On the one hand the debate about the viability of Tablet PCs has been going on for quite some time. On the other hand one could say that the fact there is a debate almost proves the thesis.
However, I’m also convinced that the numerous stumbles that Microsoft and its partner OEMs have made with the Tablet form factor have all but guaranteed that the era of Tablets as we know them now is nearing an end.
Loren has much more to say and you should read his entire post because the key in that paragraph above is “as we know them.” Loren goes on to say that he believes we’re on the cusp of a new generation of Tablets with the iPhone being the first of them, and to a large extent I agree with his thesis.
Things are moving so fast that I think it is impossible to pin down where they might be heading. The year ahead promises to prove interesting with Atom just beginning to roll out and I think that is a key. While we often focus on Microsoft, and now occasionally Apple, about what we’d like to see and what we wish we had, the real focus might need to be on Intel and where it is heading.
As for me, I still hold out hope that the Inkers won’t be forgotten in the current stage of the evolution Loren talks about. It might indeed be time to welcome the next era, but I hope the best part of the last one doesn’t just get left behind.