In a recent iPad Pro ad Apple simply asks “What’s a computer?” In response Microsoft has issued an ad mocking the iPad and Apple’s assertion. The suggestion being that if a device doesn’t run desktop class apps it’s not a computer. If it lacks a mouse, trackpad, and ports it’s not a computer. All irrelevant points. It’s been a question that’s been debated long before the iPad or Apple’s ad. But it seems a tired debate and a silly question. Isn’t the answer clear?
I suppose lines could get fuzzy with all of the embedding that is going on these days. But in terms of stand alone devices that people might use to compute, certainly it’s obvious that smart phones, whether they run Android or iOS are computers. As are tablets and laptops and desktops. All of them are computers that take on different form factors. My iPhone has more computing power than my Mac Color Classic or my G4 MacMini. In fact, it’s got more built in storage, ram and processor than any computer I owned prior to 2006. I can (and have) create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and movies with both the iPhone and iPad.
Really, why is this being debated at this point? Why does the form factor variation confuse so many people? Enough already!