I came across an odd post by Jason D. O’Grady entitled Would you buy an all-screen notebook computer? on the in the "Apple Core" blog at ZDNet. This really short post centered on the proposed concept for the second-generation OLPC, which is expected to have a lower screen that can be used as a virtual keyboard (with haptic feedback) instead of a physical keyboard. O’Grady then went on to provide a poll asking if readers would be willing to buy an all-screen notebook.
The strange thing about this post was that there was absolutely no mention of slate Tablet PCs and UMPCs. O’Grady was instead treating the idea of an all-screen notebook as if it were a completely original and radical idea as opposed to simply a new example of something that has existed for several years. The poll question only had "yes" or "no" options and didn’t even have the obvious "I already have one" as a choice.
This was posted on an Apple-centered blog, which is almost certainly the key explanation for this. Slate notebooks to date have mainly been Windows-based (although there are a few Linux models out there too) and Apple focused bloggers have a definite tendency to pretend that the Windows world essentially doesn’t exist, particularly when it comes to innovative features that haven’t shown up in Apple products. I’m even a tad surprised that the OLPC caught this author’s attention considering that it isn’t an Apple product.
The no-keypad design of the iPhone and iPod Touch has also generated a fair amount of posts and articles from Apple bloggers and journalists that seem to suggest that the concept was completely new or that only cite the Apple Newton as a precedent. Of course, there have been numerous slate PDAs and phones in the Palm OS and Windows Mobile world for years, but I guess they don’t really count since they aren’t Apple products.
I really don’t have anything against Apple (I actually recently got my wife a MacBook), but the extremely myopic viewpoint of some Apple enthusiasts has always been an irritation to me.