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StaffIncremental BloggerExalted Ambition and a Tablet PC

Exalted Ambition and a Tablet PC

I like people with exalted ambition, those who acquire the skills and discipline to accomplish what other people just dream about. To my good fortune, I’ve worked with and met many such accomplishers. Each has made something that might not exist for the rest of us to use except for their insights and efforts.

Those who developed the Tablet PC and its software accomplished something I find prescient. It’s an amazing, mostly untapped communication tool that offers intellectual liberation not available before to so many people.

Tablet PCs provide a state of the art way for individuals to learn what each wants to learn on each person’s demand schedule. Already, physicians can use them to learn the status of their patients’ and use digital ink to order treatments. Realtors can show properties and prepare contracts remotely with digital ink. Students can learn at their own rates with minimum teacher mediation in numerous subjects, and teachers can use digital ink to edit and correct their work, remotely.

But I’m puzzled. In short, what is the marketing program for the Tablet PC? It doesn’t seem to exist in the mass market.

Where’s the exalted ambition of marketers to fulfill the prescience of the Tablet PC? Where’s the buzz that generates a street demand for this high tech product?

In two years, I can count on two hands the number of these units I’ve seen on TV or in movies. Someone should make sure each Oscar Recipient receives one on camera, each newscaster has one prominently used on camera, and TV commercials for services include them.

I saw only about a dozen of them at NECC 2005 and fewer at CES 2005.

I think people are asleep in marketing programs of Tablet PC hardware manufacturers and branders as well as software publishers.

This isn’t rocket science, it’s marketing, positioning, not selling. It doesn’t require expensive advertising campaigns, big name, big pay, long resume MBAs to generate positions when a product exists that sells itself to those who see it and touch it.

You know people who can get Tablet PCs into TV and movie sets, into independent software developers’ hands, and into more schools. Ask, and use your access.

I’m a teacher, so I think about uses for Tablet PCs in schools more than in other economic sectors. What’s the schedule of the Microsoft Tablet PC bus tour to schools? What plan exists to get more Tablet PCs in more schools?

I think every child in every school should have a Tablet PC to use on demand (all 49.5 million U.S. elementary and high school students enrolled in 2003 in the U.S. plus those in the rest of the world; that’s probably the largest market available for any tech tool). To deprive them of such a tool restricts their learning today in meaningful ways.

I agree this assertion sounds like a polemic. I don’t think it is, so let’s test the proposition empirically.

James A. Michener wrote in The Novel (I paraphrase from his chapter about The Critic) that the best writing by the best minds is for reading by like-minded people. To reach the general public, an author must write to the lowest common denominator, a possible lucrative, but less than noble ambition.

I hope those with exalted ambition who created digitized ink enabled hardware and software don’t want to limit the use to themselves and to elites. They have created common denominator tools with noble prescience.

Get it on, guys. Liberate us too. Market your tools to the rest of us. Fulfill your promise, your exalted ambition.

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  1. Here’s a sample of existing mass marketing about the Tablet PC. Microsoft Tries to Nudge Tablet PCs Into the Mainstream, Lower prices are part of the new push.PC World, January 28, 2005. This clever slogan “Can Your Notebook PC Do This?“ appears occasionally. Tablet PC Partners Program. And many fine blogs. What did I miss? Maybe I’m the one asleep?