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Bill Gates: iPad Users Are Frustrated They Can't Type Or Create Documents 618

An anonymous reader writes "While Apple views the tablet and PC markets as two separate entities, Microsoft takes the opposing view. During a CNBC interview this morning, Gates continued to toe the party line insofar as he praised the benefits of Microsoft's tablets and Windows 8 while explaining that iPad users are frustrated because they have trouble typing and creating documents. 'With Windows 8, Microsoft is trying to gain share in what has been dominated by the iPad-type device. But a lot of those users are frustrated, they can't type, they can't create documents. They don't have Office there. So we're providing them something with the benefits they've seen that have made that a big category, but without giving up what they expect in a PC.'"
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Bill Gates: iPad Users Are Frustrated They Can't Type Or Create Documents

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  • Re:And... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Monday May 06, 2013 @06:13PM (#43648065) Homepage
    I'm not sure where you're getting that. I don't know anyone that's bought an iPad to be their main system and if they were a true fanboy then surely they would have an iMac and or Macbook.
  • Re:And... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lgw ( 121541 ) on Monday May 06, 2013 @06:19PM (#43648123) Journal

    I would like to have a single device that is a lightweight tablet with a tablet interface, but when I drop it into a dock with a real keyboard, mouse, and screen, it switches UI modes to the right UI for that. A "single experience" would be a flawed approach IMO.

    Even better if it would switch "experience" at need to also be my HTPC and gaming console when I have my TV connected and want to switch over to using a remote, or game controllers. The tablet hardware isn't there yet (for 3D gaming), but I expect it will be within 5 years or so.

    There's no technical bar here - it just seems to be a mindset thing. Tablet / PC / console / HTPC - why not have the tablet be the core of all of that, and just switch UI "experience" depending on what input devices and display I'm using at the moment? Let the software developers choose to support whichever of those "experiences" they care about for their products.

  • Re:And... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Monday May 06, 2013 @06:22PM (#43648163)

    Tablets have lots of uses in "real work." I use mine to read, annotate and display scientific papers. When I write a paper I use a desktop or notebook, referring to the background research on the tablet. Pilots are apparently finding them very useful for reading manuals.

    Any kind of non-trivial "real work" is normally going to involve using information and may or may not involve producing it (pilots don't produce information, they fly planes). Tablets are good at much of that using information side. They're not so good at the producing side, but can be handy that way in a pinch.

  • by stanjo74 ( 922718 ) on Monday May 06, 2013 @06:42PM (#43648431)
    This was modded funny, but is actually insightful. Not many people are producing content (documents, drawings, etc). Everyone is consuming content - video streaming, web browsing, casual gaming, social media + some basic typing/input . Apple bet on the latter group and created a product that does this very well - zero administration, no viruses, safe applications.

    People who need to create content already used specialized software and/or machines (aka PC, workstation, server, etc). They are not buying a tablet to replace that.

  • Re:And... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SerpentMage ( 13390 ) <[ ] ['' in gap]> on Monday May 06, 2013 @06:45PM (#43648447)


    Steve jobs himself said, "When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks because that's what you needed on the farms." Cars became more popular as cities rose, and things like power steering and automatic transmission became popular.

    "PCs are going to be like trucks," Jobs said. "They are still going to be around." However, he said, only "one out of x people will need them."" []

    Where people said that he thought PC's would die is something I don't get. He NEVER said that!!! The problem is that Bill Gates thinks everybody needs a pickup truck, which is clearly not the case!

  • Re:And... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SerpentMage ( 13390 ) <[ ] ['' in gap]> on Monday May 06, 2013 @06:48PM (#43648473)

    The problem with your approach is that when I have a tablet I want battery life and ease of use. And when I use a PC I want power, and speed! They are orthogonal to each other. As the CAP theorem, says, you can have 2 out of 3, not all three, so choose what you want.

  • Re:And... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday May 06, 2013 @07:08PM (#43648671) Homepage

    I can't imagine anybody seriously believes tablets will completely replace PCs. But I think they'll make a helluva dent (if they haven't already).

    They recently published some stats here from Norway, access to home PC was up 2% to 95% of the respondents and tablets at 37% (first year recorded). I think most people will end up with both, simple as that. That said, I think it has a huge impact on the sort of PC people want. For consumption, people want performance - they want everything to be snappy and flashy and smooth. For production, a lot of the time the limitation is between the keyboard and the chair, for example now that I'm "producing" this comment I like my keyboard, but the CPU is practically idle. The overlap between input-heavy and performance heavy is rather small, essentially hardcore games. But I think for most people the answer will be that yes, we have a laptop, no it's not very powerful and yes it's collecting dust most of the time but it's useful when we need it.

  • Re: And... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lgw ( 121541 ) on Monday May 06, 2013 @07:33PM (#43648865) Journal

    My current laptop docks with a single USB-3 attachment - but for a tablet I'd want a power connector as well. Not everyone is in love with wireless! I have 1 wireless mouse at home, for my HTPC; everything else is wired. A docking station just makes it easy, and is likely cheaper than wireless built into everything.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday May 06, 2013 @07:40PM (#43648903)

    What scares me about it is that the major player in the space (Apple) is choosing to lock the general-purposeness of their devices away;

    For the average consumer how has Apple chosen to lock any general use away? You can buy apps for pretty much any purpose. You can attach standard keyboards, you can attach standard computer media, you can add MIDI interfaces or attach to Bluetooth devices of all kinds.

    From a more technical stance, Apple has made it very, very easy for anyone to develop for iOS. For just $100 a year you can develop and run whatever the hell you like, and break all kinds of rules that would mean things could not go in the app store. They have supplied vast amounts of information on iOS development and also provide WWDC videos for free to all developers, this year even as the conference is ongoing.

    And for the even more deeply technical users, there is jailbreaking. The jailbreaking community has said repeatedly that there are steps Apple could take that would in fact make jailbreaking impossible - but Apple has not and will not take those steps. They like to pull ideas (sometimes people) out of the jailbreak community, and furthermore have nothing against those that want to hack a system out of technical curiosity.

    The only limits Apple have ever put in place were there to help non-technical users have a more usable system, but easily bypassed if you chose to - and over times as mobile devices have become more powerful and interface standards evolved, Apple has loosened even those restrictions (for instance any app in the app store can support background BTLE communications, and BTLE requires no custom license the way older Bluetooth devices did).

    Apple is supporting a layered approach to access that makes a ton of sense, because it gives non-technical users a nearly virus/malware free experience while letting technical users go to town.

    If you had the iPad as a kid today, there are a lot of coding options on an iPad that would let you learn and explore programming.

  • Re:And... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Monday May 06, 2013 @07:59PM (#43649041) Journal

    With my phone, a Razr Maxx HDD, I find myself commonly doing "real work" on the go, where Swype on the screen just doesn't cut it. I got myself an iGo folding BT keyboard and LOVE IT. Android comes with QuickOffice which does a passable job at MS Office compatibility, and which I've used many times in conjunction with the email and JuiceSSH for remote access to servers.

    I wish apps weren't full screen; It's trivial to plug my phone into a nearby TV with HDMI and, with bluetooth keyboard, have an impromptu "PC" with pretty impressive "content creation" capability. Copy/Paste is still weak, but it's improving rapidly.

    My phone is more powerful than the majority of computers I've used in my almost-20-year history working in information technology. It's silly to think it's not ever going to be considerable as a PC replacement.

  • Re:And... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jasnw ( 1913892 ) on Monday May 06, 2013 @11:40PM (#43650227)
    The one time I wish I had mod points I don't. There are many of us "tired" folks out here, but I don't think we're in for any relief any time soon because it's the ADHD teenage Valley Girl market that seems to be driving where OS development goes these days. As I sit before my Mountain Lion OS X box at home I'm constantly reminded how much better my older/slower (hardware wise) Snow Leopard box at work is. I give Apple one more try at turning things around with their next major OS upgrade, and if it's another big step towards iOS I'm putting Snow Leopard on all my Apple boxes and planning for life as a techno hermit.
  • Re:Yeah (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gumbi west ( 610122 ) on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @03:14AM (#43650947) Journal

    For the Apple products I use I can't remember the last time I had to search the web to figure something out... two instances come to mind: command-tilde was a tip from Woz, and somebody on /. suggested turning on a system option that allows me to navigate GUI menus with the KB. But both of those are years ago. Other than that, I've figured out every gesture, hot key, navigation technique that I use on the OS X and iOS products.

    Coming from that world, I don't really think to search the web when I have a problem like this, I just assume that the OS is broken.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford