surfaceproAre iPad users truly frustrated that the Apple tablet can’t do everything a Windows PC can do? Bill Gates thinks thinks a lot of them are, and he’s betting that Microsoft will be able to capitalize on the situation over time.

“With Windows 8, Microsoft is trying to gain share in what has been dominated by the iPad-type device. But a lot those users are frustrated. They can’t type. They can’t create documents,” said Gates during an interview on CNBC this morning. “So we’re providing them something with the benefits they’ve seen that has made that a big category but without giving up what they expect in a PC.”

He added, “If you have Surface or Surface Pro, you’ve got that portability of the tablet but the richness of terms of the keyboard, Microsoft Office of the PC.”

So far, at least, the actual trends in the market don’t reflect Gates’ perspective on the situation. Sales of the iPad continue to climb, while Surface and other Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets are getting a small amount of traction.

Microsoft is hoping to boost the market for Windows tablets with smaller form factors and the release of the “Windows Blue” update later this year.

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  • John Kurc

    Too late BillG. Fire SteveB. Steve Ballmer has been asleep for 10 years.

    • Jason Farris

      Surface is great. I’m using it right now. It runs every piece of software made for the last 20 years. It’s wicked fast. the UI is super slick. How is that too late? Are we the last generation of computer users? Will form factors not continue to evolve?

      • Guest

        Apart from MS shills and a tiny group of hardcore loyalists nobody really cares about the Surface … or Windows 8 for that matter. There’s already two huge ecosystems, Apple and Android. They provide all the apps one could possibly desire – and then some. For most this is plenty on a tablet. Who needs an x86 CPU with terrible battery life, just to have a shitty desktop experience. Office on 10″, are you serious?!

        In the end it’s like Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola, nobody cares who the third company is in the Soda market. BillG should have fired SteveB five years ago. That’s how it’s too late.

        • Scott Couch

          You must be about 20 years old. Windows OS dwarfs IOS and Android by tens of millions globally and its been that way until very recently. Windows is massive and not going away anytime soon. Windows 8 is selling extremely well and being adopted well also. Your dream world must be nice.

          • Guest

            You must be a bad psychic. Windows OS dwarfs iOS and Android?! Where do you get your stats? While W8 may have sold licenses similar in numbers to Windows 7, the adoption is less than one third of Windows 7 adoption during the same initial time period. How can you say it’s being adopted well, when even MS states it isn’t? As I said, you are either a MS shill or a hardcore loyalist. Even MS acknowledges that the days of PCs dominating the market are over, hence their new focus on mobile devices. Your dream world is about to crumble, but please enjoy living in denial as long as the revenue stream continues to mask the encroaching disaster.

          • Jason Farris

            New form factors are not a disaster. It’s OK for casual computing folks to move to casual computing platforms. You think it’s game over, but it’s game on.

          • Guest

            You falsely assume that traditional form factors will just sit around and wait for Surface tablets to take over. Desktop PCs will always be ahead (at same cost) in performance compared to tablet form factors. Likewise, all tablets will grow in performance so an ARM tablet over time will be able to do more and more when people need mobility. Not that people aren’t already happy what these tablets can do for them right now. Nothing is static, the problem is that MS will be pressured from both sides – low cost tablets and desktops – while PCs will gradually decline in numbers to developer and cubicle market only. That’s a pretty dire situation to be caught in. MS may very well be the next IBM, not exactly game over but irrelevant outside of B2B.

          • Jason Farris

            I don’t assume anything of the sort. As we speak, Apple is undoubtedly working on a Macblet. Just as Microsoft is working on smaller, less capable devices. PC and Mac sales will be cannibalized as most users don’t need actual computers, and will be satisfied with smartphones and / or dumbtablets. The market will diversify and some people will either fragment their ecosystems while others will converge under one banner. It’s OK, I choose the Microsoft ecosystem as it’s best suited to my computing, communication and entertainment needs. Others will have different needs. But like you say, nothing is static, and to declare Microsoft irrelevant is pretending that they too will stay the same. It’s clear they are not.

          • lucascott

            Or they are not. Because they don’t think that a tablet is a computer.

            As you say, most people don’t need an ‘actual’ computer but just something to read email, play a little music, surf the web etc. And their not a computer and never will be tablet does that just fine for that ‘most people’

          • Scott Moore

            Windoze and Surface can be compared to McDonalds hamburgers. Just because billions have been served doesn’t mean they’re good, or good for you. Some of us are still discerning about what brain food we eat.

          • Jason Farris

            Your point works both ways. My experience is that Android is a hot mess, and would argue that it’s the McDonalds hamburger of computing. Cheap and slapped together. But I don’t pretend that it doesn’t serve a purpose and satisfy a segment of the population. Like the burger, it’s sold on price, not quality.

        • Geoffrey Colon

          Hard to really compare technology with sugar water. Besides, being the third cola isn’t the best analogy, but energy drinks and water usurping the cola market. Also you’re just thinking of the U.S. when the global marketplace will be the real forecaster. Apple will have trouble in the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China) because price point will be a validating factor in these emerging economies. We have no idea how work is emerging but it is certainly trending away from PCs. Even if the Surface doesn’t take hold right away the question is how it will evolve in 5 years. You have a short memory. I am an Apple fanboy but it was nothing in ’97 and may be nothing again by 2017. It’s all based on evolution and innovation. Not who controls what currently. This is what makes business unique in the 21st century.

      • Or

        Nexus 7 is great. I’m using it right now. It runs 700,000 apps, my desktop runs every piece of software made for the last 20 years on two 28″ monitors. It’s wicked fast. The UI is super slick and uses more than 5 colors. How’s that for under $200?

        • Jason Farris

          Poor. But if you’re uncertain, come on down and we’ll compare side to side running the ahem “apps” that make the world go around. Here’s the leaders in each category. Feel free to nominate.

          Creative: Adobe CS/CC
          Productivity: Microsoft Office
          Video: Avid / Premiere
          Engineering: AutoCAD
          Audio: ProTools (I prefer Sonar!)
          Modeling: 3D Studio Max / Maya
          Gaming: Call of Duty / FIFA / or whatever you consider to be the world’s top gaming franchise.

          • Or

            You do 3D modeling on your Surface? LOL What next, we’ll be comparing Dhrystone performance? Whatever makes you happy, I guess. But the market will still prove you wrong. Actually, it already does. ;)

          • Jason Farris

            Yes, I can do all of those things on my Surface. You can do none of them on your Nexus. So spin it however you like.

          • Or

            “Can” and “should” are two different concepts. I use a grown-up PC for 3D modeling, programming, and such. The tablet is just a consumption device, it has the sole purpose of casual computing. In the real world the screen size and form factor dictate this. But I’m sure you do 3D modeling on your Surface – just to prove a childish point that it CAN be done. Whatever. Oh, and have I mentioned the Nexus 7 quad-core tablet costs less than $200 and does about everything one could possibly desire from casual computing? You keep your $1000 Sumo tablet, thank you very much.

          • Jason Farris

            You mean YOUR tablet is a consumption device. My tablet is a consumption device AND a productivity device. I’m not sure why that upsets you. I’m not running software on it to be “childish”, it’s what it’s made for and the reason I chose it over a less expensive Android or Apple tablet. Fantastic device, worth every penny.

            Thinking you know what people “should” do when they have a full-blown computer in a tablet form factor may be short-sighted. Maybe you’ve been sold an idea, that tablets are for dorking around only. If that’s what you need, don’t worry, there will be plenty of cheap, limited use products from all three ecosystems for the foreseeable future, and for at least two years, Android and Apple will continue to dominate that space.

            Relish your victory! Take a picture of your friends, make it look old-timey, and then share it on a social network.

  • guest

    BillG is out of touch and SteveB is incompetent. Fire both and start over.

  • Scott Moore

    The title of the article just above this one on Geekwire says it all:

    Apple surges to No. 6 on Fortune 500 list, the only tech company in the top 10

  • ismail arslangiray

    Crack kills. Are you kidding us that Ipad had frustrated users?..IOS and OSX are much superior to anything MS have. As long as Balmer stays MS is heading to crash and burn

  • lucascott

    yeah I’m real frustrated that I can’t run the Real Office on my iPad. That it doesn’t come with a keyboard that clicks into place and acts as a screen cover. That it doesn’t have that awesome kickstand or an OS that takes up 16GB of storage.
    And I’m really really frustrated that my iPad doesn’t come with those mad instant hip hop dancing skills.

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