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More On The Future - History of the Desktop

Slideshow: The Evolution of the Desktop Computer
More On The Future - History of the Desktop

Of course, if the desktop computer is truly on its way out and forced into a market niche, the tablet may provide the direction and assume the role the desktop computer once held - a mainstream computing device that reached billions of people. In this view, the tablet could be seen as an expansion of the role of the traditional desktop and mobile PC. As much as we see "touch" and form factor to be the key ingredients of the tablet today, there is plenty of innovation left. The history of tablets did not begin with the iPad - we have tablets during the dotcom boom in the 2000/2001 time frame (which lacked wireless capability and decent batteries), we had the Palm Pilot in the mid-1990s and, further back, there was the Dynabook, conceptualized at Xerox PARC in 1968. The Dynabook is generally viewed as the first comprehensive concept of a tablet. Other than the physical keyboard, the main difference to today's tablets was a feature that would allow users to create their own applications. While there have been plenty of mobile computers and tablets, Alan Kay - who created the idea for the Dynabook - believes that a functional device has not been invented yet.

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