases to long term success of a product.

        and Apple as 10 times more customers, and only sold 6 times more iPads.

        "The ipad IS successful. Period."
        Wrong. Period.

        Lets see where the market is in 6 months, and then at the end of a full fiscal year. Did you ever wonder why Apple releases new products just a couple of months before then end of the fiscal year?

        • by L3370 (1421413)
          Newton's initial sales were just as disappointing as its all time sale. Still a bad comparison.

          The ipad IS successful. The fact that companies are rushing to make an equivalent already proves this. It also uses the same retail platform as the iphone, which has been around for a few years now and it still hasn't died. Support for the ipad's success is here. Evidence of its success is already here. Name one cell phone, computer, or similar device that sold 300,000 times over on the first day that was consid
          • Re:"Successfully"? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:39PM (#31853190) Journal

            The ipad IS successful.

            If you keep saying it over and over and over, it'll become true.

            iPad sold 500,000 units after one week. That's a little more than 70,000 units a day. And if you consider that in the five days after the weekend, Apple sold 200,000 units. That's 40,000 a day. Not quite so impressive. I'd bet that all the Netbooks combined sell at least 40,000 units per day.

            Name one cell phone, computer, or similar device that sold 300,000 times over on the first day that was considered a failure.

            The interesting thing is that Apple sold 300,000 units in it's first weekend--this is after the device had been available for pre-order for one month. So it took Apple one month to sell 300,000 units--about 1,000 units a day.

            So name one cell phone, computer, or similar device that sold 300,000 units in one month that was considered a success.

            But that's okay. Just sit in your corner, hug your iPad, and keep repeating: "The iPad is successful! The iPad is successful!" It'll make you feel better.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by 91degrees (207121)
        So it's almost as successful as the Sega Dreamcast. Meanwhile the Commodore Amiga was a complete flop.

        You can't make absolute determinations on the success yet. Give it a few months at least.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by justinb26 (1783508)
        It's also on track to break a million units this month, and they just had to push the international ship date back a month to allow for demand in the states. Cognitive Dissonance is a powerful thing. At this point the people screaming about how the ipad is lame and doesn't fill a need and no-one will buy it, are so invested in spreading hate and shitting on the iPad, that it would be more difficult to admit a mistake than to just stick to their position regardless of how ridiculous it's become.
        • Literally everyone who has bought one bought it "sight-unseen" - seeing it only in Steve's presentation. So no - it's not that people loved it and news of that spread, encouraging people to buy it - it's all 100% early-adopters. It's too big to fit in my pocket, too heavy (and not easy-enough on the eyes) to really replace a Kindle, completely wrong for any real data-entry (no keyboard/on-screen keyboard). I honest-to-god haven't heard of what this thing is good at - or supposed to do, including from those
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Wyatt Earp (1029)

      The Newton flopped.

      100,000 the first year.

      http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Q4.06/600D65E6-A31E-45CA-AFC5-42BC253F5337.html [roughlydrafted.com]

      While the iPad has at least tripled that

      http://www.pcworld.com/article/193781/ipad_sales_estimated_to_top_600000.html [pcworld.com]

      I had a couple Newtons, an MP 130 and later a 2000

  • I remember we had a demo of these. They seemed like a possible idea but they were kept out by management who have since wanted laptops in places where they are completely counter productive. I am aware of managers who have never taken their laptops out of their docking stations - using them as expensive and slow desktops. I can think of one who swopped his for his secretary's newly issued desktop PC.

    Why were CE tablets blocked? They looked too like laptops but would have been used by the less important?

  • They should have added this pic in the article too:
    http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu328/marshall663/iPadvsRock.jpg [photobucket.com]

    I wonder if the rock or the Jupiter can do any of these:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gew68Qj5kxw [youtube.com]
    http://vimeo.com/10630568 [vimeo.com]

    I'm not trying to say that other devices couldn't do those things, say an Android based tablet, but that these comparisons are kinda lame and childish. Usually, they are made by those that don't like the iPad. Here's a novel idea: Don't buy one! Or, compare the
  • Well, yeah. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @07:00PM (#31851322) Journal

    Caveat: I'm not a MacHead. I think the iPhone is a shiny toy that barely deserves to be called a phone. The iPad as it stands now is a rather lackluster first effort that would have failed immediately without Apple's mindshare behind it.

    That said, the problem with Jupiter was not the concept. The buying public didn't just decide that there was no use for a tablet back then, but suddenly there is now.

    The problem with Jupiter was that it ran WinCE.

    The issue was pretty much the same then as it was when Microsoft very nearly missed out on the netbook explosion. Namely, Microsoft didn't have an (current at the time) OS with a sufficiently low resource footprint to run on the device. So they dust off WinCE, again, and consumers find, again, that WinCE has the same interoperability issues as any random free Linux distribution, except, you know, not free. Besides being ugly and less advanced than just about anything. And so the device, through no fault of it's own, fails in the marketplace.

    And Microsoft learns again that the core reason we run Windows is that everyone else is running Windows, and some other OS, that looks like Windows but isn't really, is not going to fly.

    They got the netbook market back partly through strategic decisions -- extending the life of XP -- but netbooks still had to become faster and more power-hungry -- bending the original paradigm a bit out of shape -- to allow Microsoft to compete in that arena.

    Hardware and battery technology has improved, and Microsoft with Windows 7 seems to actually have gotten the message that you can't just pile on the bloat with each new release and expect Moore's Law to save you. I suspect there will be some new tablets limping along with Windows 7 Home on the market in a very short time. But I wouldn't be surprised at all if Microsoft blew the dust off WinCE and gave it one more go on the tablet form factor. Hope springs eternal, especially if you believe your own marketing copy.

    However, on these devices, the real competition is from lighter weight operating systems with a sufficient collection of integrated applications, and these days that means Android or iPhone OS. As has been said many times in the past, the only product Microsoft has to compete in this area is (still) WinCE/PocketPC/WindowsMobile, and the user experience on that software platform is dismal. Windows 7 provides a sufficient experience, but is probably too resource hungry to run on a tablet of reasonable size and cost with reasonable battery life.

    On the other hand, I thought for sure Microsoft was going to lose the netbook market, and here we are today with most netbooks running Windows. It'll be interesting to see what rabbit they pull out of their... um, hats... this time.

    • by mgblst (80109)

      I think the iPhone is a shiny toy that barely deserves to be called a phone. The iPad as it stands now is a rather lackluster first effort that would have failed immediately without Apple's mindshare behind it.

      So you are a moron? This has nothing to do with being an Apple zealot, the iPhone was a game changer (I hate that term), look at all the copycats out now. It made the phone a greater device, made the internet a pleasure to use on a portable device, and gave us some many useful apps.

      No matter what you

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        This is pointless and off topic, but fine.

        The iPhone is a greater web device perhaps, but a lesser phone. I've been using a better phone (as in phone) with features that the iPhone still does not have since before the iPhone was released.

        The iPhone is shiny and fun and has cute graphics and lots of Oooooo factor. It's still a rather pedestrian phone. It's great for impressing people at Starbucks, but if one does a significant amount of business on one's phone, there are better solutions and have bee

  • ... but with a name like the ASUS Eee PC T91MT and next to ZERO advertising, no one will give two shits about it.

    ASUS could have demolished any type of market for the iPad had this thing been given a catchy, memorable name and some ads spouting off about how it runs a real OS, runs the same real applications you use at home and in the office, has a real keyboard, and all manner of other "coolness" about it. In fact, they could even launch a campaign right now showing the iPad as a toy and their machine as s

  • The iPad had a great opening day. I'm skeptical about the longevity though without some major changes: lighter weight, for one. I found it too big to want to read without setting it down, but then it's flat against the table unless you're sitting with your knees up. Tricky.

  • Look, the iPad is a consumer device.

    Aimed for consumers.

    People who consume video, surf the web, use Skype to talk to FB friends in other countries, read papers online, play games online (FB apps).

    It's not a tech thing. It just WORKS. And that is the key difference - I've used one, it takes about 5 seconds to figure out how to use it.

    That is NEVER true of MSFT products.

    By the way, the EU has just been told (I watch foreign business news at night) that they will get the iPod a MONTH late due to US demand. ..

  • not the same class (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @01:47AM (#31854330) Homepage Journal

    But in retrospect, it was a clear antecedent of what Apple is doing -- much more successfully -- with the iPad.

    About as much as a 13th century carriage is a "clear antecedent" to a Lamborghini. Yes, it has four wheels. One more author who either has no clue whatsoever about what the iPad actually is (note: "table computer" is not the answer) or who does, and simply wanted to drive up page views by throwing the currently hot topic "iPad" into a totally unrelated story.

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