I had dinner the other night with a very smart friend of mine who works at Google.
He was dismissive of Apple's new iPad.
I think that he is wrong.
One question for those who would dismiss the iPad: having used a Mac, would you ever go back to using a PC?
More specifically, having experienced a relatively stable operating system, with few virus' and little or no spyware, would you ever go back to the opposite?
My guess is that, for the overwhelming majority of people, the answer is, "No!".
So, perhaps by exposing masses of users to the joys of a Mac for an accessible US$499, Apple is actually going to gain legions of new users?
In this case, the introduction of the iPad resembles a freemium strategy on Apple's part: try our iPad (at little or no cost), we believe that you'll like it so much that you will upgrade to a MacBook, MacBook Pro, or iMac.
Maybe the iPad wasn't such a dumb idea after all!