By Emeka Nwafor
Wow!!! OK, so how is it that a few innocent tweets about the iPad gets me embroiled in a little Twitter / blogosphere skirmish with a colleague? Who would have thunk it? It's not just Schaefer, almost everyone seems to have formulated an opinion or a prediction about the future of mobile computing. Following last week's announcement of the Apple iPad there has been an impressive flood of blogs, microblogs, and YouTube from pundits and pranksters, alike. I don't recall a technology preview that had as much publicly generated hype and excitement as the iPad announcement.
So how is it that the company that is focused on bringing us the best possible personal computing experience has generated so much emotion and excitement? iSchmad? Please...
I think that much of the excitement has to deal with the fact that many of us are not fully satisfied with the current state of mobile computing experience and we were looking to Apple - or anyone else - to show us a better way. I have to admit that when I first saw the iPad launch on Wednesday, I wasn't blown away. A few days later, I'm still not sure I completely get it, but I think it is a Good Thing for the industry for a couple of reasons:
- The tablet form factor is well suited for rendering digital media. There have been several attempts over the years to tabletize the PC. The iPad is taking a different approach that just might work. Chip vendors, hardware vendors, software stacks - commercial and open source - will all optimize their offerings to follow Apple's lead and participate in the new market created by the iPad. I see this as a Good Thing. Within the next 18 months, we can expect both product choice and downward cost pressures which will make the technology broadly accessible and help bridge the digital divide.
- Digital living is here. Wind River participates in the market of device vendors that are trying to connect all the devices in our homes - allowing you to get access to internet content anywhere. In his blog, Schaefer makes allusions to yours truly being an "Apple Fanboy". Yes, I have some of their gear and I like it very much because it works well and delivers on a great usage experience for listening to music, watching videos, sharing pictures, and surfing the web. And, oh yeah... the Apple stuff looks great, too. If the iPad is successful - and I predict it will be - then we will all benefit from the new standard for content sharing and device connectivity that will be set by Apple's innovation and the momentum it has built from the iPhone and iTunes.