Friday, June 10, 2011

Will Tablets Rule the Computer World?

The tablet market is growing and people want to be able to move freely around with their computers. Apple released the ground breaking iPad tablet on March 2010 and since then many companies have created competing devices. At first it seemed as if the tablet would take market share from mobile devices such as mobile phones. While the tablets have large screens, they are still able to fit in most bags and could persuade frequent mobile users to upgrade. Samsung, Motorola and LG all created tablet computers to try to keep their place in the mobile market. However up to now Apple has still managed to hold a large section of the market and aims to expand it with their recent iPad 2.

Mobile phones aren’t the only devices that may feel their market share shrink from the introduction of tablets. Netbooks, the small laptops first introduced by Asus, are also fighting tablets for market share. Both devices are portable computers that can access the internet and emails on the go. While the netbooks are generally cheaper and contain keyboards, the tablets have touch screens and are generally smaller and lighter. Which device somebody chooses will be down to what the users wants from the machine. The fashion conscious are likely to choose the iPad as it has become a status symbol. Netbooks are generally bought by older and lower income families or people that want a computer to carry around.

As tablets start to take market share away from netbooks, it seems laptops and computers will be next. Microsoft currently has over 92% of the computer o.s. market and can see that tablets have the possibility to topple their empire. While at the moment tablets are usually used for entertainment purposes, Apple could turn these devices into a key way for businesses to interact. With built in webcams, email and internet the tablet only needs a keyboard and office software to challenge Microsoft. To counter this Microsoft has shown off Windows 8, their new touch screen operating system. The O.S. has been made for tablets, laptops, netbooks and desktop computers. It combines the complexity of windows with a touch screen menu that is reminiscent of their mobile software. Whether the computer, tablet and mobile can become one device is a complex question but looking at the recent movements of Microsoft maybe it’s possible.