I have a confession to make. I use Linux more than I do any other operating system by a wide margin, but I also use a lot of Apple products. In house at the moment are two Mac Minis; a MacBook Pro, a pair of iPod Touches, and, oh yes, an iPad mark 1. I know I’m not the only Linux or Windows guy who likes his Mac stuff too. In recent months I’ve been to both open-source and Windows tech. shows and I’ve seen MacBooks, iPhones and iPads everywhere. Now, with the iPad2 on the runway, if Android, MeeGo, webOS, and yes Windows too, want to play a sizable share of the tablet market, they need to make moves now or the iPad 2 is going to run them over.
First, while the iPad 2 doesn’t look to me like a great upgrade over the first model of the iPad, it further extends its lead over the existing tablets. I’ve seen and played with, to name a few, the Motorola Xoom; the Fujitsu Stylistic Windows 7 slate; and a host of other, older Android tablets. None of them are competitive yet with the first iPad, never mind the iPad 2.
So is it game over for iPad’s would-be competitors? No, but here’s what I think Google, Intel, HP and Microsoft need to do to make a fight of it.