A Conversation with a Reader about Tablet PCs and Tablets Part 3

This is the third is a series of posts that encompass an email conversation with a GBM reader about Tablet PCs and Tablets. The reader has given me permission to post the conversation but wishes to remain anonymous. You can find the first two parts of the conversation here and here.



Thanks for taking the time to respond to this. I find the discussion both enlightening and frustrating. I buy what you say about the possibilities for paradigm shifts and where we are with that, but to be honest, I’m not that interested. They don’t work in my case. Or at least I don’t think they will. I’m a creature of habit and when I find something I like I stick with it through thick and thin. I need inking as I have described and I don’t want to see that go away. I’d be thrilled if the new Tablets would incorporate it but that doesn’t seem to be a priority at the moment, as you point out.

Your broader perspective on the industry is really frightening when I think about it, because it cuts the consumer’s needs out of the picture.

So, tell me, honestly. Do you prefer Inking no an iPad or on a Tablet PC? Doesn’t it make you angry that things have gone the way they seem to have gone?

My response

Honestly, as I’ve said many times before Inking on a Tablet PC is far and away a superior experience to what it is on the iPad currently. Does it make me angry? Well, yes. But then, I’m pragmatic and I realize that the folks making the decisions are playing a game of chase the dollar more than anything else. And right now everyone is convinced the prize is with Tablets that don’t feature Inking as a big part of the picture.

I’ve also said the following before as well. Don’t be surprised if someday (not in the immediate future) that Inking makes a comeback. There are only so many ways to innovate with the devices we now have. In order to play chase the buck companies need to try and one up each other. HTC is giving it a go with the Flyer. I bet others will as well. I’ve also said that I won’t be surprised if Apple isn’t the one that makes this actually work someday in the future. But that’s down the road, if ever.

So here’s a question back at you. If you’re happy with a Tablet PC in terms of getting your work done, why do you express such dissatisfaction with the current state of the Tablet scape?

Reader response

That’s a good question. And it made me think. I guess my frustration is that blogs like GBM are falling all over the latest and greatest and ignoring Tablet PCs. I know you guys cover what’s new and coming, but some love towards Tablet PCs now and again would be nice. I know you need to post what gets you traffic so don’t come back at me with that.  Although I understand what is going on, it makes it hard to feel like you guys are covering what I want to read. Call me selfish, but that’s the heart of it.

My response

I buy your feelings there and I will come back at you a bit about driving traffic. In order for GBM cover anything we need to bring traffic to the site. That’s  a cut and dry response, but it is more than that. In my view, (and I’m not speaking for others here, just myself) everything that is currently happening in the market affects what we are calling Tablet PCs in this discussion. Unfortunately, for those who love them, the effects seem to be more negative than positive. We’re covering that developing story as it evolves. Or at least we’re trying to. Someone mentioned in the comments to this series about the number of MVPs we have and have had on the site. I think it is telling that those of us who had received that distinction here are blogging about the market the way we are.

That said, I think you’d find any one of us jumping up and down for joy if Microsoft pulled a rabbit out of its hat (or got its head out of its butt) and came up with a workable Tablet that had Inking at its core. But we obviously don’t see that happening in the near future. And that’s not because we are privy to any information as MVPs. We aren’t.

You passion and ours (at elate mine) are the same. There’s been a definite decline in coverage of Tablet PCs. We’re attempting to cover what is causing that decline in the context of what’s new and how what’s new affects what exists. We may not always put that in the proper context, but I think that’s what is going on.

My advice, and you can take it or leave it, is to enjoy what makes you happy about using a Tablet PC. I almost added, “while you can”, but that’s probably overly pessimistic on my part. That said, while you’re doing so, think ahead a bit and examine the ever changing context. Change is inevitable and if using Digital Ink is as important to you as you state, you might want to explore alternatives as they are being first offered. Then again you might not.  Again, I know that isn’t satisfactory, but it is what it is in my view.

Thanks for pushing back on all of this and allowing me to run this as a series of posts. I think our readers really appreciate the conversation.