OK, I’m going to confess to you right up front, I do not own a tablet of any kind, I do not own any Apple products, I do own a Samsung Galaxy S smart phone and a number of PC’s….NO Mac’s.

So why am I writing about this? Truthfully, I’m at a cross-roads if you will, I am going to buy a Tablet this year, and I don’t know which one to purchase. Here’s the dilemma, I’m a control freak. I prefer open systems over closed systems, I prefer Linux over Windows, but I use both, I have to. The Open & Closed system thing is how I’m wired, it’s not right or wrong, it’s just my preference that’s all. I prefer more open systems over closed systems, Apple & Windows are closed, which you would think, would be enough to help me make my decision. But, I’m a curious lot : )

Having said all that, I thought I would simply ask you, which one do you prefer & why. What is the deal maker for you, what made you decide to purchase the one you did, was it peer pressure or did you do your research and make your OWN decision?

So which one would you buy today if you were buying for the first time?

iPAD or Galaxy Tablet?

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Here it is, September 1st, 2010 and two things jumped out at me this morning after reading some business news. Newspapers still think they have something solid going, and Mall’s are still being touted as a good investment. With all the evidence that traditional business is failing in most sectors, those incredibly smart people are making critical errors in judgement.

Yesterday, a company called POSTMEDIA/Network announced that they have a new logo. Now it’s not the logo that has me scratching my head this morning. Former President of Roger’s Paul Godfrey is the President & CEO of Postmedia Network, this group’s list of brands should make you wonder why they continue down the futile path of print. Considering that Newspapers are dropping like flies these days, the predicting doom of book stores and other outbound media, why would you or anyone else invest in this venture? Not one but 11 brands under the Postmedia Network umbrella, all newspapers! They handle the National Post, Times Colonists, The Vancouver Sun, The Province, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Leader-Post, The StarPheonix, Ottawa Citizen, The Windsor Star and The Gazzette. These are probably the most read newspapers in Canada, and are also failing.

You can find Canadian Newspapers listed in iPad, you can’t read them, the list is of their websites you have to go visit, this will have to change if they want to survive. Newspapers should scrambling to make as many mobile apps as possible, build other ways of generating revenue. The online ad market is staggeringly huge, but for some reason print & TV are merely poking a stick at it. They will all but be forgotten when the other 3 billion people come online in the next 2 -3 years.

Another confusing move this morning, I was actually surprised how I responded when I read that a Mall in Surrey, B.C., Canada was sold for $91 Million, that’s cheap by today’s standards but it still sold. But a mall? Granted this mall is anchored by some heavy weights, SAVE-ON FOODS, Canadian Tire, Staples, Winners, HomeSense, Cactus Club and HSBC, plus 26 other businesses. Back in the 70’s & 80’s, he who owned the channel of distribution, had a secure future, would never be in danger of being out of business. Now, we still need some box stores, we will need warehouses, forklift drivers and so on. But you can also see where most of these mall businesses will either be 100% online or gone.

So the questions begs to be asked, why would you buy a mall? The investment of the land? Maybe. The longevity of these businesses remaining long time anchors in a mall? Maybe, but I doubt it.

These moves in of themselves are not life threatening or even bad for that matter by today’s standards, but in the next 3 – 5 years, I suspect they will be asking themselves what they were thinking.

Consider these two small movements today, and I quote, profits in Canada’s non-residential construction sector will fall to a five-year low this year, that’s according to a report by the Conference Board of Canada. Pre-tax profits for this year in this sector will be 1.2 billion, down from $1.4 billion in 2009, and will not recover to pre-recession levels until 2014, at it’s earliest, it’s survey forecast. If at all I wonder.

In Washington there is more bank demise, the number of problem-ridden US banks rose to the hihest levels in 17 years, just in the second quarter! The number of institutions on its “problem list” rose more than 7 percent in the second quarter.

Traditional business is still in denial, they keep doing business as usual thinking everything will turn out alright. Really? Do you really think things aren’t changing, do you really believe that a global population who screams to be heard, to be served the way they want to be served, they want it to be almost free or extremely low cost, they want it in an Open & Free Business Model. Today’s public will look until they find it the way they want it, no longer can you force people to do it your way big business, you best pay attention, because if you won’t, someone will pay attention and take your business. Wake Up!

On a positive note, today the Bank of Canada interest rate hike has been delayed : )

Now that the iPad is available, many are jumping on the 1st version as a collectors item. Many are hailing the iPad as the future of computing, I don’t see it that way. I do see Apple’s iPad as a player in the Net Neutrality movement, it’s a closed system that  forces you to play the Apple way.  This gives Apple the opportunity to control what you can and can’t do with the iPad, what apps you can run, what you can look at on the Net and so on. It’s another mechanism of control which smacks the face of being an open opportunity. Yes the product will have an impact in many areas, and you will enjoy using it. The bigger picture is more bothersome in my humble opinion.

Firstly, it’s not a computer. Secondly, it’s more like a portal that can run apps on the cloud. Thirdly, the size is a problem for power users. I see the iPad as a distraction, mobile computing should be your focus if you are a developer of apps. You can argue that the iPad is a mobile device, but you would be hard pressed to convince me. With only 1.7 Billion people on the Internet to date and another 3.3 Billion to come over the next 3 – 5 years, the iPhone, BlackBerry & Android are more likely the tools of choice over the iPad.

There will be a niche for the iPad but that’s a far cry from being the future of computing. The future of computing is in the Nanotechnology field, we will merge with technology and become wireless devices in the next 30 – 40 years. I won’t be around to see it most likely but it will be very interesting to watch the progress.

I suspect I’ll pick up an iPad at some point, but it’s not the future of my computing. Soon you won’t be able to buy Desktop Computers (Towers), Laptop’s will slowly disappear in the next 5 years, leaving the iPhone, BlackBerry, Android & iPad? Microsoft just announced a phone as well, we’ll see more before it’s all said and done. Don’t bank on any one thing in the next 10 years, we are going to see more change than ever before, making it impossible to predict what is and isn’t possible.

Net Neutrality is all about control and Apple isn’t about to move beyond that model anytime soon by the looks of things. I am more interested in ecosystems that benefit all, not just a chosen few.

What do you think? Is the iPad the future of computing or is it a shortterm product making way for something better?