Coffeehouse Thread

18 posts

Steve Jobs: PC's are like trucks. Me: Not.

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • User profile image
    androidi

    I'm in middle of watching this video D8: Steve Jobs Onstage, and at (40-48 min into) the point where he talks about personal computers being like trucks and stuff and why they did not use stylus for their tablet.

     

    http://video.allthingsd.com/video/d8-steve-jobs-onstage-full-length-video/70F7CC1D-FFBF-4BE0-BFF1-08C300E31E11

     

    So of course what I as a consumer want is the best of both worlds and not only the stuff that a finger UI is suitable for, but for increased usability and battery I could certainly sacrifice some of the traditional PC features (***).

     

    My vision of a PC based tablet:

     

    Make it similar as the ipad in terms of touch+mobile UI, then have in the bottom a physical stand than can be extended out of the bottom to make the tablet stand on the table in suitable angle. Then when external power, mouse and keyboard is attached, it will turn on a full powered PC. There should also be an extension bus, possibly a whole new bus that allows to bypass the internal circuitry of the tablet, essentially turning the tablet into just a display panel with a HDD that would still be in use so you get to keep your data available. Through the bus you could attach a small box that could contain in small space more HDD's, ports, another faster CPU+GPU for gaming and a beefier power supply. Essentially you'd have 2 PC's one inside the tablet and another a mini-pc for extensibility and longer lifetime like desktop PC's have with just one display. The display should be superb, so there's no need to buy another display. Cost cut on anything but the display and touch mechanism and sturdiness of the stand/robustness of case material, the desktop extension unit can contain the gaming-level GPU/CPU which tend to make 2/3 of a desktop PC cost.

     

    It was also noted, that it's essential that everything is in one place, so you don't feel like you have 2 PC's. Thats why the HDD internal to the tablet unit is always the system HDD and the possible additional HDDs in the desktop extension unit are always some archive HDD's.  The whole selling point here is that you don't need 2 PCs but you can buy a tablet with great display and then it will have extensibility to make it also last more than 5 years through the desktop extension unit that allows easy replacement hardware so it will serve both mobile and 3D gaming markets.

     

    The touch+mobile UI there would be restrictions placed in app design and OS that would be enforced. This would mean enforcing only certain finger-touch APIs for control and restrict stuff that eats battery by removing availability of all APIs that cause polling style behaviour in the mobile mode. Then MS should also take a look at the most popular apps on the desktop that can be converted into usable in this mobile form and try to make those available at the announcement of the rest of this.


    (***) but only if there were some guarantees (I'll explain) in place that make sure there would be no possiblity to do straight port of traditional PC app into the mobile touch mode (necessitating investment into the mobile mode app experience) which would make the product just look like a dinosaur with no innovation in comparison to the ipad. The focus needs to be on the mobile touch (w/o stylus) usability and the fact it can turn into a full power PC should just be "one last thing" as Jobs likes to say.

  • User profile image
    DCMonkey

    One big problem with your vision is that you either leave people with a tiny 10 inch display on the desktop or a huge (26" in my case) tablet to lug around. And if you're doing the kind of gaming where you need more horsepower, you aren't going to want to do it on a tiny screen either.

     

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    Here's my ideal vision:

     

    Keep desktop PCs the way they are, but move all user "stuff" to a central home server type machine (or a separate drive in the desktop PC if no server is available). The tablet would sync to the PC whenever it was on the same network. So both would have the same photos, doucments, music, movies, etc. Backups would happen automatically to a location in the cloud.

     

    When activated, the tablet would turn into a touch surface for the desktop PC. Not sure how this would look, but basically touches on the tablet get sent to the PC for interaction. This essentially replaces the mouse.

     

    When the tablet is away from the PC, it functions as the iPad does, with its own touch-centric apps and media capabilities, ready for the user to "consume".

     

    Should the user choose to, the data on the PC/Server will be accessible over the Internet so the tablet would always be up-to-date. Allow remoting into the PC from the tablet in case extra work is needed on the road, but improve it so that a user could conceivably play a 3D game on the tablet, assuming the bandwidth required is available.

     

    The tablet itself would be about the size of a mousepad, but able to fold up to fit in a pocket.

     

    Finally, the setup of all of these devices would be "plug it in, turn it on, answer a few questions" and nothing more. The user should be completely up and running in under an hour.

  • User profile image
    Blue Ink

    I'm not sure why you would have to have two separate sets of chips... wouldn't it be simpler if CPU, GPU and everything else could balance their power depending on whether it's running on battery or not?

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    Blue Ink said:

    I'm not sure why you would have to have two separate sets of chips... wouldn't it be simpler if CPU, GPU and everything else could balance their power depending on whether it's running on battery or not?

    Yeah, there are Larabee, Cell, and APU for that.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
    Last modified
  • User profile image
    DCMonkey

    Blue Ink said:

    I'm not sure why you would have to have two separate sets of chips... wouldn't it be simpler if CPU, GPU and everything else could balance their power depending on whether it's running on battery or not?

    Where are you going to put this in a tablet?

     

    Generic Forum Image

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    DCMonkey said:
    Blue Ink said:
    *snip*

    Where are you going to put this in a tablet?

     

    Generic Forum Image

    which is true 5 years later.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
    Last modified
  • User profile image
    DCMonkey

    magicalclick said:
    DCMonkey said:
    *snip*

    which is true 5 years later.

    Maybe In 5 years today's top end performance will fit in a tablet, but the top end 5 years from now won't.

     

     

  • User profile image
    Bass

    The Internet is NOT a big truck. It is not something you just dump something on.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    DCMonkey said:
    Blue Ink said:
    *snip*

    Where are you going to put this in a tablet?

     

    Generic Forum Image

    It looks there would be structural integrity issues if you try to actually mount that in a case...

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    DCMonkey said:
    magicalclick said:
    *snip*

    Maybe In 5 years today's top end performance will fit in a tablet, but the top end 5 years from now won't.

     

     

    And this is important to note here. "Maybe In 5 years today's top end performance will fit in a tablet" is enough to make everyone jump on it. I am confident our technology is moving to a portable domain because the performance of these small devices are good enough for general computing. The hardcore performance is no longer the main focus in consumer market.

     

    I really say, mobile domain is the future. MS is either too early with Win Mo or too late to update. But, soon you will see the emerging market moving away from traditional desktop computers.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
    Last modified
  • User profile image
    turrican

    Brilliant. This is what I have been dreaming about for years!

     

    PCs are not sci-fi, they ARE indeed like trucks. What you say and what I dream is where PCs should be heading toward.

     

    One small tablet device to go but it's "2"... whenever you need the full horse power, you just attach it to a monitor or make itself bigger and you play your games on it.

     

    That being said, I think we are heading in that direction already but almost... with RemoteFX, maybe stuff like http://thinlinx.com become a little tablet in your hand where it can use the power from the server and just stream the stuff. Kind'a like "OnLive" http://www.onlive.com/ ...and this way, we will soon have both a small good to go tablet and the full PC as long as you got a good line ofcourse.

  • User profile image
    iStation

    I want an ebook reader device like iPad other than PC tablet.

     

    I hope MS will develop a light, thin, wide, coffee-spill proof, annotationable, dog ear markable ebook reader, or MS version of iPad.

    I want to read many MS press books but I don't have commodious storage space...

    ;(

  • User profile image
    androidi

    DCMonkey said:

    One big problem with your vision is that you either leave people with a tiny 10 inch display on the desktop or a huge (26" in my case) tablet to lug around. And if you're doing the kind of gaming where you need more horsepower, you aren't going to want to do it on a tiny screen either.

     

    Yep point taken, I thought about it more just after posting but there's still a scenario where the horsepower and big screen could be inside a large TV/game console unit but when you'd attach the tablet device it could take over the those systems just acting as a HDD+OS. With the "usual quality level" of the displays PC makers use I think it would be a flop given what we know OEMs+MS have come up with in the past. That's why I said it has to have superb display, something better than anything the buyer has seen before. The finger input+PC extensibility features are just to seal the deal.

     

    I recently saw the XEL-1 OLED display in person and would have no doubt that mere casual users of PC apps would be entirely satisfied with that as their primary display even it if it's just 11" (assuming it also had higher resolution than it now does). First time I returned twice to the shop just to stare whatever they had running on it.  Smiley

     

     

     

  • User profile image
    davewill

    Take a piece of plexiglass and cut it to any size you want (greater than 2 inches by 2 inches).  In the 2x2 corner of the plexiglass is all the chips needed to be a computer.  That is my vision of a PC based tablet.

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    magicalclick said:
    DCMonkey said:
    *snip*

    And this is important to note here. "Maybe In 5 years today's top end performance will fit in a tablet" is enough to make everyone jump on it. I am confident our technology is moving to a portable domain because the performance of these small devices are good enough for general computing. The hardcore performance is no longer the main focus in consumer market.

     

    I really say, mobile domain is the future. MS is either too early with Win Mo or too late to update. But, soon you will see the emerging market moving away from traditional desktop computers.

    Agreed.

     

     

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    turrican said:

    Brilliant. This is what I have been dreaming about for years!

     

    PCs are not sci-fi, they ARE indeed like trucks. What you say and what I dream is where PCs should be heading toward.

     

    One small tablet device to go but it's "2"... whenever you need the full horse power, you just attach it to a monitor or make itself bigger and you play your games on it.

     

    That being said, I think we are heading in that direction already but almost... with RemoteFX, maybe stuff like http://thinlinx.com become a little tablet in your hand where it can use the power from the server and just stream the stuff. Kind'a like "OnLive" http://www.onlive.com/ ...and this way, we will soon have both a small good to go tablet and the full PC as long as you got a good line ofcourse.

    Although we can really move into the domain of upgradable mobile deiveces. I remember there is something called VidDock. I find it really cool. If we really made a full fledged interface to connect graphics card externally, we are essentially able to game Crysis at High on a notebook. I wasn't able to try it out because it is using notebook card, which is already phased out on my HP notebook.

     

    Imagine an interface that allows you to add additional CPU, RAM, GPU using a simple unified external connection, I think we would be able to phase out desktop at most cases. Because wouldn't it be cool to have everything on your notebook and when you are at home, you can upgrade your notebook for higher processing load. No need more data sync, no need or two copies of software, no need for two desktop, and much much more.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
    Last modified
  • User profile image
    kettch

    magicalclick said:
    turrican said:
    *snip*

    Although we can really move into the domain of upgradable mobile deiveces. I remember there is something called VidDock. I find it really cool. If we really made a full fledged interface to connect graphics card externally, we are essentially able to game Crysis at High on a notebook. I wasn't able to try it out because it is using notebook card, which is already phased out on my HP notebook.

     

    Imagine an interface that allows you to add additional CPU, RAM, GPU using a simple unified external connection, I think we would be able to phase out desktop at most cases. Because wouldn't it be cool to have everything on your notebook and when you are at home, you can upgrade your notebook for higher processing load. No need more data sync, no need or two copies of software, no need for two desktop, and much much more.

    Random crazy musings, none of which is guarenteed to make any sense:

     

    Having fancy docks is redundant and too complex in most cases. It should be fine as long as there is a solid sync story. If I can be guaranteed that the things that I care about are going to be accessible to me when and where I happen to be, then I'm happy. This assumes ubiquitous wireless broadband, but I already have that so no big deal. What I don't have yet is the hardware and software to make this happen.

     

    WP7 and Live Wave 4 will partially deliver on this, but there is still a way to go. Live Sync needs to go beyond allowing me to Sync specific files and folders. Doing that is fine, but I want the ability to browse and search across my entire personal cloud. I don't need a document to be specifically sync'd to my phone if I can browse to it and have it download in a few seconds.

     

    At some point I'd like to be able to have video streamed from my Home Server and be able to pause and resume from any of my devices. Start watching a recorded show at home, pause it and be able to move to another room in the house, or finish it on my phone during lunch. This also applies to documents, email, pictures, and any other kind of content. If I'm working on a document on my desktop, I would like to be able to click a button to send it to my phone and open it without having to save it to a place that is sync'd, pick up my phone, browse to the file, open it and scroll to where I am. The same for pictures. If I'm at home hanging out with friends and I want to show somebody a picture on my phone, no big deal. If I want to show the picture to everybody in the room, I should be able to quickly send the image to the TV (Assuming some kind of Media Center) without doing much more than turning it on.

     

    It's fine if there are different operating systems, hardware platforms, and form factors. They just need to be able to talk to each other in a consistent, integrated way. My phone, desktop, laptop, tablet, and media center should be more than compatible devices. Those devices are what make up my personal cloud, the whole of which is greater than the sum of it's parts.

Comments closed

Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.