Its kind of an misnomer to call these new devices Tablets, but too late for that. So I will refer to them as NetTablets indicating that these devices are not the Tablet PC’s we know of now, but instead very thin Network Slates that are designed to perform most of their tasks in the cloud.  But anyway…

A few days back we heard how TechCrunch’s Arrington announced how the group he was working with to design a simple slate (NetTablet) decided to go on with the product without him now calling it JooJoo priced at $500.  I do note expect it to be anything more then yet-another-netTablet given that its a custom OS tablet that must compete with Apple, many Andriod/Chrome and MS versions coming out, makes no sense.

So now are down to three.  And if you are thinking; ‘this seems a lot like the PC wars of old’ you would be correct. Although we have 3 major players instead of two.  And this time, MicroSoft is looking to go the Apple way by building married OS/hardware systems.  So you have MS and Apple building married devices and Android as the ‘open’ platform.  So who is going to win?  Well, lets have a look at the battlefield shall we?

First off, we have a brave new world of ‘Cloud’ computing returning. This is not your fathers cloud computing, where the device is useless without a connection, but close.  The NetTablets will be VERY thin devices that will only perform the basic tasks on their own.  A sort of compromise between the Personal Computer (PC) and the Terminal Computer.  With 128gig USB devices floating around out there, storage will not be an issue and we will find the graphics cards will be more powerful then the CPU.   These NetTablets will focus on two things.  Running a browser and displaying media.  Also, we are entering a new age starting with HTML5 where browsers can operate application even if they are offline.  Its almost as if you download an application that runs through the browser and that application is updated each time you refresh. Cache not withstanding.

We also are in the ‘iPhone’ age.  Not the best name I know, but you have to admit that the iphone completely changed how we think about mobile keyboard-less devices. {Update: just heard the term AppPhone.  Love it.} Between the iPhone and App store, we can see a platform that can perform a large number of tasks that before were relegated to PC (not just windows) only.  Android is simply another expression of this new understanding of mobile computing

And finally, we are FAR more connected then we have ever been before.  With 3G and unlimited plans, most users can connect to the web anywhere and at anytime.  The stage is set.  We can finally explore ‘Slate’ computing as it was invisioned almost 10 years ago.

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