Why IT buyers are Excited About Convertibles and Hybrids

by Tim Bajarin   |   December 7th, 2012

[dc]W[/dc]hen Steve Jobs introduced the iPad in 2010, he went to great pains to emphasize that the iPad was mainly for content and media consumption. Interestingly, he never even suggested that it could also be used for any form of productivity. But in a subtle way, he did push its role in productivity. That came via a very short announcement handled by Apple’s Sr. VP of marketing, Phil Schiller when he stated that Apple would also create versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote for the iPad when it launched.

From the iPad’s entry into the marketplace, consumers immediately determined that they would like to have productivity apps and business related programs, along with their music, videos and basic email. Within two months of its launch, companies like SAP, Oracle, Salesforce.com and many others started to buy iPads and began writing business related apps as a part of their pilot programs. Also, many IT managers anticipated quite correctly that the iPad would be added to the list of consumer devices they would need to support based on the BYOD trends that started with smartphones.

Of course, the key to supporting smartphones and tablets in IT is MDM (mobile device management) software. Apple was smart enough to put hooks available for most 3rd party MDM programs thus making it possible to adopt iPads within IT programs relatively quickly. Surprisingly, Google and its Android OS did not architect these hooks in early releases of this OS and consequently, it missed the early stages of IT integration of tablets into their programs. Only recently has Google addressed this issue and we should see more Android tablets being modestly accepted into IT deployments in the future.

Once the iPad got into business settings, the work-flow of a user changed. In the past, they would take a laptop to meetings and use it to access information they might need for that meeting. But once the iPad came out, the laptop stayed on the desk and instead they took the iPad with them. This is especially true for companies who wrote their own programs so all of the key data a person might need in a meeting was available now on their iPad too.

But there is one technology developed for the iPad that I don’t think Apple anticipated. Almost from the beginning, Bluetooth keyboards designed specifically for the iPad started showing up. Over time, companies like Logitech created keyboards that even look like a cover for the iPad in its design as they did with their Logitech Ultrathin keyboard cover. In fact, the addition of a keyboard to an iPad virtually assured that an iPad could now be a real productivity tool in its own right.

But there is an 80%-20% rule that is in play here that makes life for IT managers more difficult. This rule states that 80% of what you can do on a laptop can now be done on a tablet. However, that 20% is tied to what we call heavy lifting tasks, such as graphic design, large spreadsheets, data management, creating major reports or documents, etc. The bottom line is that business users still need a laptop or desktop even if they have a tablet to supplement more of their mobile computing needs during the day.
This means that they now have to support a laptop, tablet and/or smartphone, and with many of these coming in the back door via BYOD (bring your own device).

New Corporate Hardware

In our research discussions with some IT managers, they have told us that they would like to minimize the amount of products that they support and are seriously eyeing what we call hybrids or convertibles that can do heavy lifting, yet serve as a truly mobile tablet in a single device. We define convertibles as a tablet/laptop combo where the screen does not detach, such as Lenovo’s Yoga. Hybrids we define as tablet/keyboard solutions where the screen does detach and serves by itself as a pure slate tablet. At the moment the industry interchanges these definitions but that should sort it self out in the near future.

The Good News and the Bad News

The good news is that the PC OEMs also saw this demand and consumer/IT interest in these types of products and are all moving forward with innovative designs. Lenovo, HP, Dell, Acer and others all have solid offerings in place that give the IT directors an option to have a single device that works as a full PC as well as a stand alone tablet. Given IT managers desire to streamline the amount of products they have to support, we believe that hybrids and convertibles are a sleeper device that will be in great demand next year by business users of all types, including SMB. It would not surprise us if consumers who want to do more productivity on their laptops increase the demand for hybrids and convertibles as well.

The bad news for these OEMs is that this could impact demand for traditional laptops in the future. The PC market has declined this year and its growth going forward will be anemic at best. Tablets have been a major disruptor in many ways. For example, consumers tell us if they can do 80% of what they do on a laptop now on their tablet, they may just extend the life of their current PC or laptop since it mostly sits idle. Or, if they do buy a new laptop or PC, they will buy a cheap one with updated processors and memory knowing full well it will be used less and less as tablets meet most of their needs.

But for IT managers, merging the two into one has a lot of merit for them, especially if the hybrids and convertibles have enough power and battery life to handle the heavy lifting tasks that will continue to be important to a business user. The fact that these products will be serviced as a single device, instead of two, is a key reason that we believe hybrids and convertibles will become a major growth segment in IT sales. It would not surprise us if savvy consumers move in this direction too since a dual-purpose product in many ways can be attractive to them to for similar support and economic reasons.

Tim Bajarin

Tim Bajarin is the President of Creative Strategies, Inc. He is recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, analysts and futurists covering the field of personal computers and consumer technology. Mr. Bajarin has been with Creative Strategies since 1981 and has served as a consultant to most of the leading hardware and software vendors in the industry including IBM, Apple, Xerox, Compaq, Dell, AT&T, Microsoft, Polaroid, Lotus, Epson, Toshiba and numerous others.
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001035136448 Sihan Zheng

    I’ve used 3 generations of convertibles (xp, vista, 7)
    I LOVE them. The only two issues with older convertibles were thickness/weight, and non-touch friendly OS.
    Well, both issues are being solved, Lenovo’s Thinkpad Twist is pretty thin, and windows 8 is touch friendly.

  • http://twitter.com/M_Gauche James King

    When I first saw the ASUS Transformer, even though it was running Android, I knew I was looking at the future of the PC. The potential for hybrids/convertibles to change the game and inject new life into the PC market was and is apparent but, like much of the innovation in the traditional PC space, it has been hamstrung by Microsoft, both historically and with the kludgey mess that is Windows 8.

    It’s apparent that Microsoft is the roadblock to real innovation in the traditional PC space. A great OS that could “transform” based on form factor would have hybrids/convertibles flying off the shelves. Instead, MSFT just grafted a touch UI onto the same stale version of Windows its been pedaling for years, turning it into FrankenOS. If Windows 8 acted like two distinct environments instead of a mishmash of two completely incompatible paradigms, it might be a different story. A lightweight OS for touch when I need it and a powerful OS for heavy-duty computing when I want it. That means pure Metro as a tablet and the full desktop in laptop mode. Instead, Metro is everywhere, even when I don’t need it.

    There’s no excuse for Microsoft continuing to rehash the same stale Windows junk. A new face in the PC OS space is long overdue.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1042792179 Brian M. Monroe

      James, I agree 100% I would also add in Intel the mix of roadblock companies too. The WinTel alliance was ok in the 1990′s but now it has lost its way. The problem with Intel is that they have held back motherboard designs and not allowed us to have devices that are smarter and aware of where they are. We should have had GPS chips on laptops for years so that corporate IT departments and online vendors could put geo-fences around their companies and have policies that change based on where the device was.

      I do like your idea of a transforming OS based on what the device is attached to. I could even add in that the fonts and graphics could get larger if it was on a big screen making it easier to read on TV’s. There are so many ideas on how this coudl work that are supperior to the way that Windows 8 aka FrankenOS does it.

      When I 1st saw the Surface with Windows RT on it i was worried. Then when I saw that it had a desktop mode that was NOT touch optimized I could see the scam that it is. Control-Alt-Delete on a tablet = FAIL in my book. Also, You could tell that Microsoft wanted to have a touch version of Office but they knew that they had to ship what they had and that was just a re-compiled for ARM version of Office. This is why I am 100% positive that Microsoft will not have a version of Office for iOS or Android any time soon.

      Going for the embrace and extend thing that Microsoft has done has worked for them in the past but will cost them in the end as they can not port Office to iOS or Android easily and when they do get a version of Office for iOS or Android the competitors will have had years of a head start on making true touch optimized versions of Office suites that meet or exceed the needs of most users.

      • steve_wildstrom

        Intel can be accused of many things, especially failing to pay adequate attention to power consumption, but the charge that they held back motherboard design is unfair. For example, Intel was putting USB ports on their motherboards for a couple of years before Microsoft got around to supporting them in Windows. And the GPS idea simply would not have worked. Laptops are used almost exclusively indoors, while GPS works only outdoors. Phones today can get a reasonable fix indoors through the use of aGPS, but that requires a cellular network, to which very few laptops are connected (again, not for want of Intel’s trying.)

  • Defendor

    “It would not surprise us if savvy consumers move in this direction too
    since a dual-purpose product in many ways can be attractive to them to
    for similar support and economic reasons.”
    I can’t argue about what is in the mind of IT managers and what they might mandate.

    But I don’t think this argument carries any weight for consumers. What is becoming more and more obvious for consumers is that simplicity and user experience are paramount, and the amount of “heavy lifting” they do is quite limited.

    The Amphicar of tablets is neither simple, nor does it really offer a great user experience.

    Microsoft has been running half the commercials I see on TV right now. They have a Windows 8 ad campaign spend over a Billion Dollars and yet Windows Notebooks sales dropped 10% year over year, despite all this. 3% of those lower sales were touch enabled:

    https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/black-friday-us-retail-consumer-electronics-sales-decline-nearly-6-percent-according-to-npd/

    • Grwisher

      Oh, the old “Amphicar” – it wasn’t a very good car and worse as a boat.

  • FalKirk

    “(IT managers) have told us that they would like to minimize the amount of products that they support…”

    I’m going to go the other way. I’m sure that IT managers would prefer to support one device rather than two. But the same trend that led people to use both a notebook for the desk and a tablet for meetings is flowing against them. People like to use the best tool for the job at hand. Convertibles tend to be compromises rather than tradeoffs. Sporks rather than the more task targeted spoon or fork.

    Sporks are useful and popular in some places, but they’re not mainstream. I think it will be the same with hybrids. Time will tell.

    • http://twitter.com/M_Gauche James King

      But convertibles don’t NEED to be compromises, it is a failure in Microsoft’s OS strategy that is creating the misconception.

      Let’s look at the concept of the convertible for a minute … ultra-lightweight tablet with the simplicity in design of a fully integrated SoC that requires no active cooling. In many ways tablet hardware is the hardware PCs have always striven to be. Now add a removable keyboard that contains essential ports and a trackpad and, more importantly, a HUGE supplemental battery that give the device well over 12 hrs of battery life. Without consideration for the OS, this is pretty much the nirvana of mobile computing. This configuration is as optimal as it gets for hard-core mobile computing.

      Now let’s look at such a device running Windows 8 … in tablet mode it is pretty useful though with some serious UI issues. Now attach it to the keyboard and what happens … THE INTERFACE DOESN’T CHANGE. Now you have a keyboard and trackpad that are designed for an entirely different mode of input but your primary interface is still touch based. You are pretty much stuck right between two paradigms. It’s an ergonomic nightmare. Your brain literally is struggling at the subconscious level to decide how to perform basic tasks that use grossly different sets of motor and mental skills.

      The problem lies in the fact that the UXs (and there are indeed TWO UXs) in Windows are not distinct enough. A hybrid or convertible should act in two completely different ways based on the use case but that is not what happens when you use Windows 8.

      There is no reason why the two user interfaces in Windows 8 can’t or shouldn’t retain the same OS core for a unified set of functionality. However, there is also no reason why I should have access to touch functionality if I have a trackpad available. Give me a touch UI when in one mode and a desktop UI when in another but not a mishmash of both for both circumstances.

      iOS and OS X are built on the same OS core. It would be trivial for Apple to create a convertible or hybrid that gives you iOS when you are using a tablet and OS X when you need more efficient and precise input. The compromise, if any, would be completely trivial. The reason Apple doesn’t is because there is far more money selling you two devices than one. The hybrid/convertible form factor is actually a HUGE opportunity for the traditional PC OEMS to regain some relevance. But Windows 8 is killing the whole concept.

      • benbajarin

        Everything you said is exactly right. Your business point of why Apple is selling two is exactly right as well. What will be fascinating is if / when, Apple does decide to make a convertible. I’ve been thinking a lot about this and may do a column on it in the future.

      • Rich

        There are a few people who like Windows 8 but it really appears to be fundamentally misconceived, and I think those who favor it will be a small market.

      • JDL

        The reason Apple is selling two devices is because the iPad is a developmeant of the iPod/iPhone line of touch computers To make a hybrid/convertible, the first two compromises you face are making the user carry a keyboard and mouse all the time and since you will want a usable screen size when used as a PC you then get to double the weight. That gives you a low powered MacBook Air and a very heavy iPad; while still having to carry a mouse all the time.

        The problem isn’t software, it is hardware. When Apple can make an iPad that weighs half the current gen 4 model then it’s worth talking about. With current tech the opportunity is tiny.

        • http://twitter.com/M_Gauche James King

          You are either going to carry a tablet by itself, a laptop by itself, or a tablet and laptop together.

          In the preceding three scenarios, a hybrid is a no-compromise solution in 2 of them.

          “To make a hybrid/convertible, the first two compromises you face are making the user carry a keyboard and mouse all the time…” – JDL

          When configured as a laptop, a convertible’s weight, if engineered properly, should easily fall within the range of an Ultrabook and definitely be weight competitive with the overwhelming majority of laptops or tablet/laptop combos.

          While a convertible wouldn’t be weight competitive with a tablet, it would easily out-class a tablet in productivity.

          One more point … convertible keyboards have integrated trackpads so a mouse is not necessary. A good convertible will also integrate a supplemental battery in the keyboard attachment that will extend battery power of the tablet component by 1/3 to 1/2. A properly engineered convertible has a distinct utility advantage over a regular tablet overall.

          The current iPad drives a Retina display and still has graphical power to spare. Mobile SoCs have probably hit the “good enough” range when it comes to general purpose computing. They will DEFINITELY be within that range within the next year.

        • http://twitter.com/qka qka

          Exactly. Apple haters can say it’s all about Apple making more money, when it’s all about Apple not compromising on an Amphicar convertible computing device.

      • def4

        That may sound like nirvana at the first glance and at the shallowest level, but it’s crazy to suggest it would be trivial to implement in a way that makes it truly useful. This applies to anyone who might try, Apple and Microsoft included.

        What actually happens with the state of the system when changing the UI mode? Do the open applications, documents and data simply disappear and become inaccessible because the UI must change?
        Or must Apple and Microsoft force developers to rewrite all applications to include support for both UI modes?

        Consider this scenario: I’m happily working at my desk using
        1. A professional application (Photoshop, Visual Studio, XCode, AutoCAD, etc)
        2. A productivity application (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
        3. Corporate communication tools (Outlook, Messenger)
        4. A web browser

        It’s time for a meeting where I’ll need to refer to but not edit data in these applications and so I yank out the screen of my hybrid.
        What trivially easy thing to implement happens now that makes this hybrid so obviously more awesome than the iPad I used to use?

        • http://twitter.com/M_Gauche James King

          Of the four pieces of software you described, the state of three could easily be maintained as to be translated into another UI on the fly.

          But the reality is that it wouldn’t be necessary. The easy answer is simply to leave the tablet attached to the keyboard and use it in laptop mode. Or a simple option can be implemented to keep the system in its current state regardless of what form factor you are using. Hit a button to keep it in desktop mode and use a stylus for the fine control necessary under those conditions.

          How trivial would it be? Apple ALREADY has the foundation to do it. The Launchpad feature in OS X already mimics iOS. When in tablet mode, Launchpad acts as the primary interface and applications run in full screen mode. When in laptop mode, THE EXACT SAME INTERFACE can launch windowed apps. Application developers could simple make full screen and windowed versions for their apps that changed with system state. This is really not a stretch.

          • def4

            Launchpad is not a UI, it’s just an application launcher, like SpringBoard in iOS, the Start Menu in Windows and the Start Screen in Metro.

            It’s absurd to compare the Launchpad application launcher to iOS, which is an operating system.

            You obviously have no appreciation of what can be EASILY achieved or what the meaning of the word “easy” implies.
            If it had been easy, Windows RT would have shipped with a version of Office or at least with Internet Explorer that seamlessly switch between the two modes.

            Everything seems “easy” when all you contribute is hand waving.

          • http://twitter.com/M_Gauche James King

            You seem to have no understanding of OS architecture.

            The core of iOS and OS X is THE SAME. Let me explain this clearly to you…

            Under the candy coated shell of the UIs of both iOS and OS X, THEY ARE THE SAME OS. They use the same kernel and the same core services. Apple took OS X and stripped anything that would not be useful in mobile, put a new UI on it, and called it iOS. But, once again, IT IS THE SAME OS. That’s a simplification but pretty much the whole story.

            As for Launchpad, it is a USER INTERFACE. The part of iOS with which you interact is a USER INTERFACE. Launchpad mimics the usability and functionality of the iOS USER INTERFACE RIGHT NOW. Both user interfaces access the SAME CORE OS. Launchpad is essentially the iOS UI on OS X. Please do your homework on this, there are plenty of articles that have been written that explain how OS X is being designed to function more like iOS. They are referencing Launchpad.

            So, in other words, Apple has already done what I am suggesting, it simply has not developed a convertible or hybrid to take advantage of it. Application developers ALREADY have the option of creating full screen applications for OS X that function like the ones in iOS. So the technology is ALREADY BAKED IN.

            So YES, it is quite trivial for Apple to do it.

            At this point, you are simply trolling.

          • def4

            The Linux kernel running on an Android phone, on a server in a datacenter, on a refrigerator, toaster, washing machine, TiVO, smart TV, Google TV, PC, Raspberry Pi is also the same.

            That doesn’t mean they run the same applications or that the applications can be easily ported between them.
            Maybe some minor plumbing logic can be reused but the entire user interface needs to be designed for the specific graphical toolkit used in each product.

            iOS and OS X use different graphical toolkits.
            Desktop Windows and Metro also use different graphical toolkits.

            Everything seems trivial when you never even attempted to accomplish something.

          • http://twitter.com/M_Gauche James King

            Ummm, I’ve accomplished far more than you know.

            The graphical toolkits run on the same core OS. And, as I’ve previously stated, Launchpad is the iOS UI on OS X. It launches full screen applications like iOS and windowed applications.

            Other than the fact that iOS runs on ARM and OS X runs on x86, the work is already done. And Apple is rumored to have a version of OS X that already runs on ARM. Under those conditions, it is feasible that iOS applications could run without modification in OS X.

            Yes, it is indeed trivial.

          • def4

            Launchpad is NOT an UI.
            The proof is that you cannot write Launchpad applications.

            Launchpad is an OS X launcher like LaunchBar or Quicksilver.
            It is similar to SpringBoard which is the iOS app launcher.

            iOS apps are NOT SpringBoard apps.
            Apple could replace the SpringBoard launcher on iOS tomorrow with anything or even with nothing and you could still run all iOS apps just fine by starting them from the command line.

            Of course OS X is already running on A6 chips, but it is running OS X apps compiled for ARM, not iOS apps.
            iOS apps could be hacked to start on such a machine but there’s nothing trivial about making them not feel horribly confusing, clumsy and completely out of place.
            Just like the desktop feels on Windows RT tablets and Metro apps feel on Windows 8 desktops.

          • http://twitter.com/M_Gauche James King

            “Launchpad is NOT an UI.
            The proof is that you cannot write Launchpad applications.” – def4

            A user interface is any forward facing mechanism in a system designed to be used by a person with which the user interacts. You car stereo has a user interface. Your mobile phone has a user interface. Your TV has a user interface. Your refrigerator, etc.

            Almost all websites have user interfaces, yet you can not write applications for them. The elements of any operating system with which the user interacts is a user interface.

            “Of course OS X is already running on A6 chips, but it is running OS X apps compiled for ARM, not iOS apps.” – def4

            iOS, including its graphical elements are a SUBSET of OS X. Therefore it is completely feasible that a version of OS X compiled for ARM can run iOS applications with little to no modification. There is also no reason why iOS and OS X could not run completely in parallel on an ARM PC. There is also no technical reason why the graphical subsystems of iOS and OS X could not share the same core OS on the same system.

            But Apple doesn’t have to do any of that, it can just use Launchpad which is the iOS UI built into OS X. Under the proper conditions, it should be able to launch iOS applications from OS X. There would be nothing “horribly confusing, clumsy and completely out of place.” It already works exactly like iOS does now.

            You’ve made many errors in this exchange:

            1. You don’t know what a user interface is;

            2. You have conflated the “triviality” of building something from scratch with the triviality of utilizing something that is ALREADY BUILT. Apple has ALREADY built the technology to which I was referring. The job is pretty much already done. That is not that same as me stating that it would be “trivial” for it to build something from scratch;

            3. You assumed that I have not built anything or done similar work. I have built quite a few user interfaces for the web and designed a few more for software. No, I’m not a rock-star but I have a few notches in my belt. I understand this topic very well.

            The bottom line is that you don’t seem to have the level of understanding of this topic necessary to have this exchange so I’d prefer if we don’t continue.

            I don’t think the point you are making is accurate but, even if it is, it is largely semantical. It can be argued that any endeavor that requires effort is not “trivial.” But, based on its cashand in-house expertise, building a convertible computer that can be used with very-high effectiveness as a tablet or laptop is well within Apple’s grasp, so much so as for it to be “trivial.” I’m stating that because Apple has already developed the technology to such a high-degree that almost all of what I’ve envisioned is already implemented.

            So far, you have not made a technical case for why I am incorrect or one for why you are correct. I have provided at least a superficial one for why I made my statement because the topic of OS development is well beyond the scope of this forum. I don’t agree with your philosophical point because there is enough evidence to the contrary.

          • def4

            Maybe you can’t write applications for website user interfaces, but I can, using JavaScript and the HTML DOM API.

            The iOS APIs ARE NOT a subset of OS X APIs. They have some very basic things in common, but the bulk of it is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
            That’s why applications for OS X and iOS are also COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

            Nobody would bother to spend time and money developing different apps for OS X and iOS and would just recompile an existing version.

            iOS apps would fail to launch on OS X and OS X apps would also fail to launch on iOS without significant porting and adaptation effort. Making them not suck would be about as much effort as starting from scratch.

            iOS and OS X do have different graphical toolkits because they have different human interfaces.

            Only Microsoft cares about technical reasons.
            Apple cares about human reasons.
            iOS and OS X are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT because of human reasons. The fact that they share the same kernel and some basic libraries is an irrelevant implementation detail.

            Again, Launchpad is not the iOS UI. Get a clue.
            Launchpad is not a UI. It’s just a launcher, a grid of icons.
            The iOS UI is made of all the common elements you see in iOS apps: the buttons, the keyboard, the toggles, etc.
            Just like a website UI is made of styled HTML elements.

            Your only “quality” about this topic is your stubbornness.
            You have no clue and you can’t possibly have one based on your admitted familiarity with web development only.

            I have working knowledge of building Windows desktop apps, Windows Phone apps, Mac apps and iOS apps.
            Go build anything close to what you’re suggesting is trivial and then report back.

          • http://twitter.com/M_Gauche James King

            “Maybe you can’t write applications for website user interfaces, but I can, using JavaScript and the HTML DOM API.” – def4

            This is semantics. Websites are not dynamic website environments. You can’t just a load an app into a website for the most part.

            “The iOS APIs ARE NOT a subset of OS X APIs. They have some very basic things in common, but the bulk of it is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
            That’s why applications for OS X and iOS are also COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

            Nobody would bother to spend time and money developing different apps for OS X and iOS and would just recompile an existing version.” -def4

            Of course the APIs are different because the hardware on which they run is different. But please explain to me why the iOS APIs could not run on an OS X system, assuming both are running on ARM. Or why both couldn’t run in parallel. Or why Launchpad couldn’t launch iOS apps in parallel to OS X apps on an ARM MacBook.

            “Your only “quality” about this topic is your stubbornness.
            You have no clue and you can’t possibly have one based on your admitted familiarity with web development only.” – def4

            And it’s apparent that you have no real understanding of OS architecture or user interfaces:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_interface

            You’re gonna have to do your homework if we are going to continue.

          • def4

            The way you are spewing your ignorance is exactly by using a dynamically loaded application (the Disqus commenting system) inside this website.

            How about you take your own advice and study up on basic computing concepts.

            It’s absurd to question why iOS APIs could not run on OS X. They are different, parallel things.
            Neither can run on top of the other, they both run on top of a common kernel.

            Launchpad can launch anything, it’s just a launcher.
            An iOS application hacked up to run on OS X could be launched from anywhere: Terminal, Finder and yes, Launchpad.
            This Launchpad red herring you desperately keep clinging to is the biggest giveaway of your cluelessness.

            Asking to run iOS APIs in OS X is like asking why you couldn’t add the heart of a pig to your existing human heart.
            Because it’s stupid, pointless, useless and very likely dangerous.
            You already have a heart that works well and fits great. It’s stupid to try to shove something foreign where it’s not needed and doesn’t belong.

            OS X already has APIs that fit it well for the kinds of apps that make sense on desktop and laptops with keyboards, mice and trackpads.
            It would be useless, stupid and likely dangerous to add very similar, but subtly different redundant APIs that were developed for touch.
            What OS X needs are new and better APIs for new and improved features and capabilities, not aborted APIs from totally different products and interaction paradigms.

          • http://twitter.com/M_Gauche James King

            “The way you are spewing your ignorance is exactly by using a dynamically
            loaded application (the Disqus commenting system) inside this website.” – def4

            You or I didn’t load Disqus onto this web site. Your point is semantical.

            “It’s absurd to question why iOS APIs could not run on OS X. They are different, parallel things.
            Neither can run on top of the other, they both run on top of a common kernel.” -def4

            EXACTLY.

            “This Launchpad red herring you desperately keep clinging to is the biggest giveaway of your cluelessness.”

            The point is that it is the iOS UI implemented on OS X. I pointed to the Launchpad as an example that OS X already had a UI that would be equally as effective on a tablet or laptop. For all intents and purposes, its is the SAME UI as iOS.

            “Asking to run iOS APIs in OS X is like asking why you couldn’t add the heart of a pig to your existing human heart.
            Because it’s stupid, pointless, useless and very likely dangerous.”

            Really. Now why is that? This is completely conjectural point.

            “It would be useless, stupid and likely dangerous to add very similar,
            but subtly different redundant APIs that were developed for touch.”- def4

            You DO understand that OSs can host several different APIs right?

            I’ve provided links to support my statements. Now please provide links to support your statements.

            You haven’t been correct about anything you’ve posted. Maybe you should give it a rest.

          • def4

            You’ve been beating a dead horse all along.

            Disqus may be preinstalled on this website but there is nothing stopping you or anyone else from inserting any other client side scripting code to personalise the experience of this site.

            Launchpad is NOT the iOS UI.
            The iOS UI has not been implemented in OS X.
            There is a port of Launchpad for Windows 7.
            Does that suddenly make iOS ported to Windows 7 and iOS apps magically compatible with Windows 7?
            Most launchers on Android also look almost exactly like Launchpad.
            Does that make it “trivially easy” to run Android apps on OS X?

            Launchpad has nothing to do with the iOS UI, the OS X UI or any other UI. It’s just a launcher like the Windows Start Menu, but instead of using a list, it uses a grid.
            That’s it, there’s nothing to infer from it.

            A grid of icons is one of the precious few ways to interact that works well both on keyboard and on touch devices. So what?
            It doesn’t prove anything by itself.
            Grids of icons have been used in Finder for decades and nobody sane jumped and said the iOS SpringBoard launcher looks like Finder and so iOS must easily run all Mac apps.
            The other way around is just as absurd.

          • steve_wildstrom

            Leaving aside a bunch of small embedded and real time OSes, there are really only four modern kernels running everything from Arduino boards to the biggest mainframes:
            –IBM’s proprietary System Z for mainframes.
            –UNIX, in various flavors. This includes the BSD-based Darwin kernel of iOS andOS X.
            –Linux
            –Windows NT.
            I suppose there are still some legacy machines out there running VMS, on which WinNT was based. Anything else? IBM’s AIX may have evolved far enough away from UNIX to be considered its own thing, but it’s not a big player.

        • steve_wildstrom

          I come awfully close this this today. It’s not at all unusual for me to work on a document in Word on a Mac and resume work on it on a PC or iPad (in Documents to Go.) The file has to be closed and reopened between transitions. That might be the case on a single transitioning device if each mode had a separate application rather than a single application with two UIs, but with SSD storage, this can happen so quickly that you would barely notice. The idea does not seem at all far fetched to me and I hope Microsoft is thinking along these lines.

          • def4

            I don’t know about that.
            It’s hard to imagine the point of a Metro version of Visual Studio or AutoCAD.

            The bigger issue is that tablet UIs don’t allow enough flexibility to have many applications visible at the same time.

  • Glaurung-Quena

    I’m afraid you’ve got your facts about the Ipad launch wrong. Apple introduced a keyboard dock with the original Ipad (cf http://www.anandtech.com/show/3651/apples-ipad-keyboard-dock-reviewed ). They also touted the Ipad’s ability to be used with a bluetooth keyboard at the original Ipad keynote presentation.

    The keyboard dock didn’t sell well, so it’s been discontinued, but, Apple was quite clear right from the very start that you could use their new tablet for productivity if you wanted.

  • jfutral

    I don’t think this is anything new. What the IT managers face is still the same. Not what tools they would prefer to offer and support, but what tools the employees are going to use regardless. I don’t see convertibles/hybrids changing that anytime soon. At best Cs/Hs may start to supplant laptops but that only puts them in direct competition with ultrabooks, not iPads.

    IMHO,
    Joe

    • http://twitter.com/M_Gauche James King

      Agreed but, if done right, a hybrid or convertible could eliminate the need for a dedicated device like an iPad, reducing its demand. If you subscribe to the Japanese axiom that business is war, a hybrid/convertible could be a pretty good weapon for Microsoft in its war with Apple and Google.

      • jfutral

        _Could be_, but since IT is more driven by the consumer demands and less by their own these days, it will only be a weapon in IT if it can be viable in the consumer space.

        Joe

        • capnbob67

          IT is still driven by its own agendas but influenced by executive demands. iPhones would never have penetrated as well as they have if only lowly minions were asking. It is pressure from the C Suite that is the outside influence. Otherwise it is largely about incremental upgrades and maintaining as easy a life as possible in the IT support bowels. Very few CIOs are innovative, take any risks (that aren’t underwritten and pressed by an SBU or vendor) or try to be transformative. Look at the spaghetti enterprise architectures that pervade F500 companies today.
          That is why mobility is such a big issue, not because it means adding a new presentation channel for a couple of new devices but because it demands rearchitecting the back ends of systems that haven’t been ostensibly touched in 10-20 years.

      • capnbob67

        Asking if a hybrid can be done right is like assuming that the perfect toaster fridge is just around the corner. The great thing about tablets is that they are extremely portable (must be lightweight) and enable simplified UI. Hybrids inherently fail requirement one and WinRT apps are thin on the ground for two. Even as they arrive, hybrids are far too thick, heavy and large to be useful tablets. They are also be mediocre laptops with some compromise for the panel, weight, hinge etc. All the current hybrids I’ve seen reviewed have crappy battery life for a laptop let alone a tablet. Jobs require tools. Not all jobs are nails. Not all tools should be hammers or hammer saws or hammer screwdriver spirit levels. Lets face it, an iPhone in an otterbox can do 2 out of 3…

        IT trolls might prefer one device but revenue generating staff require the best tools for the job or the IT cost center disappears with the rest of the enterprise.

  • def4

    Well, duh, we didn’t need research to figure out that the IT Preventers would like to foist Windows 8 tablets on their coworkers.
    The question is will they be accepted and if not, does IT still have the power to force them?

    I for one would not give up my iPad without a fight for a heavy, thick Windows 8 tablet with fans and 3–4 hour battery life.

    There’s also the cost perspective. Many people can work on their laptops, but for a tablet to offer enough more portability to justify the purchase, it needs to be smaller.
    Small enough to be portable is too small to use for eight hours at a desk, so external displays become mandatory.