Cloud computing and social media is not just about the software and services that are available they are about how you access those services and software. You may have noticed that some company run by a chap called Jobs has brought out a new touch screen computer called the iPad which according to the adoring hordes of Apple fan teams is the future not only of computing but of human life, too. Well, almost.

One of the more interesting developments this week has been the news that Microsoft and HP are withdrawing their forthcoming tablet offerings. Maybe this makes sense for HP which has just bought out Palm so a re-jig of their tablet device with the Palm WebOS operating system may be in the offing, but the retraction of the MS Courier device is more puzzling. Maybe the teething problems with the iPad has brought about a change of heart and certainly the iPad doesn’t appear to have been the great computing saviour some people have been shouting about.

Steve Jobs at the launch of the iPad boasted “What this device does is extraordinary. It is the best browsing experience you ever had.”

Well, until you hit a brick wall in accessing a site with Flash. I’ll let Adobe and Apple scrap over the pros and cons of Flash, but as it stands there are a hell of a lot of sites that use Flash which iPad users cannot utilise fully. Jobs may be right in that HTML5 will render Flash old hat but until that day arrives there’s going to be a fair few Apple users hacked off with their new gadgets which are effectively glorified e-Readers.

PC Pro lists the top tasks that people use a computer for and these are:

  • Email
  • Word processing
  • Browsing
  • Photo editing
  • Accounts
  • Music – listening
  • Games
  • Social networking
  • Database work
  • Desktop publishing
  • Internet telephony
  • Video editing
  • Web design
  • Programming
  • Music editing

Now take a look at each of those in depth and how many would you want to undertake on a tablet with no proper keyboard. Even Jobs at the launch had to demonstrate email with the iPad sitting on his knees. Word processing forget it. I can see gaming and social media and, to some extent, browsing as being great for slates, but it is going to take some persuading to get me using one of these gadgets for any of the other tasks.

Do you have an iPad and what’s your take on this?