I consider the iPad a very negative force. Apple is taking the close system of iPhone and moving it up to tablets. What’s the next move? Desktops? That’s very scary! Imagine a world where Steve Jobs is the final word on which programs people can and can’t run. If that happens, the dark ages of computers will have started, and who knows how long they’ll last.
Now there’s a very good side effect to the iPad. People is starting to spend a lot of time on non-Windows computers. No, this is not a rant against Microsoft.
There was a time when we had many operating systems and people use to choose. Different machines came with different operating systems. Then Microsoft dominated the market and there was one and only one operating system. For a time there was even only one browser. That hinders innovation.
Microsoft Windows obviously failed on phones and tablets. Apple, first with the iPhone and now with the iPad, opened those markets. Now people is talking about how great WebOS (Palm’s operating system) would be on a tablet (made by HP). Nobody would have though of a non-Windows tablet if Apple haven’t done it before. Also Android tablets are coming. Microsoft is rebooting its phone efforts, without Windows this time; and maybe they’ll reboot their tablet efforts too. At any rate Microsoft won’t dominate that market and certainly not Windows.
The only company capable of dominating phones and tablets is Apple; and they are not set to dominate it. Apple makes one and only one product, with no variations. If you want something different (a USB port, a memory card reader, a camera, porn, a cheaper product, whatever) you go to a competitor. Apple makes a lot of money by making the luxury products, not by selling it to everybody.
I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch a very competitive market where four players are so will be constantly innovating trying to win users over.