Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, a very intelligent individual and leading philanthropist, appeared on American cable channel CNBC this morning to speak primarily about interest rates and other corporate matters. But the Microsoft co-founder was also probed about the post-PC era and continued emergence of tablets, to which he provided some interesting remarks.
Gates acknowledged that while Microsoft is still attempting to compete in a market that is dominated by iPad-like devices, that “a lot of those users are frustrated” because “they can’t type, they can’t create documents [and] they don’t have Office.” While I have tremendous respect for Gates, I simply disagree with that statement. It is more than possible to use the iPad as a professional workstation.
Last time I checked, the iPad has both iWork and a myriad of third-party keyboard accessories. And if consumers were truly interested in the hybrid tablet-PC experience that the Surface supposedly offers, one must question why the Microsoft-branded tablet has generated such low sales. Despite launching over six months ago, the Surface still accounts for less than 1 percent of the market.
In his chairman position at Microsoft, Gates obviously has to continue endorsing the products that his own company produces. But, at the same time, it’s a tough sell to claim that iPad users are frustrated. Just a few weeks ago, Apple reported that it sold a record-breaking 19.5 million iPads in the second quarter. Comparatively, Microsoft shipped just 900,000 Surface tablets in the quarter.
Gates speaks about tablets at the 7:20 mark in the video below (Flash).