It seems that the folks at Microsoft aren’t at all worried about Apple’s upcoming tablet, the recently officially announced iPad, with the company’s official line on the device being that they find it to be “humorous.”
The recent tablet announcement from apple puts in a curious situation, when you take it all into account. Microsoft tried desperately around 2000-2002 to launch the tablet, notebook PC as a real option for the average user, though in those days tablets were clunkier things with stylus’ and usually full keyboards. Skip forward almost ten years, and Apple is launching its own tablet, while Microsoft shows some renewed interest in the area that it seemed to have long since given up as a niche with the new line of “slate” styled PCs.
Of course, since then we’ve had the netbook revolution, which pared down just what people expected to see from an ultra-portable machine but established a few core tenets. We’ve also seen the rise of the capacitive-touch-based smartphone in a way that might very well have seen impossible in those early tablet days.
It’s certainly a bit of an about face, but when Microsoft uses the term humorous, it’s not in description of any of those strange little twists of fate, but in the platform that Apple’s new device has been built on. Indeed, according to Technologizer the quote from Microsoft’s Brandon Watson, Microsoft’s director of product management, said of the device that,
“It is a humorous world in how Microsoft is much more open than Apple.”
While it’s an odd remark to have made, it’s a fairly commonly made criticism being passed around – that Apple’s iPad ushers the stringent App Store approval policies onto another device, and one that’s just that little bit closer to being a full-fledged computer (how strange it is to type the word “computer” and realise it’s not often used anymore).