One of the things that I think people mocking tablets, often forget is how revolutionary desktops were once upon a time.
In its context: the IBM PC and many of its close relatives were not powerful computers by any means, yet they helped change the world. The 5150 was no where near as capable as expensive time sharing systems, but it was cheap, and it was good enough.
For under ten grand you could get a pretty nice setup, and for a few grand you could get something worth using. Most early PCs ran an operating system that was a simplistic piece of crap, compared to what you would expect to find on computers costing tens of thousands, but it was enough for getting things done. Combined with the very anti-IBM approach of openness and third party support it caught on, and exploded—effectively wiping out competition from previous attempts to build an affordable ‘Good enough’, and eventually becoming more ubiquitous than the more capable machines that came before.
Remind you of the rise of Android and iOS any? In many ways the extent, and methods that exploded Android into the dominate phone OS, and a major player in tablets, reminds me a lot of how we went from computers that were too expensive to be personal, and reached a point where literally everyone can have their own computers.
You know, that kind of makes me feel more positive at Microsoft’s efforts with Metro and UWP, lol.