Reporters' Roundtable: Can the iPad be topped?

Today is iPad 2 launch day, so we're talking about the tablet industry. Is Apple's tablet platform unstoppable? Will developers give it up for Android? Does Microsoft still have a shot?

Today is iPad 2 day. People are once again lining up to buy Apple's latest new shiny toy. Why? What does Apple get right that other tablet vendors don't? We're going to talk about this release as well as how Google, Microsoft, HP, and RIM are faring in this new market.

As usual, we have two expert guests. First in the studio, Josh Lowensohn, our CNET News Apple reporter, freshly back from braving the line at the downtown San Francisco Apple store.

Joining us via Skype from Raleigh, N.C., Anand Shimpi, founder of the great tech analysis site AnandTech.

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Some of our discussion points

First, let's do the numbers...

From RBC Capital Markets: Apple sold 14.8 million iPads in 2010. Forecasts for 2011 sales are all over the map. RBC thinks shipments will pass 60 million by 2014, and that tablets overall will become 12 percent of computing shipments by then as well. Tablets plus smartphones will make up nearly two-thirds of all computing devices shipped - 64 percent.

What is happening to computing? Is this the post-PC era or what ?

What makes the iPad concept tick? John Gruber on Daring Fireball says, "They take something small, simple, and painstakingly well considered. They ruthlessly cut features to derive the absolute minimum core product they can start with. They polish those features to a shiny intensity."

Is that accurate? Does anyone else do it?

What did iPad 1 get right (that Microsoft didn't)?

How good is the iPad 2? How good does it have to be? What's missing?

The feature battle. How does it stack up? Do features matter?

Let's talk about the competition. First up: Google. How's it looking for Android? Where does Chrome OS fit in? Best Android tablet is the Xoom, right? Why?

Advantages of Android for developers? How do they choose between Apple, Google?

Microsoft: Windows 8 coming in 2012. Too late, or still early days for this market? Why did MS fail in tablets so far?

Discuss HP, WebOS, and Touchpad.

Discuss RIM, and Blackberry Playbook.

Outlook for 2011? For 2011 holiday period? Next three years?

Wrap-up
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