Sometimes (especially when attending Microsoft press conferences, in particular), it's easy to believe that the multiplying Macs and their magical iPad cousins have taken over the portable computing world.
Frank Shaw, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Communications, took the unusual step -- given the Softies' usual reticence to mention their rivals -- of sharing a bunch of data on Microsoft and its competitors in various industry segments. Shaw didn't share a memo he wrote that amplified his message, but All Things Digital's Kara Swisher shared it for him.)
The PC numbers (collected by a variety of third-party sources cited by Shaw in his blog post), were especially interesting:
7.1 million Projected iPad sales for 2010
58 million Projected netbook sales in 2010
355 million Projected PC sales in 2010
I still think blogger Long Zheng made this point best a couple years ago. (In fact, I liked his image so much that I ended up using it on my business card.)
As telling as these numbers are, I can't help but wonder when and if we're going to see Microsoft create a common user interface for the coming crop of slate PCs running not Windows 7, but Windows Embedded Compact. (If Microsoft doesn't end up doing this, each of the coming slates running Embedded Compact will have a different look and feel, creating another Windows Mobile situation.)
There are some nice new Windows 7 laptops and netbooks coming to market, but my "magical" device would be a Windows-based slate with some serious battery life and true instant on/off. I want my Winpad!