Did HBO’s ‘The Wire’ have the iPad seven years before launch?

As anyone who’s watched the show will attest, HBO’s The Wire, which ran from 2002 to 2008, is the finest television series ever made. So naturally, I’m rewatching every episode. Imagine my surprise when I saw an iPad in this season two episode (Storm Warnings, Original Air Date: August 10, 2003) as Lieutenant Carver tracks the bad guys. Did HBO get an iPad seven years before every else?

OK, so maybe not. As you can see on this second screen shot above, there’s the familiar Windows XP “Start” button in the corner. That proves a couple of things. First, HBO didn’t have access to Apple prototypes, and more importantly, Microsoft blew it. Big time.

The Redmond, Washington company had pretty sleek hardware, the right form factor, and a big screen at least seven years before Apple started shipping its already-iconic iPad. They just simply couldn’t put the right software on it. There it is, the ultimate proof of Microsoft’s sheer stupidity and inability to change: Windows XP on a tablet. And today, in 2010, Steve Ballmer continues to triumph Windows-based tablets. Microsoft’s fumbling and bumbling in smartphones has continued to this new category of computing, making me think of this Wire epigraph:

Actually, that’s giving Microsoft too much credit. Should be “…very slow, and too late.”


By eliasmakos

Host of The Elias Makos Show on CJAD 800.

One reply on “Did HBO’s ‘The Wire’ have the iPad seven years before launch?”

I actually have both. Almost identical in width and height, but not thickness. Got my Compaq tc1000 around 2002. It was a peach in it’s day but was pen based not touch screen with a detachable keyboard. Takes about 3 minutes to turn on as opposed to the instant availability of the iPad.

It has been relegated to use as a Slingbox viewer in the bathroom these days. Still runs like a top.

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