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What’s In A Name? Loren Heiny Wonders



rose Loren Heiny is wondering what Tablet PCs would be called if they were released today. NetTablet? NetWriter? Hmm? I’m not sure, nor am I sure if it would make any difference. Remember for awhile it seemed that Netbooks were called just about anything from Mini-Notebooks to UMPCs and that created some confusion, at least in my mind.

Loren wonders if there would be more success if they launched today with something that sounded Netbookish about them as he correctly points out that naming conventions do follow trends. I’m guessing the name wouldn’t make much difference as to acceptance, regardless of the convention. That said, I’m also thinking about just how much of an impact Netbooks have had on all segments of the mobile market for Loren to be pondering the way he is.




  1. Sumocat

    12/02/2008 at 9:13 am

    Personally, I'd prefer if we reclaimed the term "notebook" or "true notebook" for Tablet PCs, but for (realistic) marketing purposes, I'd go with "notepad". It shows a tie to the notebook term, implies the typically smaller form factor, and denotes a usage difference.

    Or we could stick with the "book" naming convention and go with "sketchbook" to denote the pen or "touchbook" since dual-touch has become the norm. Or maybe something more whimsical, like "ideabook" or "mindbook." Oh, what about "workbook?" Light and thin, implies a level of constructive work, and you write in them. Yeah, forget notepad; workbook is my pick.

  2. TabletLawStudent

    12/02/2008 at 9:49 am

    He may be on to something. Awareness for tablets is small compared to people's awareness of netbooks. Many people at my school had never seen a tablet before they saw me using mine. And recently I have had people ask me if this were one of those new 'netbook things.'

  3. Stuart

    12/02/2008 at 9:51 am

    I see nothing wrong with the name "tablet pc" or just "tablet". I look at the naming convention of the "XP Tablet PC Edition" as the biggest problem. There is no "XP ULCPC Edition" or "XP Netbook Edition" that somehow only runs on a netbook. Only to be lost when moving onto Vista. The previous definition of a tablet pc as being a pc that runs XP Tablet PC edition seemed circular and has, in my mind, caused some confusion. Then again, maybe "Pen PC" or "Surface" since you interact with the surface of it…but I guess that's taken now.

  4. David

    12/03/2008 at 1:34 am

    I'll confess that the third grader in me tittered at this. Someone named Loren *Heiny* is probably well qualified to opine on the nature of names, having surely been ribbed about his as a kid.

  5. GoodThings2Life

    12/03/2008 at 1:49 am

    A rose by any other name… I really don't understand why the discussion comes up so often, because the answers is, has been, and will be a simple one until something significant changes– MARKETING. If a technology isn't marketed well, it won't be adopted well.

    Good grief people, every tech site in the world is praising the netbook as a technology savior (why does the comparison sound familiar to me…), so of course everyone wants one. The real test, however, will be longevity and how many people are still loving them in a few years.

    Meanwhile, who talks about the Tablet PC other than Tablet PC enthusiast sites like GBM, jkOTR, and Sumocat Scribbles (etc)? And Engadget, Gizmodo, CNET, and ZDNet don't count since they are usually bashed/criticized there…

    Actually, I really like Sumocat's name suggestions, but until Microsoft or Apple or whoever really wants to start marketing them, they'll stay right where they are.

  6. segalsegal

    12/03/2008 at 2:56 am

    If tablets were introduced today they would also have phones and they'd be positioned as being like the iPhone only bigger. So they'd be called bigPhone or tabletPhones or something that would convey that image.

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