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Bill Gates Speaks About the iPad: It Ain’t No Thang

by on February 11th, 2010

I’d like to thank Bill Gates for creating the Windows operating system that I first learned to love to use. I’d also like to thank him for creating the Windows operating system that helped me develop these fine qualities: patience, perseverance, and anger management. Okay, so life with Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP wasn’t that bad (oh wait, YES it was!) at first, but at the end of the day I’m glad I don’t have to deal with drivers and viruses/spyware anymore.

Bill Gates recently gave his opinions on Apple’s iPad. Here’s what he had to say:

“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.’”

Hmm…that’s interesting Bill. The pens that came with tablets never caught onto the mainstream. The real keyboards in netbooks are cheap products that people buy because of their rock bottom prices. $199 for Windows-based netbook that can barely run the OS? No thanks!

Bill Gates’ Previous Responses to the iPod and Zune

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see what else Bill had to say:

On the announcement of iTunes in 2003 (emails released from the Microsoft antitrust case):

—– Original Message —–
From: Bill Gates
Sent: Wed 4/30/2003 10:46 PM
To: Amir Majidimehr; Dave Fester
Cc: Will Poole; Christopher Payne; Yusuf Mehdi; David Cole; Hank Vigil
Subject: Apple’s Jobs again.., and time to have a great Windows download service…

Steve Jobs ability to focus in on a few things that count, get people who get user interface right and market things as revolutionary are amazing things.

This time somehow he has applied his talents in getting a better Licensing deal than anyone else has gotten for music.

This is very strange to me. The music companies own operations offer a service that is truly unfriendly to the user and has been reviewed that way consistently.

Somehow they decide to give Apple the ability to do something pretty good.

I remember discussing EMusic and us saying that model was better than subscription because you would know what you are getting.

With the subscription who can promise you that the cool new stuff you want (or old stuff) will be there?

I am not saying this strangeness means we messed up – at least if we did so did Real and Pressplay and Musicnet and basically everyone else.

Now that Jobs has done it we need to move fast to get something where the UI and Rights are as good.

I am not sure whether we should do this through one of these JVs or not. I am not sure what the problems are.

However I think we need some plan to prove that even though Jobs has us a bit flat footed again we move quick and both match and do stuff better.

I’m sure people have a lot of thoughts on this. If the plan is clear no meeting is needed. I want to make sure we are coordinated between Windows DMD, MSN and other groups.

On the iPod in 2004:

“There’s nothing that the iPod does that I say, ‘Oh, wow, I don’t think we can do that,’” he said. “There’s often, early in the new market, a few products that help get the category to critical mass. In the long run, people are going to buy what gives them the right price, performance, and capabilities. And does everybody want to have exactly the same thing? Probably not.”

Bill has been successful in making Microsoft one the wealthiest companies on Earth–well done. However, his vision for the future seems too technical for the rest of us (remember his book The Road Ahead? I got that as a birthday gift when I was younger!). I’m not sure what’s going on at Microsoft but their innovation has seem to hit a standstill (ie Hotmail, the Zune, Bing, Windows Mobile delays, Vista, Windows 7–need I say more?).

As for judging the success of the iPad, nobody knows how many will sell and if Steve Jobs has another monster product on his hands. But if you look back in history, Apple is the one company that continues to “get it right” with their design and user interface. Things just work, albeit they are sometimes too “simple” for the geeky basement-living tech guru.

From my personal experience, Apple products have made things easier and less complicated compared to my previous bouts with Windows.

What do you think? Is Bill Gates right or wrong about the iPad?

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Posted under: iPad News

  • Marc

    This was a good read that makes us stop and think. We can forecast and cast our opinion as much as we want but only time will tell if the iPad is successful. If we use the past to forecast the future I believe the iPad will be a huge success. This is revision one and it will only get better from here on in. On another note, Bill Gates does not get it, he talks about Netbooks but the iPad is not a Netbook and nor was it meant to be. This is a new category of computing that for now has no competition. What has to be determined is if people find a need for this new technology. In a small sample of one, which is me, I want one!

  • Marc

    This was a good read that makes us stop and think. We can forecast and cast our opinion as much as we want but only time will tell if the iPad is successful. If we use the past to forecast the future I believe the iPad will be a huge success. This is revision one and it will only get better from here on in. On another note, Bill Gates does not get it, he talks about Netbooks but the iPad is not a Netbook and nor was it meant to be. This is a new category of computing that for now has no competition. What has to be determined is if people find a need for this new technology. In a small sample of one, which is me, I want one!

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    I agree that history will repeat itself for Apple and the iPad. They have been successful before and they'll be successful again. Mark my words.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    I agree that history will repeat itself for Apple and the iPad. They have been successful before and they'll be successful again. Mark my words.

  • mark787

    Gary, why are you so quick to embrace the ipad. Think about the web without flash? Lame. Not because I like websites with flash graphics, but rather I like flash video. I watch it everyday, and not just on youtube. The lack of flash is a deal breaker and it will be for many others too.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    The iPad is not just about streaming video. Flash has its purpose but
    right now it is buggy and resource intensive.

    Gary

  • mark787

    You're regurgitating Steve Jobs propaganda. In denouncing Flash, Jobs was completely omitting the fact that it can now take advantage of GPU hardware acceleration, making the resource impact no greater than any other video being played. And it might be buggy, but it's a friggen standard for crying out loud. You can't claim “the best web viewing experience” without it because it makes up a large portion of the web. This is a multimedia device that has crapped the bed in a huge way by not supporting this. I don't really see why I would want this over..say..a netbook. A netbook is cheaper and can do way more than this thing. It can play, god forbid, flash video…and, god forbid, multitask.

    I'm betting that sales for this thing end up being lacklustre and Apple drops the price. Hopefully they then capitulate and make it capable of being a basic web browser, which it currently is not.

  • jpraadt

    Time will only tell whether or not the lack of Flash on the iPad is really such a big deal. Personally, I run Flashblock in Firefox on my MacBook, and I don't really find myself clicking to allow flash content all too often.

    Also, you mention that Flash is a standard, which it really isn't, it's a proprietary property of Adobe, and as such, the web's heavy reliance on it is potentially harmful to the web, and our browsing experience as a whole.

    I may be wrong, but I would absolutely place my money on Apple not stepping back from its decision to keep flash off the iPad and the iPhone, and I don't mind one bit.

  • rim

    Bill sounds like a man trying to say something clever after missing the boat.

  • rim

    flash?….really flash, it isn't the second coming…it just buggy software that people are tollerating, there better out there, in 5 five years people will be commenting about flash the way they comment about direct x, remember direct x?

  • rim

    standards last until something beter comes along

  • Mike

    I think if you search the history that actually find Jobes & Wozniak invented the original Windows which then Gates took and turned it into what it is today.

    As for the iPad I wouldn't buy the first one out because it will change quickly over time and the intro version will end up being a paper weight. Some people just need to be the first on the block to own such things but the evolution will eventually create and more useful device and may eventually be the replacement for the Mac.

  • Shylock

    “geeky basement-living tech guru” and that is why apple fanatics piss me off. Thanks for labeling me.