Ever since the launch of the most famous Tablet PC, the iPad, the market for such computers has been exploding. Every company you see is releasing a tablet in some for or another. Whether it's Motorola, Apple or Samsung, every company worth its salt seems to be jumping into the hottest market in consumer electronics today. Oh yeah, except Microsoft. Microsoft's global chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie, who reports directly to CEO Steve Balmer, believes that tablet PCs may not be that popular for that long and it may not be in Microsoft's best interests to get involved in that market.
He believes that the Smartphone will eventually take over for your laptop as your personal computer of sorts while the laptop will be a "portable desk." Those ideas aren't exactly shocking; most have been speculating that we'd go in that direction anyway for a while. Mundie believes that those two ideas will eventually bump into each other and take up the entire market with little of note in between. That's where he sees tablets.
They are the definition of in between. They, as of now, don't possess the overall functionality of a laptop so they can't be a portable desk and aren't nearly as mobile and comfortable to carry as a mobile phone. So where do they fit? Mundie doesn't know and when you think about it, he may be right. There's only so much space in the market for computers and in an economy like this, there's really no way the entire market can keep thriving.
Steve Jobs on the other hand believes that the iPad and its iOS operating system will usher in the post-PC era. That would effectively be the alternative to what Mundie suggested. Yeah there wouldn't be an in between where tablets were because they would form the outer edge; PCs would be left on the outside.
Either way, it doesn't look as though both Tablet PCs and normal laptops and PCs as we know them are going to survive. The Smartphone will push one out. Which one? We don't know and can only speculate but if the tablets keep showing the meteoric rise they've experienced, Jobs may be right on this one.