Posted 05/08/2013 at 3:27 PM
Posted 4 years ago
When the original Apple iPad launched back in 2010, it revolutionized computing and paved the way for a whole host of other tablet PCs. Today, the iPad is still the premier tablet on the market; however, the likes of the Amazon Kindle and Google Nexus 7 have made the Android OS market leader. As good as iOS and Android are in tablet form, though, it is not possible to please everyone, including it seems Microsoft co-founder and executive chairperson Bill Gates.
In a swipe at Microsoft’s rivals, Gates said that the functionality of Android tablets and the Apple iPad leave users “frustrated” and many will be turning to – surprise, surprise – the Microsoft Surface as a result.
Speaking to CNBC, Gates argued that rival tablets were limited in terms of features, with users unable to type and create documents and without access to Microsoft Office.
Addressing the concerns that the PC market is floundering because of the increasing popularity of tablets, Gates suggested that tablets were effectively PCs without the keyboard.
“PCs are a big market and it’s going to be harder and harder to distinguish whether something is a tablet or a PC,” he said. “With Windows 8, Microsoft is trying to gain share in what has been dominated by the iPad type of devices.”
The lack of word processing functionality is something that the Redmond co-founder believes will see tablet PCs like his company’s very own Surface (which comes with a keyboard) prosper in the market.
“In terms of devices themselves, Windows 8 is revolutionary in that it takes the benefits of the tablet and the benefits of a PC and it’s able to support both of those,” Gates said in the interview.
“So if you have Surface and Surface Pro, you’ve got that portability of a tablet but also the richness – in terms of a keyboard and Microsoft Office – of a Windows PC.”
According to figures from IDC, Windows tablets account for only 3.7 percent of the market and, while that may be good enough to grab a top five spot after Q1 2013, Surface devices have a long way to go to reverse the 56.5 percent of Android tablets shipped during the first three months of the year, and the 39.6 iPad’s moved over the same period.
IDC figures also reported a drop of 14 percent in PC shipments, the largest decline for almost 20 years. Given that PCs are Microsoft’s bread and butter, the company will certainly be hoping that Gates’ prediction comes true!