The iPad is a GREAT device! That statement is not going to make this blog among the most controversial you're going to read today.
I've got an iPod touch, and it's as dear to me as my mobile phone. I'd rather not leave home without it. It supplies me with time service (clock), email and feeds, the weather, stocks, my calendar, my contacts, picture album, radio, tv-guide, buzz, twitter and my music. And the games! I browse the App Store, I search, check maps and I Skype. What a device!!!
Then comes the iPad. Automatically I get all the above capabilities and then some. I can now read my paper (a misnomer from now on) in full-size pdf, books, and everything becomes huge and impressive. Even most games written for the iPod touch become larger and easier to play. I'm lost for words. I know for sure it's going to change personal computing fundamentally. You pick it up as if it was a magazine. Then you sit down with it, just about anywhere, the kitchen, tv-room. You can hold it any way you like. Landscape is as natural to it as portrait. You read your mail, you answer some. You check Facebook and Twitter. You update the blog and you put on music and you read the feeds, the paper, etc. Compare this with the way you use or handle your laptop. They really are very different!
It seems only Apple knows how to make these devices. Bill Gates loved tablets for years, but his company failed to make them. He was also unable to get a PC producer to make a decent tablet. Microsoft must be rather upset about how someone else fulfilled their dream, but I don't think they can be blamed. They are a software company. Apple's tablet devices come from a company that has it all. Having just software expertise doesn't mean you have 50% of what it takes to make an iPad, no, you have much, much less. And Microsoft never had what it takes.