Originally Posted by blairh
Are you implying that tablets running a fully operational OS in the future mark the death of laptops? Because if so, I don't agree.
Yes, OS X and iOS are slowly merging, but I can't say for sure that it means they will evolve into one thing at some point. And even if they do, the laptop's form factor will be preferred by many (including myself). To state the new MBA's are a "moneygrab" is pretty absurd. It's the continuing evolution of the laptop. Smaller, faster, etc. You might think the MBA will be gone from the Apple lineup in 4 years time? I think it will probably be alive and well however running off the guts of the current 15"/17" MBP's and sporting a 15 hour battery.
The laptop isn't going anywhere. And while tablets will only get better, they won't mean the end of desktops/laptops. Honestly I don't really agree with Diaz when it comes to many of his proclamations about the future of computers. Shortly after the iPad was released he wrote an article about how it meant the desktop would be non-existent in 3 to 4 years time. Right.
The desktop is already non-existent for all intents and purposes. It will continue to exist as a niche product for hardcore gamers, people who run servers, and the like, but current sales figures
give the basic picture. Once companies start to upgrade their computer lines, I expect those sales to plummet. Maybe it won't "disappear" for a decade or more, the way Sony didn't discontinue the original Walkman until this week(!), but it's on its way out.
As for laptops, I don't know exactly what the future looks like. But I know it's pretty stupid to have to own both an ultra-portable laptop and a tablet just because the latter hasn't caught up to the former. There's just so much redundancy between the two. I expect the technological gap to close fairly quickly. Maybe we can imagine a product that gains additional memory, storage space, and battery life when you plug it into a keyboard, but that otherwise has all the properties of a tablet. Maybe something that runs a hybrid OS, or switches between two OSes on the fly. Who knows. But what's clear is that the Macbook Air doesn't represent anything innovative in the field of computing. It's not going to be the future.