The recent advance of iPad into laptop functionality is the death of the original necessities which allowed the iPad to create a new market, and it also indicates that traditional Wintels are in deep trouble.
The move from iPad being an iCloud and Internet-focussed device, to being a mouse-driven, personal computer, is Apple’s response to the market wherein people need, want, and are accustomed to interacting with computers in particular ways.
Using Tags, rather than a levelled filing system, is a unique and extremely flexible and useful way of managing documents, but it is certainly not usable or transparent. Setting up Tags is horribly user-intensive, much like CLI terminals, where the user must know how to use what they are doing before proceeding.
With iPadOS, arriving in the second half of 2019, iPads gain the ability to interact with pointing devices and external storage, and a logically accessible filing system just like a Wintel, and in doing so, fundamentally change from niche ‘better than iPhone, better than Mac’, to being better than a Wintel laptop. This is the first death, the death of the original iPad concept.
And the second death is x86.
Several years ago, due mainly to its move to 64bit processing, Apple’s Ax ARM-based processors began approaching, then matching, and now exceeding, the processing capabilities of the decrepit and ghastly x86 CPUs produced Intel and AMD, and upon which Windows is founded.
Microsoft’s clumsy effort with Surface RT and its total lack of focus on the future of technology gave ample evidence of zero foresight, and incompetent platform management. Gates may be lauded for creating his anti-competitive empire by shills, but his company has all the market leadership of Google, i.e. not much.
The complex interplay between technology and human nature is playing out right now in the global capitalist economy where money talks – and people with money are paying for Apple and its products; people with no money are resorting to adware from Google, leaving a whole market of resentful and dissatisfied people resorting to Windows.
With the repeated failures of Microsoft to develop a customer base, and Intel to advance tech as fast as Apple, this is the proof is that Wintels are not generating sufficient profit to stay at the forefront of computing. As this market continues shrinking, fewer companies will remain solvent, resulting in fewer options, and less profit.
The continued success of iPad’s expanding market base conversely indicates even more future funds for iPad-only research and development, and by acquiring Wintel-like functionality, that market will expand even faster. Intel is already several generations behind Apple, such as with 7nm processes, Neural Engine functionality and sufficient GPU power, and this distance will only continue to increase.
The Mac is the most profitable computing section of the global computer market today, and iPad is three times larger than Mac in customer base. In releasing iPadOS, Apple has repositioned the worlds only capable tablet as a true personal computer, which has all the necessary elements in place to continue advancing well after other hardware makers have succumbed to unprofitability.
Most damningly, despite watching Apple for the past 20 years, the ‘management’ team at Microsoft, and Facebook and Google for that matter, are continuing to apply a ‘kill the messenger’ philosophy, regularly lying about their products and ignoring customer needs.
As a case in point, too many times today my boss said ‘I don’t know why it’s doing that, it’s Word’, and ‘I know how to do that without a mouse’. Microsoft released touch functionality for XP, then focussed Win8 specifically based on touch, then a few years ago released Office specifically for iOS, yet users still do not know how to easily add a column without extending the table off the side of the document.
His only recourse is to say that ‘everyone uses Word for business’, to which I accused him of beaten housewife syndrome. But seriously, if this is Microsoft’s approach to software development and user interface design, it’s as if the company has a death wish. Or is complacent to the point of coma.
So while Apple has essentially evolved iPad past being a tablet and into a full personal computer, with genius insight and stunning effect, Job’s original concept of iPad has ended. Yet concurrently, iPad’s success and profitability positions it as the successor to the deeply flawed x86 and its Windows monopoly platform.
Perhaps there will be a niche market for x86 backwards compatible computing in ten year’s time, probably due to all the poor souls who bought into Azure, but IBM’s awkward and clumsy oaf of a CPU architecture is way past its due-by date, and Microsoft’s awkward, clumsy, and insipid software isn’t fit for e-dog food.
Excellent work, Apple!