updated 02:10 pm EDT, Wed April 21, 2010
Microsoft founder ambivalent on Apple tablet
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in a new interview offered up mixed praise for the iPad. When asked his opinion, he said that "it's okay" and characterized it more as an attractive design than a truly useful product. He wasn't certain how it could be used compared to other computing devices.
"The scenarios aren't that clear," Gates told SFGate. "But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that."
Apple's early performance with the iPad may nonetheless contrast sharply with Gates' own approach to tablets. He is widely credited with Microsoft's strong focus on its Tablet PC concept from 2002 onwards and, while still active at Microsoft, made sure that there were at first tablet versions of Windows XP and would have had some influence when integrating tablet support directly into regular versions of Vista. However, no Tablet PC has gained strong widespread appeal, and most systems have been confined to specialty markets such as hospitals and warehouses.
Apple is known to have sold at least 500,000 iPads in the first 10 days after launch and, according to unofficial estimates by Chitika, may have already passed the million-unit mark.