Apple iPad pre-orders started today. I took a look at some of the peripherals Apple is offering with the iPad. And here's a thought: Slide the iPad into Apple's iPad Keyboard Dock, and the iPad potentially becomes a sleek thin client for your customers. Or does it? I know quite a few folks think the iPad won't live up to its hype. But I have a suspicion the iPad will eventually evolve to complete head-on with traditional thin clients and netbooks. Here's why.

Check out the Apple Store and you'll see how the iPad plugs into an optional keyboard. Of course, the iPad-keyboard combo is more expensive than most PC netbooks and notebooks. I think the iPad will start off as a digital newspaper and magazine readers, before evolving into a full-blown business productivity tool.

Consider the math: Right now, the iPad offers up to 64GB of storage. I suspect Apple will double that figure in a year or so, and double it again by about 2013 or so. At the same time, thousands of new applications will pour into the Apple App Store -- helping the iPad to gradually shift from homes into executive offices, before finding a potential place with more traditional office workers.

Of course, the story may not play out that way. But I do wonder how many MSPs will purchase the iPad for personal and business use. And I wonder how many MSPs will be prepared when your first customer asks for an informed opinion about the iPad.


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