My comparison of iPads and PCs as platforms for user innovation last week generated the level of controversy usually reserved for Coke-versus-Pepsi arguments or, if you're a beer drinker, less-filling/tastes-great brawls.
Usually, I leave comments to the commenters, figuring I already got the big space in larger type that preceded them. This time, though, I can't resist. Here, then, are the major themes:
[ Get Bob Lewis's advice on being a modern IT pro each week delivered to your inbox, with InfoWorld's Advice Line newsletter. | Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. ]
Claim No. 1: The next version will fix all of the iPad's flaws
I've been involved in product evaluations for more than two decades, and if there's one constant in the process, it's that vendors aren't allowed to say they provide a feature or capability because it will be in the next release.
Yes, the next iPad might work out of the box without first having to be connected to an iTunes-equipped PC or Mac. If so (as promised for iOS 5), that will be terrific. But you can't buy it now, and a promise isn't a feature you can rely on. Besides, this was a trivial aside, not a major argument against using the iPad.
To the individual who accused me of lying because you can, he asserts, use an iPad straight out of the box, two points. First: You can't. Check out Apple's online manual, where the first words in Chapter 2 (which covers setup) are "Connect iPad to your computer and use iTunes to set up, register, and sync content."
Second, and the more important point: When your friends (assuming you have any) make statements you believe are inaccurate, do you accuse them of lying, or is this something you do only when online? There are other possibilities, you know, like their being misinformed or being informed by different sources that disagree with the ones you consult.
Then there's the stylus question, which came up in the comments, and the commenters' answer, which was that Apple will at some point produce a high-quality precision stylus and all will be good. Even if Apple had promised this, it's not real until it's real, as I said before.