Global CIO: Tablet Vs. Laptop? How About Instant-On Vs. Interminable Boot-Up - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Mobile & Wireless
Commentary
12/20/2010
12:22 PM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
Commentary
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Global CIO: Tablet Vs. Laptop? How About Instant-On Vs. Interminable Boot-Up

The iPhone taught us to crave instant-on, and tablets will make it an expectation. Instant-on will become a must-have in laptops.

The debate's raging over just how thoroughly the tablet's going to crush the PC. Will one out of three tablets that's bought replace a PC, as Goldman Sachs predicts? Or, when it comes to business, will they replace very few PCs, as IT pros predict in our survey?

There's another reaction to the tablet's success that's at least as interesting as how much these devices will replace PCs. I'm at least as interested in how the tablet will change PCs. Adding just one feature, in fact, could blunt some of the tablet's appeal and make the laptop computer far more endearing. It's instant-on.

The iPhone first got us hooked on the instant-on Internet, as really the first mass-market computer to deliver immediate access to the Internet. Before, with our laptops, we had to make the calculation--is this bit of information worth firing up the machine?

The iPad extended that addiction to a more powerful platform for consuming content. When Steve Jobs talked about the development of Apple's newest laptop, the Macbook Air, he described it as bringing the best of the iPad to the laptop. That included bringing in some of the touchscreen functions, via the trackpad. But of all the features Jobs highlighted, only one was the type Apple is famous for-- the kind of feature that gets me to thinking: "Now that would change how I feel about my machine." Yep, it's instant-on.

Will PC makers learn the lesson? Instant-on hasn't been a big priority. There have been variations on instant-on laptops for several years (including a Dell laptop that offered a Linux OS for instant-on alongside a Windows OS), but it has stayed a niche feature. Google considers instant-on one part of Chrome OS's appeal.

Certainly, instant-on is only one part of why the iPad's a phenom. The iPad's a comfortable device for consuming content, particularly when you're kicking back to watch/read/search. In business, it can be a less intrusive tool when you're interacting with someone--a doctor talking with a patient, say, or a salesperson on a show floor.

The message from boffo iPad sales is people want something better than and different from today's laptop, for certain uses. Many people whose jobs require them to create a lot of content don't want a tablet, though; they want to keep their laptop, but they're going to wonder why it can't do some of the tablet's best tricks. In the race to put their own stamp on the tablet, PC makers (and Microsoft) shouldn't forget to bring laptops along as well.

Of course, this could be only one impatient man's take. Does my coveting instant-on only reveal my need to feather back the caffeine and relax? Is instant-on merely a nice-to-have? Or are you with me on this one?

Global CIO small globe Chris Murphy is editor of InformationWeek.

To find out more about Chris Murphy, please visit his page.

For more Global CIO perspectives, check out Global CIO.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
News
COVID-19: Using Data to Map Infections, Hospital Beds, and More
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/25/2020
Commentary
Enterprise Guide to Robotic Process Automation
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  3/23/2020
Slideshows
How Startup Innovation Can Help Enterprises Face COVID-19
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  3/24/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll