We live in explosively innovative times for tablet computing and mobile apps. But it didn't all happen overnight. Most attempts to build a tablet-like computer, going back to the '70s, were not successful. Yet every failure was a lesson learned that led us to the iPad. Here's a look back at how the modern tablet came to be.
Smart Display ( codenamed Mira) was one of Microsoft's bigger flops. It was a wireless monitor available in 10- or 15-inch sizes that had some mobility but ultimately had to be tethered to a Windows PC. It relied on the slower Wi-Fi networks of the era and had other limitations such as only allowing one Smart Display to connect to a PC at a time and locking the PC it was tethered to while in use. The lack of standalone capability and high price tag ($1000 - $1500) were the Smart Display's undoing. It was discontinued in late 2003.