The emergence of ‘post-PC’. So what about laptop computers?
Of late, many high-profile companies are spinning around this “post-PC” term influenced by the introduction and popularity of tablet computers or other similar form factors that was popularised by Apple’s iPad tablet computer.
Of course, most of us still primarily use real computers such as laptops, desktops or netbooks (which can still do far more than most tablet computers can do that do not run Windows), but with introducing Windows 8 at BUILD, Microsoft is obviously very serious about the market Apple and Google are enjoying right now – and that is the tablet/touchscreen form factor market.
Steve Ballmer has constantly said that tablet computers are just another form factor of “PCs” (referring to computers in general), and if you bring Windows 8 into the equation, they will be. And I think Windows 8 will work wonders on many different computer form factors – pure tablets obviously, but also with laptops and all in one computers that can be adjusted to make it comfortable to use as a pure tablet device.
A primary example to give context to what I mean is Dell’s Inspiron Duo netbook with a screen that can be flipped to act as a pure tablet computer. Of course, with Windows 7 it doesn’t feel the same as using an Apple iPad or Android tablet computer, but it is an example of where things could head for laptop computers. I’d personally love to have a laptop that I can flip from being a laptop to a touchscreen device with a similar design to the Inspiron Duo, or perhaps the screen being able to glide inwards to the palmrest/keyboard area to be able to act as a large tablet computer – taking into consideration 14” or 15” laptops here.
This could also work for all in one computers and standalone monitors. Again, Microsoft has phrased that “computers without touchscreens are dead” (referring to the future here but with Windows 8 nonetheless).
I don’t know about you but I am definitely looking forward to Windows 8 and the great ideas manufacturers may have to make Windows 8 work great on laptops and desktop computers with standalone monitors.
With the current tablet computers on the market, they are really just portable, mobile devices. The iPad is great to surf the web, watch movies, listen to music, play games, what have you – but people constantly say it isn’t a great device for content creation or a lot of writing (unless you have an external Bluetooth keyboard) and it’s obviously because it is a mobile device. Primarily because of the screen size but also because of the operating system – iOS. Windows 8 has really taken on this user interface and is heavily copying it’s great Windows Phone user interface language to incorporate it into Windows 8; and this is the user interface we’ve all been asking for specifically for tablet computers. And the fact Microsoft has announced Windows 8 will work on ARM is further proof they are very serious about tablet computing and the so-called “post-PC” era.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens.