Bill Gates: There is 'a strong possibility' Apple needs a Surface-like device

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
During a PBS interview on Monday night Microsoft founder Bill Gates said that Surface may prompt Apple to shift its iPad strategy in order to compete with the capabilities offered by the upcoming Windows 8 tablet.

Gates gushed about Microsoft's Surface during a Charlie Rose expos? saying the device is a completely new form factor which he said was "exciting" for the market, according to CNET.

The tech mogul went on to say that consumers can have the best of both worlds with a tablet that runs a full-fledged desktop operating system, clearly alluding to the iPad's stripped-down iOS. Indeed, most of the talk regarding Surface drew direct and indirect comparisons to Apple's tablet offering which is the unquestioned leader in the space.

"You don't have to make a compromise," Gates said. "You can have everything you like about a tablet and everything you like about a PC all in one device. And so that should change the way people look at things."

Bill Gates
Bill Gates on the Charlie Rose Show. | Source: Charlie Rose


Speaking to Microsoft's first attempt at a tablet format, Gates said that he had the idea "way too early," noting that "there were a few things that could have been done differently to bring [a Windows tablet] to critical mass."

When pressed about why late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was able to get the iPad platform off the ground, Gates cited market timing and the "package that he had put together." The "package" is assumedly the successful combination of Apple's industrial hardware design and the company's multi-touch mobile operating system that was both easy to use and easy on the eyes. Early attempts at Windows-based tablets were not "thin and attractive" and indeed many Surface progenitors looked like normal laptops or were merely "convertibles" with rotatable displays.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the Surface two weeks ago in a surprise event and revealed the company would be launching two versions of the device, an ARM-supported model called Surface for Windows RT and an Intel Core i5 iteration dubbed Surface for Windows 8 Pro.

The new device, which is to be Microsoft branded, has caused some controversy with OEMs that license Windows for their hardware. Shortly after Surface was announced, Acer founder Stan Shih said that the tablet is just a ploy to boost Windows 8 adoption and guessed that Microsoft would abandon the project after the first models roll out later this year. More recently, HP was said to be ditching Windows RT altogether in favor of other mobile operating systems though the rumor has yet to be verified.

Surface 1
Surface with physical keyboard cover. | Source: Microsoft


Apple has dominated the tablet market since the inception of the first iPad in 2010 and has enjoyed a great deal of success with the most-recent Retina display model. Some estimates see the iPad's marketshare sitting at 60 percent for 2012 and could account for 50.9 percent of total shipments by 2017. Tablet sales are forecast to surpass laptops in the next four years and will grow from 121 million units in 2012 to 416 million in 2016.

A smaller, 7.85-inch version of the iPad is rumored to be in the works for a release date later this fall. The most recent reports claim that the device will sport an IGZO display and be priced between $250 to $300.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 300
    joel macjoel mac Posts: 2member


    LOL!  What a marroon!

  • Reply 2 of 300
    psych_guypsych_guy Posts: 451member
    Bwahahaha! So this is the marketing push we can expect from MS? I'll wait until you sell 30 million before I believe you!
  • Reply 3 of 300
    Which part of Surface does Apple need to match? The content-focused, ARM-running Surface for Windows RT that competes directly with the multi-million-selling iPad? Or the desktop-focused, Intel-running Surface for Windows 8 Pro that competes directly with the multi-million-selling MacBook Air? Seems to me Apple's already got it covered.
  • Reply 4 of 300
    scotty321scotty321 Posts: 313member


    Hilarious. All you have to do is buy the "Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover" for your iPad, and you have the Microsoft Surface.

  • Reply 5 of 300
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,541member
    The tech mogul went on to say that consumers can have the best of both worlds with a tablet that runs a full-fledged desktop operating system, clearly alluding to the iPad's stripped-down iOS. Indeed, most of the talk regarding Surface drew direct and indirect comparisons to Apple's tablet offering which is the unquestioned leader in the space.
    "You don't have to make a compromise," Gates said. "You can have everything you like about a tablet and everything you like about a PC all in one device. And so that should change the way people look at things."
    Why would anyone have to look at things differently if you can (have to) continue to do them the same way (same OS)?
  • Reply 6 of 300
    Ummmmmm..... Apple already have a surface like device......it's called an iPad lol
  • Reply 7 of 300
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,163member


    I think he should see Microsoft actually release either Surface before he makes comments about Apple needing to match it. 

  • Reply 8 of 300
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member


    Apple needs a "Surface" like device like a healthy person needs cancer.


     


    If Apple ever came out with something like that, then I think that it's time to consider selling some AAPL shares.

  • Reply 9 of 300


    OK - I don't post often, but when I have I feel that they have been fairly decent posts and contributed to the discussion. Hopefully that has earned me the right to get a way with this gem I just had to log in to share:


     


    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA *gasp* AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


     


     


    That is all.


    Thanks.

  • Reply 10 of 300
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,045member


    Microsoft is so scared shitless that Windows will NOT be on tablets that they had to build a X86 tablet to KEEP it around a little while longer.  Those tablets may sell or they may not.  Some business users may gobble them up, but consumers do not need full-blown PCs.  They just need something to tweet, email, store pics, facebook, etc.  Scientists and engineers may need windows, but consumers don't.


     


    Sorry, Bill.  

  • Reply 11 of 300
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,173member


    haha what a douche.

  • Reply 12 of 300
    grbladegrblade Posts: 85member
    Riiiiight, Bill. The iPad is such a flop.
  • Reply 13 of 300


    It may well be fit for purpose but for it to be fully useable you're going to have to cart around a keyboard, mouse, stylus and extra batteries or at least cables to plug it in. Don't get me wrong, I hope its dynamic and brilliant because it will help encourage innovation and keep Apple on its toes but from a home user perspective, Apple will continue to dominate with its holistic approach. It's a new toy for windows lovers to get into and be able to play with file explorer and keep the hackers and virus writers busy and the virus companies rich. I wish it the best of luck.

  • Reply 14 of 300
    Come now...you know you all want to create Microsoft office docs on a 10" screen...especially when most probably have a laptop or desktop...or both...less than 10 steps away. My only disappointment is that I can't create and use autoexec.bat files on my iPad =). Probably time for bill to start looking for a new PR team...
  • Reply 15 of 300
    dilliodillio Posts: 106member


    No, Bill. No. A PC is much more powerful than a tablet, be it a laptop, all-in-one or desktop like the Mac Pro. If people want a lot of power, they can use a PC. 


     


    For a tablet, we're set, thanks! If we want, we can even connect a wireless keyboard to the iPad. But we don't really want that. 


     


    Thanks, however, and good luck plugging Microsoft crap devices.

  • Reply 16 of 300
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 42,974member
    I welcome Microsoft to the tablet world, just as I welcomed them to the smartphone world.

    Though what they think anyone would want with a desktop OS on a multitouch device is anyone's guess. They don't seem to have learned from the last decade.
  • Reply 17 of 300
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member


    I'm sorry, but between my iPad and my MBA that can run all three major OS's, I think I'm covered, Bill.

  • Reply 18 of 300


    Doesn't Microsoft need a Surface-like device first?  Or did I miss the roll-out?

  • Reply 19 of 300

    Quote:


    "You don't have to make a compromise," Gates said. "You can have everything you like about a tablet and everything you like about a PC all in one device..."



     


    LOL!  Is he really out of touch with his own company?  Somebody needs to tell him that Surface isn't an "all in one device" it's two separate devices - one which runs PC apps and one which runs mobile apps, and those apps are not interchangeable!  Perhaps he didn't yet watch the announcement last week ;)

  • Reply 20 of 300
    agramonteagramonte Posts: 345member


    yeah would be nice to have a tablet for actual talented people


     


    iPad is for that group that everything they own other people made and everything that has ever inspired them other people have imagined - be nice to have a tablet for the rest of us.


     


    iOS has always been the dumbing down of Apple - the device for "joe" - who can produce little with their time - reason why it has so many silly video games 

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