There will always be two groups of people, one group of those wanting to hack things, and another, much much larger group of those who want just use them. For every one John who wants to chip his car engine there will be five millions Joes who just want to get from the point A to the point B with the least hassle possible. As it happens Apples iProducts are aimed at the second group—deal with it. Just like ITMS and App Store may be the fastest and most hassle-free way to get what you want on your device.
I've spent some time thinking, do I want iPad. The answer is: I do. I like to read when in bed, iPad is perfect for this. I cannot take my iMac to bed, and reading with notebook is not as convenient as it can be with iPad: that damn keyboard gets in a way, event when I barely use it.
iPad is very well suited for what it is intended for: surfing the web, reading the books, some email. Let's not forget it has UI specifically tailored for the device and multitouch use. It should be great for tasks it was meant to do, and not so great for all others.
It is time to stop thinking about anything with CPU inside as the computer.
Apple reminds me of homeland security, but prettier!
Because, in fact, the sale of gas is subject to a great deal of regulation. That's to prevent someone from selling you adulterated gas that destroys your car's emission system. Or from selling you leaded gas that pollutes the air that our kids have to breathe.
And the reason the manufacturer doesn't need to enforce your use of the roads is that it's already being enforced by a higher authority. We have cops for that. And they very much do dictate that you keep your car on public roads, and not go driving off across someone else's lawn, or the National Mall.
If you think these extensions to the metaphor make no sense, you're missing the elephant in the room: Personal computers are insecure, and the average web surfer is more likely (probably, alas, by an order of magnitude) to have their computer steal their credit card numbers or grind to a halt under a flood of malware than they are to crack open the box or write a single line of code. An enormous number of people don't want the freedom I want, any more than they want to own an acetylene torch.
To your other point, Windows is insecure, not personal computers. A true personal computer is/would be owned by me, not a corporation, not a hacker.
Hmmm... Seems to me I've seen this freedom vs. security argument elsewhere...
I suppose the argument then is that you choose to limit yourself to what the iPad offers by buying and using one. As long as a priori most people understand what they are getting themselves into when they buy an iPad, I think everyone would agree that people should be able to make that choice. The problem is that a lot of people aren't going to understand beforehand the limitations of this device, so they won't have made a fully informed choice.
You seem to be assuming several things: that this is peculiar to the iPad, that people who do understand the limitations also care, and that if they don't make fully informed choices about things they care about that it is someone's fault other than their own.
I don't think those are accurate assumptions.
But your last point is a good one. And I think it gets to the crux of a lot of the hysteria over this being a "closed system." A lot of consumers aren't very savvy when it comes to complicated electronics. Maybe that's their fault? I don't know. But something in me says it's partially Apple's responsibility to educate people about the devices they sell through proper marketing.
If Apple markets this ethically they won't mislead people into thinking this is a general-purpose computer. Because if people perceive this as a general-purpose computer, they will be sorely disappointed in a lot of ways when they get it home.
So It doesn't have to be entirely the manufacturer's fault if I make an uninformed choice, but I'd argue that it is partially the manufacturer's responsibility to educate me.
It is, but there are practical limits to that. We don't usually expect companies to highlight things about their products that some people might not like, we just expect them to not lie. Obviously they omit much, but omissions aren't inherently nefarious or misleading (I know you're not saying that), so we're talking about something(s) more specific than that. What should Apple be expected to make clear about their products that they aren't currently?
If Apple markets this ethically they won't mislead people into thinking this is a general-purpose computer.
Isn't it though? In the sense of 'tasks you can perform' or 'purposes you can use it for', it seems quite general. It has limitations in terms of what is available from the store, but how would you convey those to limitations to someone as being distinct from obvious limitations like how the lack of a camera prevents you from taking pictures with it?
I'm not sure if that's a clear question, but I ask because it seems to me that people with a less detailed understanding about how these things work tend to view software limitations as being just as real as hardware limitations, and that whether it allows them to accomplish the tasks they want to perform or not is vastly more meaningful to them than their control over how it does so. I just don't get the sense that people will be disappointed.
Exactly. And that's what made tablet-PC unsuccessful for the most part. Because what you ended up doing was interacting with basically the same OS with a stylus instead of a mouse. The iPad is removing the cursor altogether.
At the end of the day, for the layman, non-techie user (ie: most of the population of the world), whether they are buying Windows, or an iPad, or using a Web app, they see it as something that enables them to do certain things and not others. They don't see the same restrictions we see as developers, and most of the time, they either don't understand them or don't care. At the end of the day, they got the product they paid for and use for what they wanted. If you want something different, buy something different.
What really makes the iPad any more special, especially considering the price?
Please don't say the UI, as it's not so well loved by everyone...
Please don't say the UI, as it's not so well loved by everyone...
I don't know what to say to that if you don't already know by now. What answer are you looking for? That Apple customers are brainless sheep?
Who's "everyone"? Everyone whose opinions you like to read on the Internet?