While you were probably not expecting this, Software King of the World and sworn enemy of the mosquito, Sir William Gates the Third, says he does not like the iPad much.
Gates said that the iPad needs to be more like Microsoft’s Surface which has the “portability of the tablet but the richness of the PC”.
Of course Gates’ comments were mocked by the tame Apple Press who used the opportunity to claim that Apple tablets were more popular than the Surface, so therefore users don’t want them to do anything important. The consensus was that the only use for an iPad was web, light emailing, videos, and some games.
But Gates does have a point, probably because he has been pushing the tablet concept long before Steve Jobs had the idea, that the current tablet is too limited to survive the novelty value wearing off.
The functions of “web, light emailing, videos, and some games” can easily be done with a slightly larger phone and do not need a new device to do it. While Steve Jobs’ vision might be reasonable in the short term, tablets will die off if people cannot do something more useful with them.
Gates has been fairly forthcoming about the reason why his idea of a tablet didn’t work and Steve Jobs’ did. He said that Microsoft tablets, which appeared in 2000, hit the market too early. They were “almost good enough” but the world had to move to a slightly different place before it was ready. We recall a somewhat different reason why Microsoft failed before…