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Bill Gates: iPad will struggle without pen and keyboard

updated 09:00 pm EST, Wed February 10, 2010

Bill Gates wants iPad more like Tablet PC

The iPad needs to be more like the Tablet PC to be successful, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates argues in an interview today. He admits that he sees the Apple device as a "nice reader" but says he's not envious of the design as it doesn't have the hardware he feels would be needed to reach critical mass. While the iPhone was clearly an improvement versus Windows Mobile, the iPad isn't enough like a conventional portable to break through, Gates says.

"I'm a big believer in touch and digital reading, but I still think that some mixture of voice, the pen and a real keyboard -- in other words a netbook -- will be the mainstream on that," he tells BNET. "So, it's not like I sit there and feel the same way I did with iPhone where I say, 'Oh my God, Microsoft didn't aim high enough.'"

Gates has long been a champion of the Tablet PC format since it was unveiled in 2001 but makes the observations despite seeing relatively little success. In the nine years since the designs first appeared, no models have had significant traction among the general public and have largely relegated the designs to niche markets like doctors and warehouse work. Netbooks have also come in tablet form but are still dominated by traditional designs that often cost less and carry a smaller profile.

When introducing the iPad, Apple's Steve Jobs specifically attacked netbooks as being too slow and running poor software. He also noted that the iPad can often weigh half as much as a netbook and should be much easier to hand-hold. A lighter tablet netbook like ASUS' 9-inch Eee PC T91MT weighs 2.1 pounds, gets half the battery life, and is twice as thick as the iPad despite the smaller screen.


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By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005

    +38

    Well if Ol' Billy Boy Is Dissin' It Publicly ...

    ... you just know there's an internal e-mail that shows his envy.

    (If it required a pen and a keyboard, I would NOT want it.)

  1. appleuzr

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006

    +41

    comment title

    Coming from a true innovator. why don't these bozos from Microsoft just shut their mouths and stop making asses out of themselves. Did they learn nothing with the iPhone? Don't worry mr. gates, the consumers will do the talking. When the numbers come in and the consumers have proven that apples new device owns the market, watch your beloved microsoft try to catch up by creating a half assed copy of apple's product and pump billions into it trying to get people to buy it.

    I mean that's how things have gone in the past for you right?

  1. stevesnj

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Apr 2003

    +35

    haha

    this from the guy that the most successful hardware is still their keyboards and mice

  1. russellb

    Junior Member

    Joined: Sep 2001

    +37

    Good God

    I would expect Monkey boy to make a comment like that BUT I had more respect for Bill Gates .. Saying "The iPad needs to be more like the Tablet PC to be successful, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates argues" shows they have not a clue.

    The ipad interface and computing by hand is the future of computing

  1. russellb

    Junior Member

    Joined: Sep 2001

    +13

    Good God

    I would expect Monkey boy to make a comment like that BUT I had more respect for Bill Gates .. Saying "The iPad needs to be more like the Tablet PC to be successful, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates argues" shows they have not a clue.

    The ipad interface and computing by hand is the future of computing.

    HELLO didn't bill see the keyboard dock !!!!!

  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +30

    And in a related story...

    Bill told the press that Mac OS needs to be more like Windows.

  1. facebook_Ken

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2010

    +23

    The path to success...

    ...is to copy other's failures.

  1. jdsonice@gmail.com

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2009

    +10

    We should trust Bill Gates

    And the reasons are:

    1. Bill has created the most used OS in the world.
    2. Bill is a true innovator who has never copied anyone at anytime
    3. Bill created Microsoft which as created the worlds best tablet that is currently on sale
    4. Bil creates software and hardware that is stable user friendly secure and cheap
    5. Bill knows what he is talking about
    6. Bill is the last word on technology
    7. Bill cares about technology and will support the best software even if someone other Microsoft produces it
    8. Bill always tells us the truth
    9. Bill will give us all $1M from his fortune
    10. Bill is a nice guy.

    Now #1 and #10 are true. The rest well I will let you figure it all out.

    JDS

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Call-151

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2009

    -15

    I hate to admit it

    but I have to agree wit him about the pen. I think a stylus would allow the iPad to replace paper in a way that typing just can't. The ease with which people can grab a pen and a scrap of paper to jot down something anywhere, anytime hasn't been matched. The next time you use a pen or pencil, think about what you'd use if you had your iPad and a stylus.

  1. dscottbuch

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000

    +32

    Best indicator of success yet

    I believe this comment guarantees the success of the iPad.

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