Rob Bushway wrote a great post on “the year of the tablet” and I think he’s right on the money. Our emphasis shouldn’t be on the tablet per se, it should be on the experience that ink and a convertible or slate form factor brings. That experience adds significant productivity and even entertainment value. Rob writes:
I believe focusing on "Tablet this" and "Tablet that" is really selling short the future of inking in a multitude of devices. The hardware will happen over time. What we are really interested in is transparency in inking functionality throughout the mobile experience from ultra-mobile device to 17" laptop, from Windows Mail to Outlook, to Search boxes to the Inking on the desktop. Whether that device is a slate, a convertible notebook, touch computer, or an ultra-mobile pc, it doesn't matter. We enjoy the ink experience and see the productivity benefits of it [emphasis added].
He’s on the button. I have a passing interest in technology, but I have an abiding interest in what works to help me get stuff done. Last week I was at our annual field conference in Slovenia. During one free/meal time I showed up with my Moleskine journal instead of my tablet. Someone asked me, “Oh, are you giving up on technology?” “No,” I said, “this is just a better tool for this context.” Normally, I always have with me either my journal, my Sony CLIE or my tablet PC, depending on the context…depending on what I need to do and where. Today, for example, I spent the morning in a village looking over some home construction/renovation we’re doing as an organization. I can’t take my tablet out there, but my Moleskine is perfect. That’s where the mobile computer trend is heading: more and more appropriate for a given context.
Check out this chart that Rob included in his post. It’s from the Moble Platform Division Briefing at Microsoft:
It’s clear that in the minds of the MPD folks the trend is only getting more “personal” more ubiquitous. But focus is not on “tablet,” but on usability. Bring it on.