Like a lot of people, my first experience with a tablet computer was trying the iPad. I was very impressed with the hardware and fast interface, but with a price tag of £400 for the entry device, it would have been an expensive luxury, and already having a laptop which was more productive I couldn’t justify getting one. Then came a long line of Android tablets trying to get a piece of the action, but none of them appealed to me. What I was really waiting for was a tablet from Nokia. They had of course brought their Internet Tablets, the 770, N800, N810 to market but these weren’t quite what I was after (the N900 came close).
Nokia’s work on Maemo and MeeGo Harmattan shut up shop as we all know, and with Nokia’s history of putting Windows 7 on a netbook, in the form of the Nokia Booklet 3G, when rumours started that Microsoft were about to release a tablet which Nokia had worked on, I was excited. It turned out that Microsoft had made the tablet by themselves, the Surface and Surface Pro which released to a mixed reaction, but personally I liked what I saw. Dell, Samsung and Asus each brought a Windows 8 tablet to the market but still nothing was coming from Nokia.
On the eve of Nokia World, with leaked pictures of a Nokia tablet codenamed “Sirius” I believe the wait is nearly over. What seems to be a little more than a coincident is that just a few days ago the Windows 8.1 update got released to the public, addressing a lot of issues people had with the original Windows RT/8 software. So far, Windows RT tablets haven’t been huge sellers, and thinking back to something Stephen Elop said in May of 2011:
“My challenge to the team is I don’t want ours to be the 201st tablet on the market that you can’t tell from all of the others. We have to take a uniquely Nokia perspective.”
Looking back at Nokia in the months and years which have passed since Elop made that statement has seen them bring some very nice devices to the market, but there’s no denying it has been a tough period for the Finnish company, and they have done incredibly well not only to survive, but to be at a point where devices like the Lumia 1020 has wowed critics and customers alike. Bringing a tablet to market would have taken a lot of effort away from the Lumia smartphones, and ultimately not have been successful.
So, was waiting until now (if the rumours are to be believed of course) a very canny move? I believe so. Windows 8.1 is an improved operating system, ironing out a lot of creases. I think this also is a good indication of what Elop was talking about when he mentioned the “war of ecosystems” (by the way, was Elop the first person to identify platform ecosystems?) Looking at Apple with iOS on smartphones and tablets, Android on smartphones and tablets, even Blackberry have brought out a tablet. Nokia, with their push to be a main player in this game need to keep up. I for example gave up waiting for a Nokia tablet when Dell slashed the price on their RT device, the XPS10.
I will be watching with anticipation the Nokia World Live Stream tomorrow, and will be hoping to see the Lumia 2520.
We recently took a look at Windows 8.1, with a video going up on our YouTube channel yesterday. You can watch that video below.
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