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The Macalope’s so old he remembers when companies used to specialize in things. Now everyone’s gotta be makin’ everything.

For example, remember when Apple just used to make big tablets? Like, uh, it does now?

Well, the ever-active rumor mill—now fit enough news to be print upon the pages of The New York Times—has Apple’s making a 7.85-inch iPad. Not to be outdone, Amazon’s making a 10-inch Kindle Fire. Perhaps even more astonishing, Google and Asus—are you sitting down?—are finally making an Android tablet that doesn’t suck.

And you said it was impossible.

Of course, Microsoft—as it said umpteen times at the Surface announcement despite all the guffaws from the audience—has long been in the hardware business. Kind of like how Bruce Willis has been in the music business or Jon Bon Jovi in the acting business. For years! So, its making hardware is not unusual in the least.


Google, the Web company that made a Web operating system as a way of showing us that the Web was the new operating system and your old device-based operating systems were obsolete, made a device-based operating system called Android.

Now, like the actor that always wanted to direct, Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt says the company has always wanted to make hardware. Uh-huh. One wonders what, exactly, was holding it back. The company seems to have the attention span of the lead rat at the Red Bull and Hershey’s chocolate animal testing facility, so it wasn’t exactly discipline.

Lack of gumption, perhaps? Not enough stick-to-it-iveness?

Or maybe it was just seeing the fact that only Apple and Amazon were able to sell any tablets.

Well, we all live and learn. Sometimes pushing into new markets is a good idea.

Unless you’re RIM, of course.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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