Bill Gates Rips Apple's iPad Tablet

Dennis Faas's picture

Is there room in the crowded tablet computer market for Microsoft's Surface? Sales figures would indicate that there may not be.

However, Microsoft chairman and co-founder Bill Gates thinks many consumers will opt for the Windows-based Surface because they're frustrated with Apple's ubiquitous iPad.

In a recent interview with CNBC's Warren Buffett, Gates took the opportunity to promote Microsoft's Surface and its newest operating system (OS), Windows 8, while slamming Apple's tablet device.

Windows 8 and Surface: The Best of Both Worlds?

According to Gates, Windows 8 "is revolutionary in that it takes the benefits of the tablet and benefits of the PC" and offers equal support for both platforms.

Gates also noted that Windows 8 is designed to help Microsoft make room for itself in the tablet market, which he says to this point "has been dominated by the iPad-type device."

In Gates' opinion, "a lot of those users are frustrated" with the iPad because "they can't type, they can't create documents, they don't have Office there." (Source:

Of course, Surface does give users the touch screen tablet experience without keeping them from useful business software like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. That's why Gates says he believes Microsoft is giving consumers the best of both worlds.

Absence of iOS Office May Affect Software Suite's Appeal: Analyst

Unfortunately, consumers don't seem to agree with Mr. Gates. Industry analyst firm IDC estimates that Microsoft shipped less than one million Surface tablet computers in the first quarter of 2013.

By comparison, Apple shipped almost twenty million iPads.

That's why some analysts have suggested that, ironically, Microsoft is making a big mistake by not offering iPad users their very own version of Microsoft Office.

According to IDC analyst Tom Mainelli, "I think Microsoft should be less worried about trying to prop up Windows and more focused on offering Office on every device under the sun." (Source:

"The longer they wait to launch Office for iOS and Android the bigger the risk that people move away from Office to other alternatives," Mainelli added.

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