Thursday, 7 January 2010

The war for the Slate Space

I drew up a quick picture to try and show how I see the Slate fitting in to the bigger war in the IT space.

Presently the world of information technology is dominated by 2 giants: Google and Microsoft. Google has been long established as the king of the Cloud, but Microsoft Bing is making a try to fight for the title, and frankly Google's monopoly in the Cloud was not good for content producers and Microsoft should have no trouble taking a piece of the Cloud. But only a piece. Google is too big and too good and is to the Cloud what Microsoft is to the desktop.

Google has recently finally left just the Cloud to sell a real thing: the Droid mobile device. This places them competition with the established iPhone. Microsoft owns the desktop and laptop space.

So you have these three players. I don't take the current eReaders seriously and assume they will drop out. The Slate is the real space for devices in the future. Laptop and desktops are too clunky and mobile devices are too small. The Slate computer is the surface for Web 3.0. Slates will combine the excellent power of current desktops with the mobility and Geo sense of iPhones.

The question is who will get there first and then who will hold it. I don't know but these are the things to keep in mind:

1. Google has lots of money and lots of motivation but no established record in making hardware.
2. Apple is best at bringing out these new designs but has a history of falling off. But the iPod held up since 2001 only to be unseated by the iPhone. Maybe apple has found a space it can hold for good? Maybe that place includes the iSlate?
3. Microsoft has a shit record in going small, and the first Microsoft slates presentations were real dull. But it has an established record of taking over computing space.

Taking this in to consideration this is my prediction:

1. Apple opens with iSlate and takes the market.
2. Microsoft fights like crazy to get this space as it sees more and more slates taking the place of laptops. Microsoft has an army of hardware makers in Asia and the US who will throw massive R&D at getting this right. Either Sony or Samsung will finally produce the proper device.
3. Google will produce an Android Slate in 2010 or 2011, but it lack of hardware deployment and its bitter fight for the mobile will limit its penetration.

So my prediction: 2011 winner is the Mac iSlate, 2015 with will be the Windows 9 Slate or Courier 2, I can never make sense out of Microsoft's naming conventions.
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