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back to article The iPad is killing laptop sales

iPad sales are slashing laptop sales by as much as 50 per cent, according to the boss of US retailer Best Buy. Announcing sales of $11.3bn and profits of $254m for the second quarter Best Buy's chief executive Brian Dunn said internal research showed half of potential laptop buyers had chosen an iPad instead of a traditional …

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Linux

I call Marketing Spin

They want to sell more of these overpriced iSlate tablet things.

<<The company will make iPads available in all its 1,093 shops. Dunn said: "People are willing to disproportionately spend for these devices because they are becoming so important to their lives.">>

This is advertising dressed as Market Research.

Tux, cos even though I mostly use WinXP, a penguin knows Marketing Hype when he reads it :-)

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Badgers

Watch out...

The fanbois will attack your down-vote button like locusts descending on a field...

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Unhappy

Pathetic

Even in the face of direct proof of how well the iPad is selling, the anti-Apple-tards /still/ can't accept it.

How bitter and twisted.

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Happy

@bilgepump

Calm down, you are reading far too much into the comments.

No-one is disputing the sales figures. Interpretations of the meanings of those figures vary, as they will always do.

GJC

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Grenade

RE: Bilgepipe

Wait until there's competition for the ipad Bilgepipe, then we'll see which brand comes out on top

Christmas will see launches for many competitiors, many priced lower and some with the capability to make phone calls.

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Jobs Halo

fanboi attack

"The fanbois will attack your down-vote button like locusts descending on a field..."

Interesting. At the time of writing there are but two vote-downs and 5 vote-ups. It would appear that the majority of 'fanbois' simply don't give a damn about the opinions of random commentards...

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+1

Far more likely to get down-voted by the "haters", than the "bois" downvoting something anti-apple.

Evidence the form here...(time is 12:05)...the number of "hater" downvotes outnumbers the upvotes quite significantly. You've even picked one up yourself, even though your comment was perfectly reasonable.

If you want true evidence, kick off an android vs iphone comment thread...droidbois are *definitely* more touchy on negative comment about their beloved platform, and actively downvote anything pro-apple (even if the point is entirely reasonable). I think most (but not all) Apple-users are used to it by now, but are still "secure" in their purchase choices.

It's actually a great spectator sport for us fence-sitters, truth be told. Someone could even write a psychology thesis on it (I'd love to if I was still a student). It would make for interesting reading...

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QED!

Yes!

I got downvoted almost immediately...care to explain your "rationale" (if there even was one), Mr/Mrs/Ms anonymous downvoter? Please post...I'd love to read it...

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@Bilgepipe

"Even in the face of direct proof of how well the iPad is selling, the anti-Apple-tards /still/ can't accept it.

How bitter and twisted."

How about because they presented absolutely no evidence that their statement was true? I'd be willing to be the economy has something to do with laptops being down 50%....

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Anonymous Coward

Err, who are you?

I'm sure people would love to explain, but which was your post? If you bothered using a name instead of being an AC we'd know!

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Ted
Boffin

no competition for awhile...

yes, but there won't be any competition against the iPad for at least 2 more years. the iPad is just too well made, inexpensive and functional for anyone to catch up. it's a wonderful device don't forget.

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re +1

It's truly amazing how insecure some people are. They really hate Apple so much that they _must_ attack anything which puts it in a positive light, no matter what.

This, of course, becomes obvious to everyone else rather quickly, and therefore means that those who are _not_ haters simply disregard the opinions of those who are.

I got downvoted for pointing out the truth... and there are now a total of 4 downvotes on the original post, considerably below the number of upvotes. It is simply a fact that the 'fanbois' have _NOT_ descended like locusts on that post; the majority simply don't give a damn. And all the hater comments merely serve to further show that those making them _are_ nothing but haters who would only be pleased if Apple went out of business... something which is unlikely to happen in the near future. Indeed, the 'fanbois' will be actively ensuring that Apple doesn't go out of business by buying Apple products... and all the snide comments by commentard haters won't affect them because the bias is clear. More even-handed commentary might have an effect; vitriol will simply be ignored.

it is a simple fact: lots and lots and lots of 'fanbois' have voted with their wallets. Apple has a hit in the iPad. I personally don't have one and may never buy one, as I have no requirement for such a device. My mother, now 77 and retired, _does_ have one, and no I didn't recommend it to her. She bought one herself because she thought that it would serve her better than a laptop. Her laptop stays in its case, her iPad goes where she goes. And all the negative comments in the world will not convince her that her iPad doesn't do what she wants it to do and doesn't do it better than her laptop did. (Her old laptop? A Toshiba Satellite running Windows 7, rather like the laptop upon which this is being typed...)

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@Ted The iPad is indeed a fun piece of kit, but.......

........inexpensive? Pardon? For those specs? I think not.

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Yawn

I've seen plenty of announcements for competing devices and they seem to suffer from one or more of these problems:

1. They're really cheap and have very low quality.

2. They have 7 inch screens, too small.

3. They have an x86 processor and run Windows 7 (poor battery life, poor touch screen usability, slow start up times).

Only an Android tablet with 10 inch screen and decent build quality can be called a competing product. Everything else is designed by people who have missed the whole point of a tablet computer.

As for phone calls on a tablet, who seriously wants that? are you really going to keep swapping your SIM card over from your phone to a tablet and then back again. You're not going to go into a nightclub or office and take calls on your tablet, you'll look like a right geek.

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Go

Stores show the way

I was at an electronics store the other day, they had a Mac corner. All the tables with iPods, Macbooks, iPhones were completely empty. Except for the table with iPads. All four of them were being used, and people were hovering, awaiting thier turn. This is on a Monday afternoon.

To me, Apple has the biggest hit it's ever had on its hands. Best thing of all, it's not tied to a carrier, so unlike the iPhone there are no artificial barriers.

People now say "I'll wait for an Android tablet to come out". Well, there's one out already. It's called the Samsung Galaxy Tab. It's smaller, does fewer things, and is more expensive.

For once the maxim of Apple products being more expensive proves to be false. I don't think we'll see a cheaper Android tablet with the same quality this year or the next.

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FAIL

Well, nearly...

It's a) not out yet, b) does more stuff, and c) has no confirmed pricing. It is smaller though.

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Stop

Have you seen definitive pricing for the Galaxy Tab?

I haven't, but the rumours put it considerably cheaper than a similarly spec'ed iPad, even before we get onto subjects like storage card slots, which for me are a pre-requesite of any data device.

Also, being smaller isn't necessarily a bad thing. I think I would favour a 7" tablet over a 10" one, for travelling, and would prefer a 12" higher resolution version for purely home use. I predict, based on no research at all, that these two sizes will eventually become commonplace, with 10" seen as a bit of a compromise size.

GJC

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Megaphone

Still not getting it eh?

Shame that the average IT bod still can't fathom why the iPad concept is so popular.

Maybe because I've been IT for twenty years and not two minutes I can see it's pretty obvious - ease of use.

If you give a program idea to any young programmer and ask them to write it, they'll arm it with as many buttons and gadgets as possible so it ends up looking very technical, full of jargon and is seriously complicated. Just look at the state of GIMP for example?

You can use the analogy of the Swiss Army Knife, let's add one more blade or function because we can. So it ends up big, unwieldy and can break down more easily.

Complete novices take a look at it and turn to the small neat looking pen knife in the shop instead. They can understand it just by picking it up and examining it.

There is a message screaming out there me thinks.

Apple has done an amazing thing, they've kept a close rein on their programmers enthusiasm and orchestrated them together to produce a device that looks easy to use and hey is easy to use.

Sure the average computer geek will not like the current restrictions. But it's now easy to use for everyone. This is something programmers often ignore as it's just that little bit more work for them. How often I've heard the programmers cry out - "Hey I've just got it working and now you want to change things just to make it easy to use?"

Often I've been brought in to improve a program that been specially written that technically works but has had no thought given to its layout or how a normal human being will use it.

A program like a piece of classical music needs a Orchestral Leader.

So far the only signs of any sort of control in the programmer community has been Ubuntu.

We need to wake up and think of designing programs or devices that will make it easy for the average person who knows nothing about them.

P.S.

No I don't own any Apple gear...

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Go

SECONDED

I too have been in IT for 20 years (bought my first microcomputer - not PC - in 1981)...

If I could upvote your post one million I would, because so many just don't get the basic message. I got lucky, way back I used to date a woman who's degree was in human interface design, and she banged it into my geeky head to start making software simpler to use. Made me read her textbooks and sit and watch films of software usability testing shot from behind mirrors.

That really is what is missing - very few companies seem to do enough customer usability research, and usually only the marketers get to watch it. Companies need to do more, and they need to force the actual developers to watch it all.

* GIMP was a great example, btw...although you could also nominate Blender...

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Excellently put

"We need to wake up and think of designing programs or devices that will make it easy for the average person who knows nothing about them."

From the point of view of the user, the ideal application interface is a single button labelled "Do what I fucking want", the further away from this ideal you get, the worse your UI is.

Users do not want options and widgets. Users hate choice. Users want stuff that just works.

The 'not getting it' crowd are a vocal demonstration of my personal theory - developed over the last decade or so - that for some reason, IT attracts a higher than statistically normal number of whiny arrogant halfwits. Oddly enough, this set intersects with the 'users are stupid' brigade.

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Anonymous Coward

re: Have you seen definitive pricing for the Galaxy Tab

No, and I guess we'll wait and see.

Although I've seen one estimate of $700 without a carrier, most rumours I've seen have suggested $1000. The ones where it was quite a lot less was when you were taking it out with a carrier - so more expensive in the long-run.

Amazon lists the 16GB 3G model as £799.99 and offers it for £679.99, whilst expansys.com list it for £639.99... any of these figures are considerably more than a "similarly spec'ed iPad."

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Jobs Halo

reminds me of...

... that MS advert for Mojave, where the "new" windows version, all those people looking at the screen with no idea ho to use the new OS.

UI design has come a long way since I first used a mouse in '83, and sometimes yes Apple isn't the company innovating in hardware, but in software usability, they should be on every software designer's reading list.

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Sales people and listening to customers.

Sales and marketing people aren't very good at demonstrating how simple and nice to use something is. They want to talk about features and how product X has a feature that the competitors product doesn't.

Also, companies that listen too much to customers end up adding lots of spurious features and buttons that just clutter up the product. What use are features that ruin usability and are only used by a minority?

Take Microsoft Office for instance, it should come in two versions. Home and beginner edition and Professional edition. That way the interface for Home and beginners can be stripped back to the basics. I wouldn't mind using that version myself as there's way too much clutter in Word.

But of course, some people are obsessed with features and having what the pros use, so they would end up buying the pro version.

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Grenade

"showed half of potential laptop buyers had chosen an iPad instead of a traditional laptop"

It does, of course, show nothing of the sort.

Firstly, and this I feel is quite important, correlation does not imply causation.

Secondly, there will be some interaction, but it's *way* more complex than "buyer choose x over y". *Every* single person I know who owns an iPad also owns a laptop, and continues to do so after buying the iPad. It is, however, quite likely that buying the iPad took enough out of their toy budget to delay replacing the laptop with a new one, for example.

Thirdly, it's far too early to say anything with any certainty.

Fourthly, did I mention that correlation does not imply causation?

GJC

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Jobs Halo

Sounds like me

I currently have an iPad and a laptop.

However, I find I use my laptop less and less. In fact, the only thing I use it for now is the heavy lifting stuff -- RAW photo editing, video, etc.

Once my current laptop bits the dust, I'll almost certainly replace it with an iMac. For my mobile needs, the iPad does pretty much everything I need it to. For everything else, a desktop will do the job faster, cheaper, and more easily (hmmm, screen size!)

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Jobs Halo

and me

RichyS

I'd definitely recommend the iMac/iPad combo, my MacBook is as the title suggests hotly anticipating a new owner on ebay, 8 weeks after getting an iPad, it's was unused for all that time.

Heavy lifting done on the iMac, couch surfing etc, all done sweetly on ipad.

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I guess

... that really, if you're just browsing for a laptop and only want to use it for surfing from the couch, checking facebook etc then the iPad is ideal and without the extra, possibly not needed and complicated gubbins of a traditional laptop.

Personally, I'll stick with a lappy as I prefer the options I have with it, but I can kind of see why the "non technical" buyers would opt for such a simple system.

P.S, I also suspect there's a fair amount of trend buying too where, say, a year ago the in thing was a small laptop or netbook, now those on the bleeding edge of fashion need an ipad.

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N2

I also guess

That like the iPhone, this was another product that Steve 'Monkey Boy' scoffed at

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Jobs Horns

but...

Using an iPad down your local Starbucks makes you look cool...

Jobs, because he's making a fool of us

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Laptops have been badly designed for ages - about time they suffered for it

Offer me a 4x3 aspect ratio matt-screen laptop and I'll hand over the dosh without a quibble (in a sensible price braket of course). Offer me nothing but dvd-playing widescreen glossy tat, then why not buy an iPad and be done with the pretence of working on it?

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Re:Laptops have been badly designed for ages - about time they suffered for it

err... because you can't play DVD's on one?

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Stop

@thesykes: You can watch a DVD on a matte 4x3: not optimised but works.

There will of course be some folks that watch their DVDs on laptops rather than a TV, so much so that all other laptop features must take the hit, but to allow that single group dominate the entire laptop range? Bag humbug!

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Define sensible ?

"(in a sensible price braket of course)"

I think you'll find - if you look around - that there are plenty of really well designed laptops, but I suspect they fall outside your bracket. Good kit is not, never has been, and never will be cheap.

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It's 2010 now

Optical media is so 1990s and 1980s.

I guess you scoffed at a DVD player until they released a DVD player with a VHS machine built in?

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Megaphone

Ugh

Due respect but you're wrong.

Apple screwed the market up by pushing 16:9 laptops - hipsters get excited, bought said 16:9 laptops with no clue about sensible computing aspect ratios.

CEO's and boards decide that what the world really needs is 16:9 laptops because Apple's are selling so why wouldn't it be? Effect: all you can buy is 16:9 laptops.

Thanks again Apple, same time next week?

(what the world really needs is 16:10 laptops)

Anybody thinks that all that's at issue is price is deluded, what they really mean is the usually pay over the odds for kit from manufacturers that haven't updated their kit since Turing was alive - like say Lenovo.

Same goes for tablets, what the world needs is slate tablets that don't cost as much as mine did (2 grand, thanks siemens), a little lighter and a little smaller, maybe add mutituch to the active stylus if you really don't care about how UIs should work. What world gets is steve jobs pretending he invented the slate tablet. Hipsters get excited, boards talk crap and you have a load of crappy iPad clones.

It's not about Apple being smart, it's about Apple being able to flog their brand to idiots, then all what I would call real manufacturers if the last 3 years didn't happen having boards full of totally epic morons and not countering Apple right.

Thank fk for HTC in the mobile phone market at least. Shame the PC industry doesn't have an HTC equiv that isn't pumping out crap - maybe sony at a push if you discount the absurd Apple-like pricing idiocy.

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Re: Ugh

Well, you're even more wrong.

Apple do not have have not ever sold a 16:9 laptop.

All Mac laptops are 16:10. The magic number you quote as the 'world needing'.

And don't hold out much hope for HTC. If HP and Compaq et al are anything to go by, the Android hardware manufacturers will race to the bottom and start pumping out cheap crap, just like the Wintel manufacturers have.

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Good for SCCs

Hopefully this will mean a return of the Small Cheap Computers that you used to get before netbooks ended up costing more than laptops and being almost the same size.

I recently wanted to buy a new SCC netbook with a 8" screen that was cheap. Unless I wanted the Disney one, I couldn't actually find one for love nor money.

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Can I suggest eBay?

Just get one from there and a new battery and it'll work out quite cheap still. Then port linux over and jobs a good 'un!

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Stop

when theres a cubase app...

and a port I can plug a decent sound card into, then I will get an ipad

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It's getting closer

It's not quite there yet, but the likes of Nanostudio and Fourtrack are beginning to get close, and there are already some high-quality mics and audio connection devices already out for iOS devices.

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Music apps

Nano Studio.

Music Studio.

SunVox.

Korg Electribe.

As for soundcard, well you're stuck there. But there's no reason why you can't compose on one, mix down and then use your computer.

Cubase sucks anyway, I'm so glad I moved over to Logic.

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FAIL

Doesn't add up

Well, two things don't add up about this story..

First, the "internal research" they carried out. Does this mean that, at no point, did they actaully ask iPad buyers the question "Were you thinking about buying a new laptop, but, changed your mind and bought an iPad instead?". If not, then it's pure guesswork.

Secondly, the "as much as 50%" bit... a reduction can only be "as much as" if you are talking about the various different types of laptop that constitute the laptop market. Eg Macbook, netbook, Windows laptop. Now, are they in fact saying that only one segment was reduced by 50%? If so, was it Macbook sales? I don't think I'm taking a giant leap at saying a large proportion of iPad buyers are existing Apple customers. If so, the headline "Sales in one Apple product reduces sales in another Apple product" wouldn't get much space. Alternatively, the "iPad kills netbooks" angle has already been done, so, no headline there either.

There's no denying the iPad has been successful, but, as a direct competitor to laptops? Unlikely. As a compliment to laptops? Much more likely.

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Nope...

Most people that I know that have bought iPads are Windows users, although they may have an iPhone. As for myself, I have an i7-fueled Sony laptop running Win 7 and Ubuntu, and I will get an iPad for when I don't want to have to break out the big machine to check email, read a book, or watch some media. I could get a Win 7 tablet instead, but most Win apps are not really designed for a multi-touch screen, whereas all iPad/iPhone apps are...

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re: Doesn't add up

“If so, was it Macbook sales? I don't think I'm taking a giant leap at saying a large proportion of iPad buyers are existing Apple customers. If so, the headline "Sales in one Apple product reduces sales in another Apple product" wouldn't get much space.”

The figures show that globally, there has been an increase in the amount of Mac laptops sold in the last quarter – a time when everyone else saw a decline in sales.

Fortune recently ran a story - http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/08/02/with-ipad-apple-is-no-3-in-portables/ - that said if you included the iPad in notebook sales, then for the last quarter, Apple had the third biggest share of portable computer sales globally.

If you have a look at the graphs, in the last quarter all manufacturers, other than Apple, had a slowdown in sales – Apple’s saw a massive spike.

When you take out the iPad sales, Apple was still seeing a very nice increase in its laptop sales and bucking the overall trend.

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Anonymous Coward

What type of laptops?

According to the WSJ:

"Mr. Dunn also said internal estimates showed that the iPad had cannibalized sales from laptop PCs by as much as 50%."

Reads to me like the CEO of Best Buy that overall laptop sales at Best Buy fell by as much as 50% because a significant number of people went for an iPad instead. He used the words 'as much by' because they don't know precisely how much that the iPad had an impact - but if your overall notebook sales have tanked and you've been selling shedloads of iPads, the two sets of sales might possible be related.

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Well.. yes

I stand by my last paragraph, which you yourself confirm. The iPad is a compliemnt to a laptop,not a competitor.

My assumptions of iPad owners being Apple customers is based on the tiny number of people I know who own one, with a 100% sample already owning enough Apple kit to put an Apple Store to shame.

I agree with a previous poster... just because the sales of item A increase and sales of item B decrease, it doesn't prove that one caused the other. Especially in the current financial environment.

I've nothing against Apple or it's stuff, I do hate BS spouted by companies when trying to divert attention from disappointing sales figures by distorting the truth.

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Good work by Apple

They have a real hit on their hands.

But perhaps these figures from best buy mean that the iPad is more suited to what people were wanting to do than the laptop. Couch surfing comes to mind - that why I want a tablet, but is why I originally bought a laptop many years ago. Given the choice now I would buy a tablet (probably not a iPad though - not enough features, and a bit overpriced - Archos 10.1 maybe) .

Still, if Apples success means more decent tablets but cheaper, than good for them.

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Laptops or Nettops

I can easily see IPad eating into the nettop market. One gadget succeeds the next. No biggie.

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Insert coins to guess again

>"like the iPhone, this was another product that Steve 'Monkey Boy' scoffed at"

Well, yes and no. Microsoft have been pushing tablets for years. Problem is, they've all been fugly slabs with strictly token changes to Windows itself, and fuck all changes to apps.

When Microsoft bite the pillow and produce a version of Windows Tablet that will only run tablet-specific apps, then we'll know that Uncle Fester is taking tablets seriously. As long as they keep pushing their "All your normal apps will work! Really, really badly!" monger tablets, then they'll never be able to compete.

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Troll

Please

"strictly token changes to Windows itself"

Microsoft have been ruling tablet UIs for what you might call a real [power] user since before you were born.

What you mean is they didn't put a load of useless toys in there.

Too bad Microsoft has all the useful multi-touch patents eh?

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