In an interview with PBS this week Microsoft founder Bill Gates said that the company’s Surface tablet could force Apple to re-evaluate its iPad strategy to successfully compete with its new Windows 8 tablet.
Gates praised the Surface device at a Charlie Rose exposé in the US, claiming the device sports a new and revolutionary form factor that was “exciting” for the tablet market, according to website CNET.
Microsoft’s founder also spoke about consumer demand, and the need for a tablet that is capable of running desktop operating system, in an apparent dig at the iPad’s pared-back iOS software. Vallmer’s discussion focused largely on comparisons between the Surface and the iPad.
“You don’t have to make a compromise,” Gates said. “You can have everything you like about a tablet and everything you like about a PC all in one device. And so that should change the way people look at things.”
Gates conceded that Microsoft’s first attempt at producing a tablet device failed due to timing and “a few things that could have been done differently to bring [a Windows tablet] to critical mass.” He also believes that Steve Jobs’ successful launch of the Apple iPad was supported by good market timing coupled with attractive hardware design and an easy-to-use mobile operating system..
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer launched the Surface tablet at a recent event, announcing the device would be available in two versions – an ARM-supported model called Surface for Windows RT and an Intel Core i5 model branded as the Surface for Windows 8 Pro.
Despite the iPad’s longstanding reign as the top product in the tablet market, Gates believes the Surface is a strong competitor that will likely change the way Apple and other manufacturers produce new-version devices.