I have seen this news in a number of places but I am giving credit to Loren Heiny since I saw it first on his Incremental Blogger site (but mainly because I like the work he does). Google has published their list of most popular search terms for 2004 and as always it is interesting to see the terms ranked in the various categories.
Everyone in the Tablet PC world is excited to see the Tablet PC appear as the number one computer search term on Google but we shouldn’t be surprised because those of us involved with them see how much interest Tablets can generate every day. So is this a time to sit back and say "I told you so" to all the Tablet nay-sayers? I say no it isn’t.
We should be hopping mad, well, at least perturbed, that the number one computer search term is a great product that very few people buy. How can that be? To be the number one Froogle search term in the computer category means that there were likely MILLIONS of people searching for information about Tablet PCs. So if there is so much interest in them why is it I never see them anywhere? I can go 2 or 3 weeks without seeing a single Tablet PC anywhere.
The answer is simple- there is no mainstream advertising. This must change and I hope this Google ranking shows the OEMs and Microsoft how many people want to see what the Tablet PC can do for them. Show them, already. TV ads targeted at regular people who have no idea what a Tablet can do for them. Prime time ads. It is time for the companies involved to realize that the Tablet PC is not just a niche product aimed at a few corporate executives. People want to know what benefits they can reap and they need to see it on TV ads. That is the vehicle to showcase your products so why don’t you do that? You see, if you rely on enthusiasts to do all of your promoting you will sell, oh, maybe a few thousand Tablets. Is this what you want?
And major retailers- now that you see how much interest people have in the Tablet PC why don’t you stock some in your stores? You know, so people can actually look at them and try them? I guarantee you if you stock them they will fly off the shelf. Honest.
And OEMs, if you will make one of these I’ll bet you will sell them faster than you can make them. Isn’t that what you want?
I will make the only prediction for 2005 you will see me make and that is if EOMs and Microsoft make a concerted ad campaign that includes lots of TV ads then we will see Tablet PCs begin to enter the mainstream. Which is where they should be.