Let’s settle down on the fandom

Now, before people start calling me an Apple fanboy and Microsoft hater, let’s get a few things straight. I do indeed own an iPad and I love it. I think it’s an insanely useful and convenient device that lets me have a laptop computer in my hands at all times with a 10th of the weight and heat coming off of it. I also have an iPod Touch which I love and think is incredibly cool. Not only is it fantastic for songs, but the range of apps it offers me is almost mind-boggling. It’s a mini computer right there in the palm of my hand. However, there is no Mac desktop in my life (at least not yet), no Macbook Air, or iMac or any other Mac desktop or laptop. In fact, the last Apple products I owned were an Apple IIe and an Apple II+. Yeah, it goes back that far.

I’ve used Microsoft products since the Dos 3.3 days. I used Windows 3.1, WFW 3.11, NT4 and so on. I used Win95 in its beta stages and have seen and worked with just about every beta version of Windows since 95. All my desktop and laptop machines use some version of Windows. I think Microsoft has had a lot of hits and misses with their OSes. I still think NT4 Workstation was one of the best operating systems Microsoft ever made. It was streamlined and very resilient. Apps might crash, but the OS kept going.

Did Apple invent the tablet? Nope. But, neither did Microsoft. Microsoft did indeed have a big splash with Windows XP Tablet Edition in 2003, but it just didn’t take off. The hardware was bulky and the idea of turning the screen around on a full sized laptop just didn’t appeal to too many people. Plus, all those damn screens on the Toshiba’s kept breaking. Eventually the stupid thing wouldn’t lock correctly.

Let’s not forget though that before there was XP Tablet there was in fact the Newton, the device I would consider to be Apple’s first tablet. And quite frankly, a flop. It was a bulky PDA that had handwriting recognition, a stylus and a rudimentary black on yellow screen. It didn’t support color or much of anything else really. It was a tablet though.

Despite that, they both owe their origins to Xerox. So saying Apple or Microsoft is the innovator of the tablet is misleading. They’ve both built upon other’s work.

Do I like the iPad? Hell yes.

Do I like the Microsoft tablet? Oh wait …

Do I like Mac OSX? No.

Do I like Windows 7 or Vista? No.

There are things about Microsoft and Apple I like and dislike. Apple is no golden child I tell you what. If you say Microsoft is guilty of something as far as monopolies go, then Apple is just as guilty. Do I think Microsoft has done some good things? Oh yeah, I like their Server products. Windows 2008, Exchange and SQL are very good. Is Apple flawless? Oh heavens no. The iPad is great, but there is no denying it’s overpriced as hell.

Ironically, Microsoft and Apple both have a lot of work to do to make their desktop OS more accessible and useful. At this point, I don’t like either one. I think Windows on a tablet is a stupid idea. And iOS on a desktop is a pain in the ass to use. Where the hell is the compromise?

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