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Monday, 06 May 2013 12:09

Wanted, a good tablet operating system


I am now three months into my second tablet, a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, and after using both iOS and Android extensively I have come to the conclusion that there is room for a new tablet operating system. Absent other contenders, Microsoft has a great opportunity to make a comeback.

Android and iOS are great smartphone operating systems. However, as an OS for a large screen device, what both Google and Apple have dished up is rubbish. My new sleek and shiny Android device is clunky and limited to the point that to do even basic work, like writing this article, I still prefer to lug my heavy MacBook around.

With the early underpowered iPad models, Apple at least had an excuse for serving up the limited capabilities of iOS. However, with tablets now capable of sporting 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, expecting us to make do with modified smartphone operating systems is nonsense.

Microsoft has made a valiant attempt at plugging this gap with Windows 8. However, as I expounded in recent reviews of the HP Envy x2, there’s no sense putting lipstick on a bloated pig.

Leaving aside its inherent security issues, Windows 8 as it stands is simply too resource intensive to make the grade as a serious tablet operating system. That said, at least Microsoft is on the right track and given its history of releasing a good OS on every second attempt, perhaps the next Windows will hit centre stage in the tablet space.

Apple, on the other hand, should hang its head in shame. After single-handedly creating the tablet market with the revolutionary iPad, years later the device is still an oversized iPhone.

At the very least, the large screen iPad models could be running a modified version of the excellent Mac OS X. Apple could also very easily release a custom dock that converts an iPad into a hybrid clamshell like the HP Envy x2.

In a nutshell, most of us road warriors who must do work outside the office would like to have an affordable lightweight small footprint device that has the capabilities and convenience of both a tablet and a laptop. The current generation of tablets now have the potential of delivering this. All that is needed is an operating system to match.


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Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.



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