Microsoft and Apple Tablets, pens and swords

It doesn’t really matter whether I take a look at Microsoft’s (MS) Courier dual screen booklet/tablet or Apple’s itablet; I quickly arrive at the same conclusion. I will explain as I go through this article. Obviously, an official statement has not been made by either camp and nor have the names for both products been released as yet.

It was in 2001 when I enthusiastically unwrapped my Windows tablet complete with stylus. I was enthused as I had imagined my world to be free of paper and totally digital. The price I paid for the tablet was probably equivalent to 2500 paper notebooks but I didn’t really care as I was too tunnel visioned by the allure of the future promised by this technology and the MS marketing hype.

I spent some time mastering the stylus functionality and went to my first board meeting. This was the first time I felt a misfit. It suddenly dawned on me that I was the only one in the room with a tablet. The meeting started while I was being scanned by all these eyes that seemed to be under a trance by the tablet. It was just great, I was writing notes and didn’t have to retype them either as the handwriting to type function would quickly create a document for me when I needed it. Then it happened. The tablet crashed. The meeting continued and as I started taking notes on my paper notebook, I realised the trance had been broken, replaced by bewilderment. The tablet rebooted but it was too late, I decided to continue to write on paper.

Well, why am I sharing this with you? I am not at all convinced that these new technologies will be as successful as the iphone or can convince people to part with our love for writing on paper. That said, I would love to be proven wrong as there is a big part of me that wants to use a digital equivalent, if it is indeed practical enough.

Here is my list of reasons why I think these technologies can’t replace our love for paper and why the pen will remain mightier than the tablet and sword: 

  1. I don’t need to start the pen and paper.
  2. If I drop the pen/paper, it doesn’t break or stop working.
  3. Paper does not need to be rebooted.
  4. It is considerably cheaper.
  5. The next version of paper is always the same.
  6. The next version of paper does not require retraining.
  7. Nobody wants to steal my paper notebook.
  8. I know how to locate my information contained within my paper notebook.
  9. I don’t need to migrate my entries in the paper notebook to the next version.
  10. My paper notebook seems at home in any boardroom (for now, anyway).

I could probably go on but you get the picture.

Would you like to add to my list or defend the new technology? Feel free to add your comments; I do look forward to reading them.


About mubbisherahmed
I am passionate about IT and its ability to deliver cost effective, value for money solutions that can enhance performance and in many cases provide competitive advantage by using a range of solutions and approaches in innovative ways.

One Response to Microsoft and Apple Tablets, pens and swords

  1. Shakil Ashraf says:

    While i have had little experience in using the tablet, i was never taken to it when it was released. That was more than 5 years ago. I know have and use an iphone 3gs and can honestly it has become an artificial limb.
    The main feature of the iphone is its acurate touch technology, which leads onto its simplicity useage and most fun feature packed smart phone released this decade.
    On the basis of the above i would look forward to Apple’s tablet. If its modelled in the same quality as the iphone then it will contribute to a selective market faithful to all things with style, looks and more importantly useability.

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