Wozniak: Tablet is the PC for 'normal people'

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Macworld reports on Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak's keynote session at Storage Networking World in California. Wozniak was questioned about how tablets would change the computer industry.

The tablet is not necessarily for the people in this room, Wozniak told the audience of enterprise storage engineers. Its for the normal people in the world, Wozniak said.

I think Steve Jobs had that intention from the day we started Apple, but it was just hard to get there, because we had to go through a lot of steps where you connected to things, and (eventually) computers grew up to where they could do ... normal consumer appliance things, Wozniak said.

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124 months ago

I'm not buying a tablet until there is one that runs mac OS X (the modbook is too expensive) :D
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I'm still a firm believer tablet computers need to come with the following to be considered "standard":
1) Soliataire
2) Minesweaper
3) Disk Defrag
4) A CD Burner

Other than that I do think Woz's comments were right on the money.
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125 months ago
I felt the same way as Woz when the iPad was first announced. A great product for my wife but not for me, I need my macbook.

Then I was assigned to develop iPad apps and got one. My wife still doesn't have one, but I won't leave home without mine. I can remote into my home or work mac when needed, have all my music and video and docs with me always.

Sure, I won't write code on it but for pretty much everything else this is it. Basically it is a window into the world, erasable paper, portable media.

I've also got a blackberry, a windows phone, a Galaxy, a Dell Streak and a Xoom on my desk right now (and a Playbook on the way) and just can't understand how they all missed the mark when Apple has been showing them the way for the past year.

I've become a believer in the iPad.
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125 months ago

I don't think it needs 5 years, the hardware is already powerful enough to handle image editing and sorting it just needs a well designed app and someway of assessing wireless storage.


Don't think just hardware though - Even though the hardware will continue to evolve, the software has a long way to go as well. They have really been making some great strides lately but still have much to do.

In addition, people's usage habits will continue to evolve. My Mom doesn't do much more than email, web, word processing and photo browsing. Does she really need a big box to do that? I see a tablet sitting in a dock connected to a keyboard/mouse and possibly an external monitor. Works just as well as that big box. Then she can pick it up and use it as a tablet when she doesn't need the keyboard.

All the pieces are falling into place but I have to agree that five years is a pretty good timeline. In ten things are really going to get interesting. ;)
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125 months ago
Once again, this is the start of the tablet era. Don't think of it in terms of the iPad we have in 2011. Think of it in terms of the iPad of 2020. That will blow the doors off anything we know today. It will sync to the cloud, will have voice input, far better keyboard input, connect to every other device you own, and no, I don't know how but I will enjoy watching it unfold.

By 2020 the vast majority of consumers will think of a tablet as their computer and only specialists will get anything like what we call a computer today.

By the way, people own lots of computers today. They just call them the phone, the DVR, the ...
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125 months ago

I definitely have to disagree with him. Typing on a touch screen just makes me angry...


The average normal person should not be touch typing. Before computers, the majority of homes did not have a typewriter. Most businessman did not have a typewriter on their desk either (their secretaries did), and certainly not a keypunch machine. This keyboard everywhere UI has only been common for 3 decades and hopefully will be gone in a lot less than another 3 decades. The popular tablets (PalmPilot, iPad) are good first steps.
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125 months ago

What iPad user can't figure out how to use iTunes to sync the thing? My 65-year old mother figured out how to sync her iPod classic. How is iPad syncing any different or more complicated than what people have been doing for a decade? iPad does not require a tech genius - or 12 year old kid - to keep it working.

It's not about figuring it out. It's about having a computer period. A normal person doesn't own multiple computers. He owns a computer. He might not even have bought it himself, and certainly won't maintain multiple computers (nor will the person who gifted the computer). So once the tablet is the normal person's computer, it's going to be the only one he's using. Telling him he needs a second computer just to use his primary computer is unacceptable.

Example: My mom has a computer. It was a Christmas present from me one year. But now it's old, full of crap, and needs replacing. But instead of upgrading it, I got her an iPad. It meets all her computer needs (except printing). That old clunker is in no shape to run iTunes; it's hard drive isn't even as large as the iPad's! I certainly won't be upgrading her desktop just to let her sync her iPad, nor will she when she's happy using just the iPad. She gets updates on the occasions that I visit with my MBP.

The system works well enough; her iPad is her sole computer. But it requires that I, the tech relative, keep it updated.
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