The iPad, Much Ado About Nothing –or is it?

Re-posted from My Blog on

I have to admit that when the iPad came out, I was a bit disappointed. I was hoping for a Mac Tablet, much like my former Acer Windows XP tablet. To my dismay, the iPad is a big iPhone/iTouch. Why would I want one? I have an iPhone. What I wanted was a MAC tablet, one that would replace my MacBook. This device simply won’t do. What is the purpose of this device?

So I though of how Apple is always competing with Microsoft and [I] came to the conclusion that a fat PC OS (Operating System) is so old school. The iPad was never meant to compete with Tablet PCs. It is a cloud device and this is a definitely a shot across the bow of Google –the iPad could be a Chrome killer. After all Chrome isn’t a full (fat) OS, it is a light OS and all apps are delivered via the cloud.

Granted hardware specs are inferior to the PC/Mac, but this isn’t a PC or a Mac, it is a simple device. All the processing power is needed on the backend, processing and memory on the iPad should be minimal. After all this isn’t a PC (or MAC) running a full OS and its apps with billions of lines of code!

We should all rethink what the user computing experience should look like. Maybe the [real] computers will go back to the scientists, students, and other technical folks. Most application users simply need a platform to run their applications and in most cases a full computer is overkill. Desktop computing can be replaced with simple cloud computing devices. Something Citrix and other thin computing technology companies have tried to do for years, now with the cloud –thin computing may become a reality.

I applaud Apple for the iPad and they are a true visionary in the cloud. They brought us legal downloadable music at a fair price (iTunes), cloud application delivery with the AppStore, and now they may deliver all kinds of media such as books and magazines. Apple has evolved from the old business of desktop computing into the new business of the cloud.

Re-posted from My Blog on

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Andrew Krzmarzick

You’re not alone in providing an assessment of the iPad, Jerry. Just a couple days ago, another really smart GovLoop’er (Scott Horvath – check him out) posted a blog entry entitled “Apple iPad in My Eye?”. He thinks “Apple is simply testing the market with the device. They know that it could still fail. The first gen versions test the waters to see if they should be coming out with a second version.”

I agree – for the trifecta you mentioned above (Apple, Google, Microsoft), my sense is that it’s all about posturing, making the others nervous, forcing them to release not-quite-finished products, hoping one of them trips in the pursuit of dominance.

Fascinating foot race, eh?

Mike Herrmann

Jerry, and Andrew, I think you’re correct. I just wrote a post about this on MilBook the other day: Apple is using us for R&D purposes.

That being said, I don’t buy the cloud as the desktop argument. I use the cloud as much as the next person, but until connectivity is as cheap and ubiquitous as electricity we simply won’t get there. Think about it: when you’re at the airport and plug your laptop into a wall socket does anyone ask you to pay? Why then are we paying for WiFi? The cloud hype machine is fascinating but predicated on an assumption that people will pay for access to the cloud AND access to the cloud “OS” AND devices to access the cloud. Perhaps business will but the end consumer, for the most part, will not. Case in point: Flickr Pro.


Jerry Rhoads


I agree with you, the cloud for public use is not there yet. I have to admit, when I first bought an iPhone 3 years ago –I didn’t use my mac and pc for about 3 months!

I think the cloud should be approached much like clouds in the sky, many clouds versus one mother cloud. To explain, the clouds should exist on the Corporate or at the Government Agency level (DISA comes to mind). The cloud should live in the datacenters and utilize some public “cloud” services (Google Earth versus ESRI). If we start to look at the cloud as a way to cut costs, starting with Helpdesk/Servicedesk, and Desktop support, then we can start to define cloud computing devices such as an iPad or Google Chrome. The user experience is going to drive the cloud. For example, the last 15 years we’ve tried to use Citrix to run our desktop client server (and local apps) on a farm with a terminal up front (it didn’t really take off).

So here is my closing thought, If the cloud can provide a Star Ship Enterprise terminal that would only perform actions needed by the user for their specific job –we can call thin computing (90’s term), or cloud computing (2000’s term) a success! i.e. let the user experience drive the technology (it worked for Bill Gates)

Matt Zuby

My take is that Apple ipad was an attempt to take market share in the netbook price range. Apple is known as high quality and leading innovation. That costs $$$. In order to reach that lower cost segment, they needed to reduce development costs. Therefore the iPhone OS fits right in to that market. I wish that Apple would have promoted the device as a multimedia tool (music, gaming, web browsing) rather than the best of Netbooks (office productivity) and Phones. Branding really gave consumers the wrong impression, which may be the reason for some backlash