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7th May 2020
There have been a couple of news items that I think perhaps paint a picture in the current market.
Remember when the first iPad came out? Suddenly the laptop looked chunky, clunky, heavy, and just old fashioned in comparison. In those early days, it looked like the future and big chunks of IT budgets were quickly targeted at buying iPads, getting them connected and (sometimes) building Apps to run on it.
I remember holding the first iPad and thinking that the future was going to be touchscreen – keyboards and mice were so dated!
Well believe it or not that was 10 years ago… the first iPad was released on the 3rd of April 2010. At the time Steve Jobs himself called it the beginning of the post-PC era. With the benefit of hindsight, even those with the most rose-tinted set of Apple specs can say that prediction was completely on the money.
This is where the news items perhaps converge….
Apple Magic Keyboard
The first reviews are in – it’s brilliant but expensive! The Apple Magic Keyboard now means we’ve gone full circle, you can now take an iPad Pro and turn it into a laptop. You get a keyboard, but most importantly you also get a trackpad! A mouse pointer on an iPad!!
Not so particularly revolutionary you may think, but it echoes something I’ve noticed in the Microsoft Surface world. Remember, Surface was launched by Microsoft as their answer to the iPad. You could have a tablet (admittedly running the schizophrenic Windows 8, but we’ll gloss over that) that was designed to also allow you to run your PC software as well and it’s telling that the device launched with a keyboard/touchpad “accessory”.
It wasn’t really an accessory… nobody bought a Surface Pro without it…and they still don’t!! You just factor the cost of the keyboard in when you budget for these.
Both the Surface Pro and now the iPad Pro are aping back to the Laptop form factor. Screen/Keyboard/Mouse….
Which leads me on to…
Microsoft is to reprioritise its Windows 10X development. Originally Windows 10X was carrying quite a load on its back… it was supposed to be a new slimline version of Windows that finally moved the OS from its historic WIN32 past and linked Windows more directly into Cloud services to power it (think of a Microsoft answer to Google’s ChromeOS).
The other thing Windows 10X was going to do, was power a new range of dual-screen devices. I did a Byte previously about the Surface Duo.
Not just one touchscreen, but two!
The shiny new hardware would perhaps be the lure to the new OS? Not for now, it seems. The news that Microsoft is going to focus on regular single-screen devices is interesting… they’re back to thinking about laptop devices again!
However, I do wonder if Windows 10X will gain much traction without the lure of hardware, it’s starting to feel like Windows RT all over again. If you can buy a full-fat Windows version of the same thing, I just don’t see how Windows 10X flies… yet. The answer – take your pick
The answer – Take your pick
Maybe the lesson for Enterprise 10 years on from the launch of the iPad isn’t the birth of a new touchscreen form factor, but actually the desirability of the design. The way these devices look, matters!
And arguably the two most desirable device ranges are Apple and Microsoft at present.
Despite their very different approaches, if you put a Surface Pro with a Keyboard next to an iPad Pro with a Magic Keyboard, they are effectively the same (at least with the screen off).
So here we are in 2020 and everything looks like a laptop! What all these threads are showing is that the laptop form factor works! Specifically, for work…
Whichever flavour you prefer we can help supply them and get them managed and secured, get in touch if you want help sourcing and financing your fleet of devices.