I’ve long had the opinion that consumer PC market is due for a major overhaul. The problem: Normal people hate computers. They do, it’s a fact, and I don’t blame them. I hate computers myself sometimes.
Nobody likes having a desk in their house taking up space. It’s uncomfortable, anti-social, and just play ugly. We’ve modified people’s natural environment to accommodate for the PC.
PCs were developed by nerds, for nerds. Windows was not developed for the consumer market, even though they may have marketed it that way. The iPad was developed for people who don’t like computers, and they will love it.
This is the beginning of the end of computers for normal people. I’m not saying the iPad will necessarily bulldoze Windows off the map, but it will be known as the product that started the ball rolling.
Unfortunately, Microsoft have painted themselves into a corner by chaining themselves to the desk. Latching onto Windows is isolating Microsoft to enterprise software (even the Courier tablet is enterprise). Windows, as it is currently, cannot be their consumer OS.
As hopefully Ballmer understands, Window OS market share is not the only thing that is at stake here for Microsoft. Losing the consumer market OS also isolates the Xbox. Make no mistake Apple’s eyes are getting bigger and bigger, and pretty soon they will attack that big screen in your living room. Apple will offer media, games, and applications that will sync to all devices. Why buy an Xbox when it can’t play my iTunes movies? (Also, Mom and Dad would buy an Apple TV, but they wouldn’t buy an Xbox or a PS3.)
Can Microsoft fight back? Absolutely, and I really hope they do. The worst thing that can happen is that Apple becomes a Monopoly for consumer devices. (I also really hope Google digs into the consumer market more, but I’ll save that maybe for another post.)
In order for Microsoft to fight back they need media. Media, media, media. Music, video, games. How can you sell consumer devices without our precious media? Invent a new form of media for all I care, just give us what we want. Break me from my crappy internet media experience, and from my crappy TV viewing experience. Make it simple and make it transferable to new devices. Oh, and do it SOON.
That PC in the office is going to start collecting cobwebs in a lot of houses. The only question is who will control your living room?
(Edit: I just read this post by Techcrunch which explain really well why the iPad will be a success. I completely agree… but dammit I still want a camera on it)