Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Apple

Bill Gates Responds To Apple iPad 503

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the tired-of-these-yet dept.
superapecommando writes "Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has called Apple's iPad a 'nice reader' but claims netbooks are the way forward. Speaking briefly to BNET's Brent Schlender, the Microsoft Chairman, who had admitted to being in awe of the iPhone on first release, saw nothing in the iPad to really excite him."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Bill Gates Responds To Apple iPad

Comments Filter:
  • That's it (Score:5, Funny)

    by Renegade Lisp (315687) * on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:26AM (#31143644)
    If there was anything that could guarantee the skyrocketing success of the iPad, we've just witnessed it.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:56AM (#31144006)
      I'm buying one. Day one, I will be in line at the Apple store with my mock turtleneck, tortoise-shell glasses, and my douche. I'll snatch one of these puppies up for the sole purpose of donning my Yoko Ono, blind-people shades, holding this thing to my ear, and asking the kids at the Genius Bar why my iPhone for the visually impaired gets such shitty reception. I will do this multiple times per store to no less than a dozen stores.
  • Not much meat to the article (*gasp* I read it).

    I think a lot of people would agree with his statement, myself included.

    I think the charitable donations for vaccines at the bottom of the article is more interesting, though that's been covered here already.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:28AM (#31143676)
    The article is only short so here's the whole thing:

    "Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has called Apple's iPad a "nice reader" but claims netbooks are the way forward. Speaking briefly to BNET's Brent Schlender, the Microsoft Chairman, who had admitted to being in awe of the iPhone on first release, saw nothing in the iPad to really excite him. "You know, 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," Gates said. "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.' It's a nice reader, but there's nothing on the iPad I look at and say, 'Oh, I wish Microsoft had done it.'" The Microsoft founder and his wife Melinda now devote much of their time to good causes. Last month, they announced plans to donate $10bn (£6.2bn) over the next 10 years to develop and deliver new vaccines. The couple believe it should be possible to save the lives of 7.6 million children under five between 2010 and 2019 in poorer countries."

    Good on you Borg Bill, saving the life of one child is a life-changing thing, a million I can't even get my head round.

  • by Lord Grey (463613) * on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:28AM (#31143684)

    You don't need to. There is zero meaningful information in it that is not included in the summary.

    It would have been interesting to here some of Gates' reasons behind his statement.

    • by Culture20 (968837)

      It would have been interesting to here some of Gates' reasons behind his statement.

      The same reasons /. has been saying the same thing, except he likes win7 "3 app" edition. Frankly, I'd take "3 apps" before 1 app + greater lock-in any day.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zeromorph (1009305)

      It would have been interesting to here some of Gates' reasons behind his statement.

      Indeed it would be, from TFA:

      "You know, 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"

      So he says that he believes in touch and digital reading, but voice, pen and keyboard will be the mainstream on that!?

      WTF, seriously WTF! Either they mangled his statement beyond recognition or he has a very strange perception about what the iPad is, where digital reading is now (and what its problems are) as well as what most people do with their computers and smartphones

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SerpentMage (13390)

        The problem with Bill Gates is that he holds his tablet vision to death do us part.

        I have a tablet PC and have to say a stylus SUCKS! I use Windows 7 and ever since they improved the UI so that I can tap and twist my way through everywhere the pen has not left its socket.

        A long time ago when I was in engineering university and the tablet idea first came (1990) out the administrative assistant to the dean of engineering said, "now that's a dumb idea." I was shocked and asked would you not want to write? She

  • The iPad ought to be enough for anybody.
  • Uh, what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by consonant (896763)
    Isn't the iPad essentially a netbook of the future?
    • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Etrias (1121031) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:33AM (#31143742)
      A DRM riddled, unable to multi-task, underpowered tablet with no ability to expand? Lord, I hope not.
      • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:44AM (#31143872)

        A DRM riddled, unable to multi-task, underpowered tablet with no ability to expand? Lord, I hope not.

        Yes, this is exactly what has kept Tivo and cable company DVR's out of the market now entirely dominated by MythTV... oh, wait, no. It's not that I don't agree with your assessment of the iPad, it's just that I don't think it will in any way stop the iPad's success in the market. Don't worry. I'm sure there will always be alternatives for geeks; just don't expect your idea of the ideal product to be mainstream.

        (For the record I use MythTV, an HDHomeRun, and my own homemade antenna to record OTA TV.)

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by p0 (740290)
        If it ever succeeds in the market, I'm going to use your comment as the "Less space than a Nomad, lame" equivalent for the iPad.
      • A DRM riddled, unable to multi-task, underpowered tablet with no ability to expand? Lord, I hope not.

        The reaction to the iPod was pretty similar way-back-when, to much capacity, too expensive, not enough whiz-bang features.... now everybody has one. I'll wait and see before passing judgement. Personally I'd prefer the iPad to have the full OS X desktop OS rather than the iPhone OS.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Etrias (1121031)
          I'm going to posit that the success of the iPod, which was not instantaneous, is really tied to the Apple store and their ability to deliver songs, especially individual songs at a reasonable price point. That was the piece that was missing from the scene at the time which led to other players (Amazon, mostly) trying to imitate the store. The iPhone delivered more functionality than the other phone manufacturers were willing to dole out to us (secretly because phone companies hate their customers). Unles
          • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by GordonBX (1059078) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:25AM (#31144318)

            ... The iPhone delivered more functionality than the other phone manufacturers were willing to dole out to us (secretly because phone companies hate their customers). ...

            Except that the iPhone delivered significantly LESS functionality than other phone manufacturers were giving us, and was significantly behind the times (like 4-5 years) compared to actual features in things like Symbian and Windows Mobile. The thing it did was take what functionality they had, and make it really easily accessible - so much so that people like you, apparently, think that it had more functionality than it's contemporaries. That's what puts the iPad in competition with netbooks - it's a netbook that is easy to use, which is where it will find its market.

            • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:51PM (#31145504) Homepage

              In another way of looking at it, the iPhone had greater effective capabilities. You could theoretically do more with other phones, except that you wouldn't. Ok, maybe *you* would do more, but I worked in IT and supported people with various kinds of smart phones, and the only functionality that most people used was email, and those email applications weren't too friendly and often lacked html support.

              So which phone is more capable, one with 500 features of which you'll actually only use 1, or a phone with 10 features of which you'll use 9?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Sancho (17056)

              Except that the iPhone delivered significantly LESS functionality than other phone manufacturers were giving us, and was significantly behind the times (like 4-5 years) compared to actual features in things like Symbian and Windows Mobile.

              Ah, but the market that the iPhone really captured was composed of people who had never owned a smartphone before. For them, the iPhone gave more features and did "smart" things better than any other phone they'd ever used.

              And a lot of techies liked it for no reason other than because the browser was great. It rendered the majority of websites correctly and similarly to your desktop.

              I used Windows Mobile for a long time. When you look at the way those phones worked, it's kinda pitiful. When the iPhone c

      • Re:Uh, what? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by whisper_jeff (680366) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:07AM (#31144124)
        You clearly want a computer. Buy a computer. A tablet is not a computer.

        Feel free to point out all the tablets that are trying to be a computer. Now try pointing out the ones that have been successful products. Perhaps the market does not want a tablet that is a computer. Perhaps the market wants computers that are computers and tablets that are something else. Perhaps what you want is not what the market wants.

        Something to contemplate.
        • by slim (1652)

          You clearly want a computer. Buy a computer. A tablet is not a computer.

          A tablet was a computer until about three weeks ago, when Steve Jobs corrected us all.

          Of course, we don't know what the market wants, and won't find out until people can buy iPads. I personally can't think of a use case for the iPad as it stands, that warrants paying $500 (beyond "I really like gadgets and I'm rich enough to drop $500 without a thought).

          I'm pretty sure the iPad will be a success in the long term, probably when a lot of the criticisms people have, get addressed. I think we'll see the ability

        • It was a comment directly in response to "the iPad is the netbook of the future". Are you saying netbooks shouldn't be computers?
          • I believe I'm saying that the iPad isn't a computer. Given that virtually everyone agrees that netbooks are computers, I believe the obvious extension of that is that I believe the iPad is not a netbook.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Blue Stone (582566)

          >You clearly want a computer. Buy a computer. A tablet is not a computer.

          An iPad is not a tablet. It's a consumption-oriented appliance.

          And some people might want that. Wait and see, I guess.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Rexdude (747457)
          Every time Apple launches a product like this, the geeks/Slashdot crowd (myself included) are quick to point out and rant on the shortcomings-lack of features and vendor lock-in. This despite the fact that we KNOW that we're far from the target audience for such a product. We KNOW that Apple is never going to produce anything that's not tightly locked down and controlled- which also gives a tightly integrated,easy to use and coherent user experience. I think it's a kind of frustration.
          "Why is everyone hu
      • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by beh (4759) * on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:28AM (#31144374)

        What is the bl**dy obsession with whether it multitasks or not?

        For this kind of device, in my opinion, multi-tasking is almost meaningless. The iphone's notification system could use some improvement, but real multitasking? Come on folks, it's not meant to replace your desktop or be your little Mersenne prime hunt in a pocket.

        It was the same when the Zaurus was released - great it has Linux on it, yea! But apart from that, it sucked, compared to a lowly palm-pilot, which was just made to get the stuff done it was built for.

        If I look at what I want from a device in that form factor, book reader, organizer, the fact that it DOES ITS JOB, and that it is well integrated with my stuff comes up WAAAYYY higher than multitasking.

        Priorities, people - priorities!

        If it had multitasking, 100 different chat clients for all chat systems ever written, could run gimp and do some powerful image processing, run all my databases (including SQL stored proc support), do some folding@home (or is that folding-on-the-road?) in the backgroup and everything else you might want to think up, it would neither be this small and light, nor likely very responsive, nor run as long as it does... ...and - most importantly, it would no longer be the device that MOST people can use easily: Apple isn't just thinking of the slashdot crowd as its potential customer base...

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by slim (1652)

          What is the bl**dy obsession with whether it multitasks or not?

          Forgive me if I've misunderstanding what "not multitasking" means in the context of the iPad. I'm assuming it means that switching from one app to another means completely closing app 1, then opening app2.

          So, let's say I'm reading a book. Maybe Paul Auster's City of Glass, in which part of the story focuses on the shapes a man traces out walking the streets of New York City. I'm curious about the exact streets, so I want to flick to the mapping app (or a browser), to see what part of Manhattan he's talking

        • Re:Uh, what? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:50PM (#31145486) Homepage Journal

          What is the bl**dy obsession with whether it multitasks or not?

          I have an iPod Touch. I like to use it to listen to Pandora, but because it's restricted to single tasking, that's all I can do at once. Get an IM notification and want to reply to it? Tap the button to leave Pandora and go into the IM app and the music stops. Send the message. Hit the "home" button and find the Pandora icon again, wait for it to launch and re-buffer, then start listening again. About 10 seconds later, get a reply IM and repeat the process.

          I can listen to my iPod playlists regardless of which app I'm in, but not so with Pandora or Last.fm. That is why I see the lack of multitasking as a complete PITA.

          Oh, and while it wouldn't address the root problem, I wish there was a global stroke or gesture that would bounce you back to the previous app you were in. I had a hack on my old Palm that did exactly that so you could flip between two apps quickly without having to mess around with the launcher. That would at least ease a little of the pain.

      • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:32AM (#31144422) Homepage

        A note on expandability: Over time, we have gone from highly super modular devices, to cheaper, more specific, less expandable devices. The cheaper is a key part of that. In the 80s, you bought a motherboard with lots of expansion slots. Then you could add sound, better video, a newer drive controller, etc. Buying something with those on board was considered cheap and bad. Then in the 90s, every board had built-in audio, video, and IO. It was just so cheap and so ubiquitous that there was hardly a reason not to have it built-in. After 2000, it got to the point where hardly anyone even buys a sound card, and only specialized IO cards exist. Most laptops come with built-in webcams that are good enough for 99% of usages and are too cheap to not include, just for the 1% who want something better.

        For many electronic devices, it is easier/cheaper to buy a newer one than to upgrade. That saddens me, but it is has become a fact of economics. So the "no ability to expand" might not be as bad a thing as you think. If it comes with a camera, a GPS, accelerometers, bluetooth, wi-fi, and sufficient storage... by the time the next generation of wi-fi comes out, it might be cheaper/easier just to buy a new iPad than to upgrade the current one.

    • No, the Ipad appears to be an oversized Ipod designed to be an ereader.
      • by Ironsides (739422)
        I can see uses for a tool like this. However, it's more of a niche tool and the lockdown is a bit of a problem. At a few places I've worked at, we've had forms and checklists that need to be run through and the form factor of the iPad would be useful for that. However, with the lockdown on it, the iPad just isn't suitable unless all the forms could be filled out in Safari over ssh on the 3G connection. Still, being able to pull the forms off local storage and then transfer them to the central server per
        • by Jellybob (597204)

          You can have that. Mobile safari supports the local storage extensions to HTML being developed by WhatWG, which is designed for exactly the purpose you described.

          Download some forms when you have a connection, go offline and fill them in, and then synchronise when you get back. You can see it working with Google Mail and Reader, as well as quite a few other pieces of software, already.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sandbags (964742)

        Wrong. It's an "instant gratification" platform. A PC Companion. The bridge device you use to control your home theater, chat on social sites, make a phone call, respond to messages, and more (most importantly including EDIT THE QUICK DOCUMENT), WITHOUT having to turn on a PC. In addition to that, it's a a full color e-reader, surfing platform, comic book platform, media player, and car video screen (hang it from the back of your seat and let the kids watch, instead of adding a SEPARATE car movie screen

    • by timeOday (582209)

      Isn't the iPad essentially a netbook of the future?

      How so? Even if it weren't restricted to approved applications, it would only be as good as other tablets of the present, which haven't gone anywhere. It's just an overgrown PDA.

      • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by stuntpope (19736) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:51AM (#31143954)

        It's just an overgrown PDA.

        In other words, as asserted earlier, a netbook of the future. Netbooks were conceived and marketed for purposes befitting an overgrown PDA. Not devices to do your programming on, or write your term papers, or edit videos, do your Photoshop work on, etc. But a portable device to carry around and share your photos, movies, music, or check your email, browse the Web, without the bulk/weight penalty of a full-sized laptop. That's why they're called netbooks, not "mini laptops".

        Netbooks aren't merely cheaper, smaller, lower-performing laptops, the idea was "why carry all this around when in reality you want a device for only a small subset of the capabilities of a full laptop?" Not "people need smaller laptops with full computing capabilities."

        I see the iPad as the best expression of that type of device thus far.

      • Re:Uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by clifyt (11768) <sonikmatter&gmail,com> on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:06AM (#31144118) Homepage

        "It's just an overgrown PDA."

        To some of us, this is perfect.

        I have a superpowerful desktop that I can use if I need to...honestly, except when I'm needing to process 100 tracks of audio at once or need a compiling station for the few times a decade I actually get back to programming, I rarely turn it on (and even with my music, my laptop or macmini that is ultraquiet and fits in my rack case in a smaller slot than any of my outboard gear is powerful enough).

        I have an iPhone for 99% of the rest of what I do these days...I felt constricted to my office otherwise until I picked this up. I've been a gadget junkie for most of my 4 decades on this earth and the last device that was as compact as my iPhone that was useful to me? My Newton...had to invest in cargo pants to have this with me (had palm and a sony branded palm before those...or was it after...I forget).

        I can get to my servers anywhere with my phone...can do just about anything. And yeah, I can do that on my friends Droids or Win phones, but never quite as easily or quickly...the OS just gets the hell out of the way with this device which should be the goal of ANY device so that you can focus on the task at hand.

        My only complaint with the iPhone is that the screen is too small. I still find myself using it more often even at home or the office than I do my computers sitting around (and in some ways, I use to do that with my other gadgets...its faster to pull up email on a device where it is always running...I thought of buying one of those Peek emailer devices for the same reason (and they are pretty cool, but when I tried one, was slow for what I needed...didn't speed up my life and one more gadget).

        So yes, an overgrown PDA might be EXACTLY what is needed. I played with the Dell Tablet, but it felt like using a PC with a stylus. I generally like Dell products if I go the PC route (at least the business class ones...other than the one I'm installing today has no fricken XP drivers and I'm having to scour the net to get the appropriate install!!!) and I thought it would be great. Honestly, it felt more cumbersome using than simply having laptop with a wacom on it. Why aren't tablet PCs going anywhere? Because they think they are PCs (I saw one recently that once you unplugged the keys and otherwise, it pulled up a custom tablet environment that was simplified to this world...might have to see if I can get a loaner sometime to check it out!).

        So current tablets don't work because they try to be too much. PDAs are perfect because they don't. Geeks don't get that...limiting what you can do will help you focus on your job, not focus on technology. If your job IS technology...well, then this is the wrong device for you. If you job is making certain you get your life together? A more limited device with the appropriate apps might just be the thing...My only concern right now is I don't want to carry two deviced (i.e., if the pad could be a phone too, it would be an instant choice...except for the times my headphones run out of juice, but then again, I also find it just as akward to hold the iphone as well and just throw it on speaker 90% of the time!)

    • by elnyka (803306)

      Isn't the iPad essentially a netbook of the future?

      Take away the restrictions of installing software, and add multitasking, and then, maybe.

  • ...I have to agree with Gates. The iPad is a cute novelty, but nothing about it convinces me open my wallet. Maybe successive generations of it will be more compelling, but at this point, it's feature set and interoperability with other devices is a bit too limited to suit me.

    • Re:For once... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by sammyF70 (1154563) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:33AM (#31143750) Homepage Journal
      While I agree with Gates, I find it ironic that he is the one making the statement, considering real netbooks (at least those fulfilling the original definition of the term, low price and tech) can't be found anymore, as they weren't really capable of running Microsoft's OS's
      • While I agree with Gates, I find it ironic that he is the one making the statement, considering real netbooks (at least those fulfilling the original definition of the term, low price and tech) can't be found anymore, as they weren't really capable of running Microsoft's OS's

        Is that the whole, entire definition of what a netbook is? Or just yours?

        • by sammyF70 (1154563)
          Apparently not just mine [wikipedia.org].

          "At their inception in late 2007 — as smaller notebooks optimized for low weight and low cost[3] — netbooks omitted key features (e.g., the optical drive), featured smaller screens and keyboards, and offered reduced specification and computing power."

          In the short period since their appearance, netbooks have grown in size and features, now converging with new smaller, lighter notebooks. By mid 2009, when comparing a Dell netbook to a Dell notebook, CNET noted "the specs are so similar that the average shopper would likely be confused as to why one is better than the other," noting "the only conclusion is that there really is no distinction between the devices."

          My original netbook (a 8.9'', 512MB Acer Aspire One) ran Linux Mint happily, and I even compiled Ogre3d in a reasonable time on it, watching movies never was a problem (I'm not talking HD of course;).
          I never tried it, but I was told XP ran like a dog on it, to the point of being unusable. The ~smallests~ you can find nowaday are the 10'',1GB versions, ~blessed~ with XP or Windows7.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Spatial (1235392)
            XP runs fine on them. Windows netbooks run like shit by default because:

            - They have McFatty AntiSpeed running
            - They have more programs and services running than the mind of god, especially at startup

            When I fixed those two problems on my netbook, it became downright pleasant to use.
  • Definitely not, netbooks cannot be the way forward.

    That being said, neither is closed-DRMd-not-really-yours iPad like appliances.

    The way forward is tablets using electro-wetting like technology with touch based input capabilities.

    Of course the keyboard will always be necessary, but a on-screen touchable keyboard is an option for the stuff that people would need to write while using these devices (say, small emails, forum posts, login info, etc.... something like Opera's Wii text-input)

    • Touch screens will never replace keyboards. It is possible that a dedicated touchscreen that is designed as a strictly input device will replace keyboards, but I suspect that most people will still prefer the tactile feel of an actual keyboard. However a display screen that also doubles as an input device will never replace the keyboard except in specialized usage (such as phones). It may be become a standard part of PCs in addition to keyboards.
      • by slim (1652)

        Touch screens will never replace keyboards.

        Not everywhere. But there are certainly applications where keyboards aren't required, or where onscreen keyboards are good enough.

        People are happy with their touchscreen phones. The self-service checkout at my local supermarket uses only a touchscreen (and a barcode scanner!).

        The question is more, for the kinds of thing you want to do on an iPad, is the smaller form factor worth the sacrifice of a keyboard?

        Even doing standard Web stuff - filling in forms for web shops, emailing, posting on forums, I do a lo

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Xest (935314)

      I'm glad you've defined for me what I should be doing with my netbook. I will cease taking notes, writing papers and design documents on it immediately when I travel so that it can be replaced by a tablet PC in future.

      Seriously though, people use Netbooks for all sorts of things, an onscreen keyboard will almost certainly never cut it for my usage patterns. If netbooks dissapeared tommorrow, I'd just have to go back to carrying a full blown laptop around, a tablet still wouldn't cut it. I do have a 15 inch

      • by pr0nbot (313417)

        My girlfriend also really likes netbooks [...] Sometimes normal laptops are just too much of a ballache to lug around with you

        Not for your girflriend, I hope

  • "It's the greatest thing since sliced bread! I have told Ballmer to just give up and shutter the doors at Microsoft." - Not Bill Gates

    Actually for BG that just might qualify as a CE Oh No He Didn't!

  • by digitalderbs (718388) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:33AM (#31143756)
    “You know, 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,” Gates said. “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.’ It’s a nice reader, but there’s nothing on the iPad I look at and say, ‘Oh, I wish Microsoft had done it.’”

    source [allthingsd.com].
  • by gmuslera (3436) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:35AM (#31143766) Homepage Journal
    because we all have more than enough memory with 640k
  • by rimcrazy (146022) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:36AM (#31143780)

    Yea, I remember Balmer dissing the iPhone. "So what so they sell a million phones. WE have the OS in millions of phones"

    So we fast forward a few years and there are what, 30 million or so iPhones out there at $600 a crack to Apple and if I remember correctly iPhone installed base just surpassed phones with Windows Mobile in them. Yea.... right. Well they are not perfect but for me I think I would like Apple's revenue per phone much more than Windows Mobile but what the hell, gives Steve another reason to kick some more chairs.

  • How About Neither? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:36AM (#31143790) Homepage Journal
    I don't think either of them are the way forward. I don't feel particularly compelled by the iPad but I think it's probably closer to the way forward than a netbook will be. Just because Bill Gates is one of the richest men in the world doesn't mean he craps daisies and technological innovation. Remember that this is the guy who blew off the Internet as another fad for several years.
  • Oy. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by schmidt349 (690948)

    Is this like a cottage industry for you Apple haters? You post every possible negative comment about the new product you can find, drum it up into some kind of grand pronouncement on the future of the device, then complain that there's too much media coverage and everyone should just shut up now!

    • by IANAAC (692242)

      You post every possible negative comment about the new product you can find, drum it up into some kind of grand pronouncement on the future of the device

      I really didn't read negativity in his statement. I just read one man's opinion, which was pretty neutral.

      On the other hand, why would you be getting that bent out of shape over someone's opinion?

  • iPad vs netbook (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I got an iPod touch for Christmas. I really wanted a netbook. So, I bought a netbook and ended up with both. I can honestly say that I use my iPod touch far more than the netbook. The reasons are:

    1) pocket portability
    2) instant on
    3) very nice UI
    4) lots of free or inexpensive apps
    5) variety of entertainment

    I don't much care for the typewriter interface to the iPod touch. I haven't checked out voice recognition yet and maybe that is the way to go.

    I would be very interested in trying the iPad to see how i

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I'd swap out very nice UI (as it brings the GUI to mind) with multi-touch. After playing with other devices and netbooks, I'd say that this is the one feature that I wish everyone else would copy instead of attempt to re-imagine. It seems like every smart phone out there tries to do something with a zoom bar, when it is almost ingrained in me to simply put my fingers on it and try to "stretch out" the page. The GUI, on the other hand, feels more and more lacking as I tinker with it. It has all of the appeal

  • by onion2k (203094) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:41AM (#31143836) Homepage

    These days more than ever the hardware only makes one difference - what inputs are available. There are a few other minor considerations like which APIs are enabled for developers, but really the only significant factor is how you can get information into the machine. Everything else like CPU speed, RAM, storage, etc are problems that, for the ordinary user at least, are solved.

    The iPad is designed to make it easy to enter spacial information (where you're pressing on the screen) compared to a mouse or a keyboard. That's why it'll make a great reader, web browsing tool, and gaming device, but a relatively poor word processor or data entry device. A netbook on the other hand isn't really optimised for information entry at all. The keyboard isn't as good as a laptop, it's harder to operate a touchscreen on one than a tablet, and there's usually a pretty rubbish trackpad. Netbooks are a great compromise but they're not going to win in the long term when we can make laptops fold up smaller (somehow!).

    In the future there will be a place for tablet PCs while there won't be for netbooks. I'm sure Bill is right that for now MSFT's interest lies in the netbook, but looking to the longer term he's dead wrong.

  • Give the pad time (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stokessd (89903) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:41AM (#31143842) Homepage

    If the iPad is a game changer, it won't be one overnight. I see the iPhone as being an instant success not because of what it was, but because of what all other phones weren't. The rest of the smartphone landscape at the time was dismal, both in terms of hardware and plans (yes, this is a USA centric view). So the instant success of the iPhone was an anomaly, not the "apple norm".

    Think back to the iPod, it languished and didn't really gain a whole lot of traction until the third version. That's a lot of time to wait and watch. If the iPad does turn into a "gamechanger", it will also be over time.

    The apple store will be the big game changer. I would drop my cable in a heartbeat if I could get shows (all the shows) when I want them. I pay like $100 a month to comcast for a DVR and their crappy compressed digital cable. I'd be willing to pay at least that for a vast and deep menu of shows I could watch when I want. The same holds true for books, newspapers, and magazines. The content will be the killer app, and the ease of getting that content will differentiate the iPad from all others.

    If what I've outlined above happens where I can get my TV shows and movies from an apple store, it will also revive the appleTV which is like an airport express just waiting for content.

    Sheldon

  • by JohnHegarty (453016) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:44AM (#31143862) Homepage

    I have an old Pocket PC that cost about $300 back in 2005 , and I really can think of much the IPad does that it won't.

  • by viraltus (1102365) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:53AM (#31143974)

    Really, the article says the guy is about to save 7.6 million children's lives and the head title is about the iPad? I can imagine the day someone cures cancer; the head news title will be "Dr. X uses an iMac to do his things"

  • He was unable to monetize the tablet format, even after a couple of unsuccessful tries of forcing Windows into the tablet format. So the only thing he can utter now is flatulent sour grapes when Apple comes out with a tablet with a usable UI and a possibly successful tablet.
    • by Ogive17 (691899)
      So when everyone else says "it looks neat but I don't want one" it's ok, but when Gates basically says the same thing it's sour grapes? Face it, Apple is trying to sell the iPad in a market segment that doesn't really exist. The only people buying this will be people who buy everything Apple releases.

      That's unless they make some major functionality upgrades without increasing the price before it actually hits the market. It's an underwhelming device for the price.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:57AM (#31144020) Homepage Journal
    I didn't think there was a whole lot of use for the device until I took a trip from Munich to Philly in one of US Airs brand new A330s and noticed something, every single seat had a USB power outlet and all over the US USB power outlets are increasing in number. Are there any netbooks that can run off of USB power? The fact that the iPad can, has (supposedly) a really good battery life, and the fact that you can use the thing while standing up has sold me on the device.

    That being said, the first company that can come out with a netbook that can run off of USB power will have a winner.
    • by Rich0 (548339) on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:37PM (#31145322) Homepage

      It just makes you wonder how they have that all wired up. It would be tempting to plug in a USB host and see what shows up on the network...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by toddestan (632714)

      That being said, the first company that can come out with a netbook that can run off of USB power will have a winner.

      Given that the USB spec only allows for a maximum draw of 2.5W, I doubt we'll see one soon. At best you could charge it slowly if the netbook was not actually running. Though the OLPC could pull it off.

      Perhaps in the future when they have USB3.0 ports (maximum draw of 9W) it may be possible.

  • Shocking! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:01AM (#31144056)
    Shocking, one of Microsoft's largest shareholders is talking down about a competitor's product. Who would have guessed?...
  • What they should have done is built it on a high-end Atom CPU, and then created a hybrid interface that lets users choose between an iPhone-like interface for convenience and a real OS X desktop.

    If Apple can create a fat binaries for PPC and x86, why couldn't they have updated the toolchain for the iPhone to let developers do a one click rebuild to support x86 as well?

  • Touchscreens are not yet commodity hardware, and therefore most MS customers are not going to pay for the added benifit. It is like GPUs in the mid 80's. Critical for the GUI interface, but expensive so kit that ran MS Windows did not generally include it. The same goes for touchpads. Most computer that run MS software does not have the top of the line touchpads, so still need multibutton mice to work. Card readers are cheap, touchpads are less so.

    Netbooks can be made cheaply from parts that fall off

  • The fact they're dictating the exact hardware and layout makes me wonder whether (even though the software looks decent) this could crash and burn. Why should hardware manufacturers give up [what is effectively their creative control] for this OS, when they can make whatever they want and shove Android on it with no restrictions?

    • Aww shitstack, I commented on here rather than the blasted MS phone one. I'll have to improvise and make this relevant....

      I agree with Gates that this could have done with a stylus. Put that in, and you have millions of University students (such as myself) who could use it to take handwritten notes. But no. As it is, it serves no purpose for me.

  • In the future there will be two types of devices:

    Those which are locked down, limited and controlled by the vendors. In return customers will receive a superior user experience, will not need to perform maintenance tasks, make complicated decisions and just be able to get on and use the product without instruction.

    On the other side, we'll have products which allow the user a greater freedom to install, modify and remove what they want. However, in return they'll have to put up with the maintenance tasks, so

  • by qazwart (261667) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:59AM (#31144840) Homepage

    Hang around with a non-geek for a while. A typical intelligent person who doesn't difference between Star Wars and Star Trek and doesn't even care. Look how they use their PC.

    That PC might even be a "Mac" which they're told was "easier to use". They don't know about "right clicking". They don't know how to use the file browser (Finder or Windows Explorer). They simply want to get their work done. What do they do? Mainly browse the web, email, Facebook, Twitter. They sometimes even use Microsoft Word and maybe rarely use Excel if they want to make a table of some sort (and they have no idea how to do things like sum up a column).

    For these people, an iPad is a godsend. It does exactly what they want. They know how to use it. They don't care about DRM. They don't care about Open Source. They don't even care about free beer. (Actually, they might take a pro-free beer position on that last statement).

    Am I tossing out my laptops and desktop systems and getting myself an iPad? No way. I am a developer and need the full power of my computer. I need to run multiple things at once. I need my command line. I need to be able to configure my development environments and to test out my stuff on our QA environments. I can't do that on an iPad, and won't get one for myself.

    However, my wife mainly looks at her mail and browses the web. She has no idea how to use the Finder to browse her files. She has no idea how to use Spotlight as a search tool. The other day, she lost the icon on the Dock for Quicken, and asked me to put it back. This is a Mac, and she even finds it overly complex to use.

    How does she respond with Windows? We have a Windows Media Center as our TV, and she always asked me or our children to help her set it up, so she can watch her program.

    She also has an iPod Touch she uses as an organizer and she loves it. She has no problems using the contacts, email, using the web browser, or checking the weather. She has even taken to installing her own applications and rearranging the icons on the screen. She loves the touch screen and the ease of maneuvering.

    My wife's current desktop computer is over six years old and is showing signs of its age. I need to get a replacement. I could try to use a cheap windows system, but she hates Windows. She knows Macs, and an Mac Mini might be a nice replacement.

    Then again, why not an iPad? It does everything she wants, and uses an interface she knows and loves. I'll get a BlueTooth keyboard and it's her desktop system. If she wants to lie down on the couch and browse the web, she can do that too. For my wife, the iPad is perfect.

    The iPad is an appliance much like a toaster. A chef might find a toaster limiting, but if all you want to do is warm up your Pop Tart, you can't go wrong with a toaster.

  • by guidryp (702488) on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:49PM (#31145474)

    I see a lot of people simply reading a laundry list of what a laptop(and netbook) does vs iPad does and proclaiming laptop the winner.

    But the two devices are not mutually exclusive and in fact are complementary.

    You don't do your work on an iPad. You do your work on your Desktop/Laptop and when you want to kickback and read e-comics on the couch, you grab your iPad.

    Want to check the news at breakfast, grab your instant-on iPad that you can control with a finger while eating at the breakfast table.

    Cooking up something new for dinner, iPad in the kitchen with your recipe (no worry about food in the keyboard).

    Finish reading a book in your bedroom at night.

    This is internet/reader device for every room of the house, highly portable with a slick interface.

    I am as big a tech geek as anyone here, but I have other devices to hack. I have no problem getting a really nifty reader/net tablet with a different form factor, high quality user interface and yet unimagined possibilities.

    Even with the limited uses I am considering now it is enough for me to head to the store once they are released.

Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. -- George Carlin

Working...