For a Smart Guy, Bill Gates Is Very Dumb When Talking about the iPad

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Bill Gates on iPad

Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft and now a leading global philanthropist, was the guest on the Charlie Rose show this past Monday night (July2). Although Gates is a fascinating figure and a hugely intelligent guy, he had some awfully stupid things to say when asked to compare the iPad with the sometime-to-be-released Surface PC/Tablet.

After Gates and Rose talked about some of the wonderful work the Gates Foundation is doing to tackle a number of critical global issues, at about the 30 minute mark of the interview, Rose started asking him about the tablet market.

When asked about why the iPad was successful while Microsoft’s tablet efforts back in the early 2000s weren’t, Gates talked about the timing in terms of when it came out being better and the iPad being thinner and more attractive. Rose even used the word ‘prettier’. Then they got onto talking about Surface – Microsoft’s still not released hybrid PC/Tablet device. This is where things got really interesting and where Gates got really stupid. Here’s my quick transcription of this section of the interview – it may not be word-for-word correct but I believe it’s very close:

Rose: But there’s one difference in what Surface does. Basically what Steve Ballmer said was in a sense what’s different about Surface, according to the press, is that it can be not only a receiving tablet but also a creative tablet. You can use it to create things from.

Gates: That’s right.


Rose: And the argument was you can’t do that as well …

Gates: You can’t. That is absolutely right. That’s why the PC category and the tablet category have been separate and here you have something that fuses the best of both.

Rose: So what does that mean for the PC?

Gates: That it’s the best, that it gets the benefit of being a tablet.

Rose: Yeah but if the Surface works really well is that going to eliminate people wanting to have a PC?

Gates: Well, whatever you call Surface, they will want to have it.

So Gates has trotted out the tired old argument, which has long ago been effectively refuted, that the iPad is merely a ‘consumption’ device – not a device on which things can be created. I’m still a little shocked that Gates was silly enough to do this. Ballmer doing it was one thing, but Gates always struck me as smarter than this.

Here’s just a quick little off-the-cuff list of things that somebody might want to point out to Gates about the iPad as the less capable creation device:

– Parents and educational institutions rave about the positive impact the iPad has with autistic and learning challenged students. It’s also got great momentum in the education arena in general – being adopted for use by teachers and students from kindergartens to blue-chip universities.

– David Hockney and numerous other traditional and digital artists round the world have created stunning works of art on the iPad. Hockney’s iPad creations were featured at Britain’s Royal Academy earlier this year.

– Musicians are using the iPad heavily in both the creative and production sides of making albums.

– Over 90% of the Fortune 500 are either deploying or piloting iPads. SAP, one of the world’s leading software companies, has deployed over 15,000 iPads to their global employees. Gates might want to note that these companies are not deploying iPads for their staff to watch movies on.

– Pro teams in the NFL, Major League Baseball, NBA and other leagues are using iPads for scouting, as playbooks, and more.

– Major commercial airlines are using the iPad as electronic flightbags used by pilots.

– The iPad is used by goverments and agencies round the world – from Germany’s parliament to the President of the United States, who uses them in his daily Presidential briefing – as do other White House staff members.

– The iPad is being used heavily in the healthcare arena as well – for a wide range of purposes.

Here’s what Surface is being used for:

Nothing.

It has not even shipped yet. It doesn’t have a shipping date. It doesn’t have a price.

The Surface may well end up being an impressive hybrid device – but it’s beyond ridiculous for Gates to say that it is a better device for creation than the iPad or to imply that the iPad is just a device for ‘receiving’. The iPad has a long-established track record as a versatile, powerhouse device for creation and productivity in an enormous range of fields. Especially when he’s comparing it to a device that is not being used, and cannot be used, for anything at all right now.

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Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

41 thoughts on “For a Smart Guy, Bill Gates Is Very Dumb When Talking about the iPad

  1. After reading this “article”, if you can call it that, it’s clear the author is a total wackjob who lacks credibility. What’s the point in interviewing someone on Bill Gates’ level if you aren’t going to get what he’s saying right and have to resort to painfully-obviously biased get-out clauses such as “it may not be word-for-word correct but I believe it’s very close”!

    The evidence of bias is clear: “The iPad has a long-established track record as a versatile, powerhouse device for creation and productivity in an enormous range of fields.” What is your definition of long-established? Two years?! “A power house device”?! Not even Apple calls it or tries to pass it off as that! The day tablets become powerhouses is the day people will not have the time to read (or write, for that matter) stupid articles.

    Lastly, YOU are comparing the iPad with a device you probably haven’t even touched yet; a device that is not on the market as yet so obviously it can’t presently be assessed by the general public or unbiased reviewers. By your definition then, the Samsung Galaxy SIII is DEFINITELY a better device than the iPhone 5, “the New iPhone” or whatever Apple chooses to call it, simply because the SIII is out but not that iPhone yet. Therefore, you should also then cuss the Foxconn exec who claimed the iPhone 5 will be putting Samsung to shame. But did you do that? No! Instead, you’re calling the second-wealthiest man (even after giving away lots of money) stupid; a man that surpassed even the beloved Steve Jobs in not only wealth but charity! Bill Gates stupid?! RIIIIIIIIIIIGGGHHHTTTT!

    • Wow. Where to even start. I didn’t interview Bill Gates – I said I was just transcribing a small portion of the interview.

      There’s no get-out clause in what I said about the transcription being very close to word-for-word. Watch the interview – show me anywhere I got anything major wrong. I’m betting you don’t find anything at all.

      As for the iPad’s track record being long established, two years is a loooong time in the world of technology. And two years is a heck of a lot longer than the non-existent track record of the device that Gates is touting as being better for creating on. Also, I listed a number of items that backup my thoughts on how versatile the iPad is and what a powerhouse it is. Solid, tangible items that show how the iPad is being put to use to prove Gates wrong. Why don’t you address those rather than blathering on about how biased I am?

      You mention that I haven’t touched the Surface yet. So what? Hardly anyone has. It’s not released yet, it’s not a real product yet. That’s one of the main points of this post.

      As for why I’m not writing about what a FoxConn exec said about the iPhone 5, this is an iPad site. I don’t write about the iPhone at all.

  2. All but two of your “points” are consumption based…..
    Might want to look up more of the shirt if you are going to substantiate an opinion like that.

    PS. This “article” was consumed on an iPad

    • After reading lots of uninformed posts and complete mis- truths, I figured i would add some facts to you all.

      First the mac was first. Search the internet. Bill was successful first with office that was written for the mac exclusively for awhile.

      I am going to list a whole lot of creative uses that the iPad can do that will just shock you. I’ts beyond incredible, revolutionary. Ok let’s get started.

      Djay app – i use it to scratch and mix audio in real time time without extra hardware, except speakers. I have hosted over 10 parties so far and it is amazing.

      Vjay app – needs work, but you can mix music videos and your own videos and even scratch them in real time.

      Photography – from tiltshift to black and white, to color to montages. Well you just need a iPad and apps to see what you can do.

      Art – which was mentioned. From painting to drawing.

      Documents – well you can do posters, ads, etc.

      Music creation – which was listed also.

      Video and video editing

      So far I have listed seven on the creative front. I know, amazing right.

      I think people need to look up “creative” in the dictionary.

      Now I know their are intelligent people that say and do dumb things. But not educating yourself about products or technology is ignorant and makes you talk out your backside.

      Microsoft and Apple have different views on business. Their both not perfect and never will be because we are all imperfect and something can always, always be done better. That is what seperates companies.

      Maybe microsoft will be a player in the future, but being a ex- microsoft user and being subjected to good os to bad os to good os to bad os is over for me. My every other weekend of reinstall days are over because of viruses, bloatware, malware, etc, etc.

      Balmer is no good for Microsoft and will destroy them. Let me give a history lesson. In the early days Microsoft thought the mouse was a stupid idea that no one would ever use. Apple created it and it is the most needed device on pc’s. To answer some other post, their are keyboards that are bluetooth that can be used by iPad if you are inclined to use one. So what is seperating Microsoft from Apple, nothing except empty hype.

      I am sure that we will see more creative uses in the future on many devices.

      It is not the devices that are out their that make it creative or not, it is the applications. Who needs to build them? Developers, Developers, Developers, and Microsoft is behind on that front.

      So who knows what the future will be, everyone can be on top and fall. All we need to do is follow the news. From RIM – Nokia their falling and becoming irrevelant in today’s market, and who knows how long Apple will be on top without The creatvie Genius of Steve Jobs, time will tell.

      I am excited to see new innovations everyday and hope it stays that way because we have leapfrogged in the futurenin just a few snort years.

  3. I always find it funny when someone say’s that the iPad’s success is due to “timing” and “being pretty”. The thing that none of these people on the PC side seem to get is that a large portion of the success of the iPad is due to the ios ecosystem and especially the ability of many quality apps to sync between the iPad and the iPhone (+ excellent battery life in a nice form factor)

    I have a 17″ MBP, 13″ MBA, an iPad, an iPhone and one PC I use at work. I wouldn’t even want to use any of my PC programs on a tablet. For the PC programs I need to use (mainly accounting, CAD and estimating) I need a minimum 24″ display and a full size keyboard with a numeric pad on it. The last thing I would want to do is try and use it on a tablet.

    PS ~ 2 years is a massive amount of time in the world of technology.

  4. yes, there are companies deploying ipads for their staffs. even my company gave ipads too, obviously not to watch movies on (16gb is really small space nowadays). this tablet makes a good assistant (emails, calendars, presentations etc) on the go, but lack of fluidity and serious content creation software. imagine editing hundreds of excel sheets copying and pasting texts.

    as of now, it only passes as an MoM notepad, maintain a to do list, simple reference from files created on desktop.

    you can never beat a full fledged desktop or laptop on content creation, be it technical or creative.

  5. It is very strange to me that people like Mr. Gates and Mr. Balmer use the benchmark of having a keyboard that comes with a tablet definitive as to whether the device is consumptive or creative. Before I bought my iPad and when I bought, I was determined to buy a Bluetooth keyboard and case. The folly of that didn’t last long.

    A tablet just isn’t any fun if you have to have all the extra baggage. I used my iPad just fine without the physical keyboard. Learning to type on glass seemed a hurdle until I spent a few hours with a typing tutor app that made me feel right at home with it. I’m sure the young people pick it up intuitively, because I see it happening all the time.

    The Microsoft designers seem to miss the boat on this. Did they just not plan to test the competition enough or are the just trying to sell a useless piece of hardware connected to their device to sell it to people like me when I bought my iPad? Really, is a rubbery keyboard the feature that makes the Surface a creative device? Wouldn’t apps be a better thing to use to make it more creative.

  6. This is classic Gates. Pontificating from his self-stored three-step podium. He is, alas…CLUE-FREE.

    I stand in direct disagreement with you Mr. Jordan because I’ve been watching Gates for almost 40 years and he’s only gotten worse. Global buinesses got hooked into using PC software by IBM, not Microshaft. Bill built his early business on the fear-deflection of the perception that nobody ever to fired for buying IBM gear and Bill leveraged that for all it was worth. When IBM decided what they finally wanted to be when they grew up, Bill inherited the customer base…

    One of Bill’s biggest strategic mistakes was leaving his company in the hands of the current clown-in-charge…. Steve Bomber…. Why the board hasn’t pulled the ripcord on this bozo defies all business logic. Now it’s gotten to the point of being a global joke. Forbes magazine outing Bomber as ‘THE WORST CEO IN THE WORLD’ !!!!! Please… CEO’s hav been blown up for a LOT less than that…

    The Surface device will NEVER MAKE IT TO MARKET…. Is that enough?

  7. I have to agree with TBaje on this one. I am a avid Apple user, owning a Macbook, iPad, Iphone and also very familiar with Windows. But I completely understand where Bill Gates is coming from regarding the iPad being a consumption product. The iPad for the majority of its end users is merely a tool for on-the-go, and is restricted to what Apps that are available on the iTunes store (controlled by Apple). Lets be honest, 90% of those Apps are completely useless and in no way can lead to any creativity by the end user. Most of the users that are being creative are the App developers themselves. This is the same for Android and Windows Phone.

    I am speaking for myself here, but I am confident that it is likely to be the case for most computers users. That if we have shown any type of creativity on any device in our lifetime, it is likely to have been on a full pledged operating system like Windows, Linux or Apple OSX.
    So if you can stick one of these operating systems on a tablet device, that holds good battery power, endless creativity is inevitable to a wide range of end users.
    I am sure that Apple will be releasing a very similar product in due course.

  8. So what did you expect?
    Gates praising the iPad and saying Surface will be shit?
    he is saying what is expected of him.

    • Agree…would Bill have not been “stupid” if he said “the Surface is a joke”?

  9. I think this article has been used only to try and berate a man, who without his foresight and enterprise, there wouldn’t even be such a company as Apple. Maybe all Apple fanboi should remember that without his help, the history of Apple would have languished with a man who can only be described as the Pepsi reject. Don’t get me wrong I am a massive fan of Apple and Microsoft products, but to claim Gates is “Dumb” is shocking beyond belief.

    Maybe you should think before you write this kind of drivel about such a charismatic figure. Maybe if you had achieved 1/10 of what he has done then maybe you would have the right to comment. I think it is very clear from the other comments that people aren’t overly happy or impressed about this article either.

    I am very sure this comment wont get published like many I am sure, but at least you know what people think of this poorly thought out literature, and what a shame, I like your writing normally.

    Grow up, get a life and think before you write!

    • I have not berated Bill Gates. I opened the post by saying he’s hugely intelligent and mentioning the wonderful philanthropic work he does on major global issues.

      I also did not claim Gates is dumb. I said he was very dumb when talking about this one specific topic, which he was.

      Where the heck do you get your accusation that I don’t post negative comments from? I have never held back a negative comment on this or any other site I’ve run – and I really don’t appreciate the accusation.

      • In hindsight maybe some of my comments where a little harsh and I apologise for the accusations about negative comments. In my experience many bloggers/writers struggle with criticism, and find it difficult to post these types of comments, I certainly commend you for posting my comments.

        However, I stand by what I said, effectively you have called Gates dumb, and as a massive fan of his past achievements I think it was more than harsh.

        Gates was right in what he said, the iPad is a consumption device and will continue to be without some risky well thought changes to the overall iOS, very much like the huge step Microsoft have had to take with Windows 8.

        Maybe Apple’s controlling need to vet every thing that happens on iOS is actually stifling its creative users. While I agree in principal with Apples walled garden, from a security aspect its perfect, but maybe a rethink of how it can be handled better and would be a good place to start with that iOS overhaul that is needed in order to raise its game.

        Companies like Apple don’t stay ahead of the game by standing still. Steve Jobs was the master of telling people what they needed and how they needed to use it, and most important of all, people responded well to that, its this charismatic and tenacious attitude that Apple will struggle to replace the most and maybe are already struggling with.

        • Thanks for the apology, that’s appreciated – as is the tone of your reply. I’m always up for a reasonable discussion and even debate on these sort of topics.

          There are several points here where you and I will have to agree to disagree – but that’s fine too.

          I called Gates dumb only on this specific topic. By no means have I called him, or would I call him, dumb generally.

          And I still maintain Gates is absolutely wrong when it comes to classing the iPad as a consumption-only device. Again, this is borne out by the myriad ways it is already being used.

          I don’t believe Apple gets everything right and I’ve written about things that frustrate me. I’d love to see them find ways for apps to share files and data more easily, and I’d like to see iCloud improved. The home screen and entire concept of how we arrange and access apps is badly in need of a refresh too.

          But I do believe Apple has got things very near spot-on when it comes to the iPad. It is a versatile and hugely capable device.

          Microsoft are taking a big swing with Surface. Credit to them for that. But … to be creative and productive on a tablet (or even a tablet/PC hybrid) requires great apps. This is another big problem area for Microsoft – because their track record is horrific in the mobile arena, because they are so late to the game in the current tablet market, because they have made things more difficult right off the bat by going with two separate operating systems for the Surface, and because they’re up against the iPad which already has massive developer support.

          So we’ll see. My bet is that Surface will not be a more creative or productive device than the iPad. I’m also not sure it will have any more success or impact than Windows Phone has achieved in the smartphone arena. For my money, Microsoft still don’t really ‘get’ mobile at all.

          • Nice article P Jordan, I am replying from an iPad and can see your angle on this article clearly! Apparently Matt. didn’t understand it well before responding. Mr Gates has my respect but he has failed on dis particular topic and the iPad does have its limitations but from the list shown in the article above I wonder if these companies and individuals are limited in their use of this lovely device? Something can’t dis popular and selling well, and still be called limited! I am in no way limited in my use of this device and there is a specific reason it was purchased! Creativity and high end stuff should be done on a big screen in d comfort of ur work place or home! I can only hope Microsoft offers something worth buying, cos it’ll b a shame if this project doesnt take off like windows mobile.

  10. I thought the same thing as Joe. Six of the eight counter arguement points in this article actually supported Bill Gates statement, verses contesting it, which doesn’t make Bill Gates sound so dumb. As for the Surface having more potential as a creation device verses a consumption device, I’d wager that most users will use it for the latter as well. (posted from my iPad)

  11. You got to admit.. the big time crash in opening internet Explorer at the opening Keynote of the Surface was a good for a laugh.. it was embarrassing for sure..

    • Didn’t Steve have a problem with an unveiling, and a wifi connection that didn’t work?

      • The wifi issues was because everyone in the audience was on some device..it just got overloaded with users… the surface just failed using its own microsoft browser.. lol

  12. I’ll echo Joe and the like here, this article is not well supported. Only two items listed (Visual and musical artists) above reflect the creative side of the iPad. Add to that, these are circumstantial uses. The musician is using the iPad in a trendy way – not seriously. Recording studios aren’t ditching their ProTools setups to use garage band for the for the iPad exclusively. Visual artists are using the ipad as a new medium, the same way fibre optics were used to create niche art, until it became passe and was relegated to Walmart’s college-dorm deco isle.

    We simply have to admit that tablets in their current form restrict creativity. The scrren is small. Touch-sensitive glass is limited in what it can offer. Something will come along to change this. Microsoft knows this (as I’m certain Apple, asus, samsung, etc. are) and is making the first stab at addressing it. Their angle appears to be from a software point of view. Their tablet runs Windows 8. All their old iterations ran operating systems designed for keyboard and mouse. Windows 8 offers more of a hybrid experience. This is by no means revolutionary but it is a step further than Apple has taken thus far. Add to that Microsoft’s suite of office products. That’s half the creative side of computer use. They haven’t been offered in their full form on a mobile device yet, this is their chance. Can Microsoft pull it off? We’ll see.

    In all, Microsoft (and Bill Gates in this interview) are doing exactly what Apple has been doing for years now – trying to come up with the next great thing. Apple has had a lot of success in this arena, but I suspect they are losing traction without Steve Jobs. The Apple executive is getting poached from every angle right now and I expect the iDominance days are numbered.

  13. As a developer, I have 4 tablets on my desk. I know Apple fanbois don’t want to hear it, but the genre of tablets is still a viewer device more than a creative device. iPads are the worst offender as having NO user accessible File System. At least my Android tablets have a user accessible File System. Try to move any file anywhere on an iPad without an iTunes connection. Give your Aunt Betty a USB drive and tell her to plug into her shiny iPad (?!?). It (iPad) is just a viewer and an awkward one at that.

    Having watched the worlds best Interviewer, Charlie Rose, interview Bill Gates, I saw that
    Gates is completely correct here, iPad is a very nice viewing device for whats in your iTunes. That seems popular.

    • Um, not sure what year you’re living in but I move information (files) around all the time between multiple devices and I haven’t plugged my iPad into a computer for over a year. USB is not necessary with all of the easily available cloud interaction available. Tell Aunt Betty to get an internet connection and stop living in 1999.

      • So why move files to the cloud just so you can get it from one device to the other? Think about it: you have multiple devices right there in front of you and have to upload files to the web (whether automatically or manually) then wait for them to sync to the other devices in order to access them. I have an iPhone, an iPad, a Samsung Galaxy S III, a laptop and even a server. If I wanted to put any kind of file, not just media or documents, on my S III, I just plug it in and it’s done. Let’s say it’s music I bought on Amazon, which is cheaper most times than the iTunes Store. To get it on my S III, I plug it in and it’s there in seconds. To get it on my iPhone, I have to turn on my PC, import to iTunes, let Match upload it to Apple’s servers then download it on the iPhone so I can listen to the music whilst I’m driving, without having to worry about eating my data plan or simply not playing due to an unstable connection whilst I’m driving. Sure, I can also do a manual sync between my iPhone and iTunes but woe unto me if the computer I’m using is not the one I originally synced my library with.

        I’m all for cloud; I even make money implementing cloud solutions but I find some people’s heads are so “in the clouds” that they ignore the simple processes first. I’m not saying anyone actually NEEDS a USB but having USB access to a file system can make ones life easy at times.

        • I see your point. I guess it really depends on the user. I love the fact that if I upload to say Dropbox that item is instantly (minus transfer time) available to all my other devices. Pluging in a thumbdrive it each device is a hassle to me.
          Your Amazon example is interesting but flawed because you’re talking about working around the ecosystem. If you purchase straight from the iTunes store on your iPhone no problem and that song would auto download to your other devices. A lot of people complain because the work arounds take a lot of effort and then blame Apple because it’s too difficult. If Apple devices cause so much hassle why use/purchase them?

          • True, buying straight from iTunes is easier and that’s the intention. I do like Apple devices and think they have their place as well as some features better than the competition but they’re far from perfect. I guess people who complain still buy them because they are good devices but the complainers are just clamouring for some improvements. One should not have to resort to buying media from one place, knowing it’s more expensive, just to avoid the inconvenience of the products limitations.

            I always used to buy my music from Amazon because they have better deals and just got fed up and started to give into the convenience of the iTunes store but I came to my senses fairly quickly as I love music and don’t pirate so that means I spend a lot annually on music. The extra £2 can add up.

            Anyway, bottom line is I don’t have a beef with Apple or their products. I just don’t think they’re always the best thing since sliced bread.

          • Btw, you should give an Android device a little play. There is often even better integration with cloud apps. It’s easy to be looking at any document or media file, press share and send it to that cloud service without leaving the page you’re on. I think Dropbox now supports proper automatic sync on iOS so when you take a photo it gets uploaded but SugarSync has been doing this on Android a little while now; I think Dropbox on Android as well.

  14. This is a tired argument, but so is Gates and Balmer’s view of the iPad as a whole. What’s the most defining feature of Surface? (RT version, since it would be the direct competitor to the iPad) a keyboard. Guess what, adding a keyboard to a tablet does not make it a production powerhouse. The iPad is a limited device but that is also what makes it a great device, the industry as a whole just does not get this. Of course saying the Surface is better than anything right now is just plan wrong. The device does not exist in the real world and even at the much lauded “unveiling” nobody got a change to actually use it for any amount of time. Heck they didn’t even give a software demo, again proving that they still think it’s all about the hardware. At this point Surface is better at nothing, it is Vaporware, until it ships in quantity and the masses get to decided, calling it anything else is in fact stupid.

    One more thing: Just because the iPad isn’t the most optimal device for “real work” (creating excel spreadsheets and such) does not make it only a consumption device. Visit http://www.ipadcreative.com then tell me it’s not for creation.

    • “The iPad is a limited device but that is also what makes it a great device, the industry as a whole just does not get this.” Okay, so let’s compare a Nokia 6100 with an iPhone. If I said, “The Nokia 6100 is a limited device but that is what makes it a great device,” you all would be laughing me all the way to the madhouse! “The industry as a whole just does not get this!” Well, maybe that’s a hint then if the people who actually have money riding on the industry aren’t getting the less is more argument.

      On the iPad features page, Apple states, “All of which makes the new, third-generation iPad capable of so much more than you ever imagined.” That doesn’t sound to me as if Apple agrees with your argument that the iPad is limited and its limitations make it great. Ironically though, after reading the features page, Apple’s own words do make the iPad sound more like a device for consumption than creativity, well, unless you call “touching your photos” creative.

      See Apple’s words for yourself and tell me if it sounds like they think the iPad is limited:

      “Pick up the new iPad and suddenly, it’s clear. You’re actually touching your photos, reading a book, playing the piano. Nothing comes between you and what you love. To make that hands-on experience even better, we made the fundamental elements of iPad better — the display, the camera, the wireless connection. All of which makes the new, third-generation iPad capable of so much more than you ever imagined.”

    • I think the strength of the Surface won’t be the keyboard…it will be more the standard Ms Office applications, as well as SharePoint that will be designed to operate with the Surface.

  15. Maybe I should have explained my thoughts more thoroughly. Compared to a MacBook running OS X, iOS is limited. Even Steve Jobs acknowledged this when the iPad was unveiled and they showed a slide of the iPad sitting between a MacBook and iPhone. It was originally intended to be an in-between device. Does that mean it’s useless for creation? Or does that mean it can’t completley replace a traditional PC? Not at all. It is just another tool that may or may not fit an individual users needs. 

    There have/had been many tablets prior to the iPad available to consumers, yet none had really made any kind of impact in the consumer market. Most all of those were expensive, large devices with terrible battery life that ran full windows and required a stylus.
    Apple built a slim, affordable, touch screen device that runs a limited version of OS X and most important of all uses no stylus. Because of its limitations it’s easier to use than a traditional PC (no start menus, double clicks, file systems, bloat-ware, etc.) Those limitations make the iPad much less difficult to understand and use. No matter what age people get the app metaphor, and one button. I’ve witnessed all ages from 2 yr. to 88 yr. old get handed an iPad and spend time exploring the device and using it without any instruction.

    There are at least 5 people in my immediate family that had no desire to own a computer but now own and consistently use an iPad. several others have completely abandoned their computers once they started using the iPad. When I ask what they think of it the answer is usually, “I love it”, “I’m never buying another computer”, “I wish all my computers were this easy to use” or sometimes it’s all 3. Given the sales numbers it’s clearly a device that has resonated with consumers. 

    I also have to add that as more and more quality apps get released the iPad is becoming much closer to a fully realized device. I hated blogging on the iPad then Blogsy was released and all of a sudden I began choosing to blog on the iPad instead of my MacBook. I also avoided writing because I didn’t like how the iPad virtual keyboard lacked fine cursor control, which makes editing difficult. Then I discovered iA Writer and writing is now no more difficult then compared to the MacBook, in fact it’s easier because the iPad’s small form factor allows me to use it in other places. I just wrote this entire post reclined in an easy-chair with my iPad propped up on one knee. 

  16. Pingback: Thoughts on Microsoft Surface and the tired argument that the iPad is only a consumption device « coregeek

  17. Lolz
    Clearly the authors critics sound just as fanatical as Ballmer, & just as deluded.
    If you take the authors article as is, he raises questions to Gates comments concerning the IPad’s value. THAT’S ALL he’s done.
    You may passionately disagree about his comments, but you can’t dispute his facts.
    EVERYONE, both commercial & private industry consider the IPAD as the 800 lb gorilla concerning tablets. It’s THE benchmark & every new tablet is touted as THE NEXT IPAD KILLER.

    There’s a plethora of android tablets, but no ones beating a path to their door.
    For critics & haters I offer one piece of advice, WHEN the surface finally rolls out & BEATS the iPad, Gloat & pontificate all you want.
    Till then, stop with hate. Your ignorance is showing

  18. For the title itself, you can say the writer is irresponsible and a mere fanboi. Very dumb? Really? You call yourself a writer and all? What have become of the internet these days? You can decipher how this man thinks merely by the flow of thoughts and choice of words in his article. I an an owner of a macbook pro, a macpro, ipod touch, ipod classic, new ipad and iphone. And can you even cite the lines by Gates referring to thr ipad coz nowhere on your article says so. Such a dumb writer, go find another job.

    • Gates’ lines about the iPad are highlighted very clearly and obviously above. You might want to read things properly before writing your comments.

  19. And honestly? I have an ipad and i can confirm it’s all Consumption. I still do my spreadsheets using MS excel on macpro. I’m an advance user and I am excited about the surface if it can replace my my laptop at least because im sure it would replace my ipad. I have 200 apps on my ipad and the only apps that have their use are flipboard, safari, wait…….hmmmm… Google search, wolfram and calculator. And magic 2013 and asphalt to waste time.
    Still, rubbish articles..Well.. Not all you can read on the internet make sense.

  20. Well done mike u just pointed out exactly what this article was all about and all these heat on Jordan about Microsoft and Mr Gates is deviating from d article here! Until d so called “Surface” surfaces! Is tested and used! All Balmer has done is showcase a device n say it will do a lot more than what d market is currently offering! iPad killer! I wait patiently to see it, and for those who keep talking bout d iPad being a consumption device! Question is why do people buy this awesome device? Why is apple making so much money off this device? U can’t expect to do some serious work on a small screen, leave d major work for d big screens!

    • Thanks Aik.
      I suspect all the haters & critics will probably write my comments off as fanatical as well
      I’m curious as to how the surface will do, considering all the variables,
      1) google nexus 7 is out
      2) rumors of an IPad mini
      3) HP not supporting windows 8 ARM tablets
      4) RIM & blackberry 10
      Technically surface/ it’s still vapor ware, (outdated term?)
      I think Ballmer et all, lost all credibility with me when they underestimated the value of ITunes/IPhone back in 07. All these guys laughed at and dismissed the iPhone, & still they reported to their shareholders that it’s fad nothing to worry about.
      5 years later, RIM is worried if they can make payroll, Microsoft struggles to find a niche customer, Nokia is in hock up to their nostrils.
      Yes folks it is as bad as you think, lolz
      D

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