Bill Gates took a shot at the iPad while explaining Microsoft’s rationale for the Surface this morning on CNBC.
He was asked about the declining PC market. He said that tablets are growing in popularity, and it’s “going to be harder and harder to distinguish products” that are PCs versus tablets.
The Surface, he says, brings the “portability of the tablet but the richness of the PC.”
He then said of people using iPad-like devices, “A lot of those users are frustrated, they can’t type, they can’t create documents, they don’t have Office there.”
While some people are frustrated by the iPad’s limitations, most embrace it. Apple sold 19.5 million iPads last quarter. Over that same period, HP, the world’s number one PC seller, sold 11.7 million PCs, according to Gartner.
It’s a cliche, but the truth is that the iPad just works for surfing the web, light emailing, videos, and some games.
Microsoft’s Surface has sold in very small volumes relative to the iPad. Perhaps Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Microsoft have been too quick in their pursuit of making a tablet that is as powerful as a PC. Perhaps people want something a bit more lightweight right now.