Bill Gates on the iPad: Hey, Apple, You’re Doing It Wrong
“The PC took computing out of the back office and into everyone’s office. The Tablet takes cutting-edge PC technology and makes it available wherever you want it, which is why I’m already using a Tablet as my everyday computer. It’s a PC that is virtually without limits–and within five years I predict it will be the most popular form of PC sold in America.”
Microsoft (MSFT) Chairman Bill Gates has long been an evangelist for tablet PCs, but he’s not impressed by Apple’s (AAPL) new variation on the device, the iPad. In an interview with BNET, Gates–who evidently finds the iPad neither magical nor revolutionary–diplomatically dismissed it.
“You know, I’m a big believer in touch and digital reading, but I still think that some mixture of voice, the pen and a real keyboard–in other words a netbook–will be the mainstream on that,” Gates said. “So, it’s not like I sit there and feel the same way I did with iPhone where I say, ‘Oh my God, Microsoft didn’t aim high enough.’ It’s a nice reader, but there’s nothing on the iPad I look at and say, ‘Oh, I wish Microsoft had done it.’”
Not yet, you don’t. Keep in mind that Gates said essentially the same thing about the iPod in 2004, only to launch the Zune two years later.
“There’s nothing that the iPod does that I say, ‘Oh, wow, I don’t think we can do that,’” he said. “There’s often, early in the new market, a few products that help get the category to critical mass. In the long run, people are going to buy what gives them the right price, performance, and capabilities. And does everybody want to have exactly the same thing? Probably not.”