Each generation of computer is characterized by a major technological development that fundamentally changed the way computers operate, resulting in increasingly smaller, cheaper, more powerful and more efficient and reliable devices.
The iPad essentially revolutionises the concept of a tablet computer. Previously tablet devices addressed a legitimate consumer need (casual, lazy, couch-bound computing), but left most people frustrated with a stylus-driven handwriting recognition system and an operating system that was really designed to be used on a desktop PC.
Mobile phones also support a wide variety of other services such as text messaging, MMS, email, Internet access, short-range wireless communications (infrared, Bluetooth), business applications, gaming and photography. Mobile phones that offer these more general computing capabilities are referred to as smartphones.
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide.
Software is often divided into application software (programs that do work users are directly interested in) and system software.