Will Tablet Computers Finally Matter?

For all the hype about the rumored Apple Tablet, the ‘will they or won’t they’ about Microsoft’s Courier tablet, and a host of actual tablet announcements such as Lenovo’s IdeaPad U1 and the Dell’s still unnamed slate, everyone seems to have forgotten one tiny, little fact: tablets have been around forever and have never, ever lived up to their buzz.

Back in 1987, Go Corp. was the first company to really try to get tablet-based computing off the ground. It quickly crashed. Then, in 1993, Apple tried to make a go of pen/tablet-based computing with the Newton. It flopped. In 2000, Microsoft started toying with the idea of a dedicated tablet. Guess what happened to all its plans? They too all pretty much came to nothing.


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