Bill Gates – iPad users are frustrated and should get the Surface instead

Bill Gates   iPad users are frustrated and should get the Surface instead

Seriously, don’t do drugs kids. Bill Gates, yes, the Bill Gates, is a very clever chap. Today though he’s stated that iPad users are frustrated and.. oh my… they’re .. mad and … can’t cope with the thing any more. The Surface / Surface Pro is your solution baby. Go buy one of those instead…

In an appearance on CNBC, the Microsoft chairman says that iPad users are suffering and need the things that the Surface can bring. The interview is below, or you can read more at CNET. He stated that Windows 8 is better because

It takes the benefits of a tablet and the benefits of a PC and it’s able to support both of those. … A lot of those (iPad) users are frustrated because they can’t type, they can’t create documents, they don’t have Office there.

His comments start around 7.30 into this video below, but we’d love to hear your thoughts on this, especially when Apple have probably sold another few million iPads in the time it’s taken you to read this..

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  • Anonymous

    Haha.. Nice one old Bill. I think I’ve yet to meet somebody who owns an iPad who is frustrated for any of these reasons. I for one use my iPad for business purposes constantly. When you’re making the compromise between portability and functionality, the iPad does a sterling job. The office apps which are available in the App store are more than good enough. I think if you’re doing the sort of things they can’t do (writing VBA macros, etc) then you’re using the wrong device anyway.

    The on-screen keyboard on the iPad is good enough for what one would do with such a thing on the move. I can easily get 40-50wpm out of it – less than a real keyboard, but nonetheless, it’s rarely a frustrating experience.

    I have actually now tried a surface, and I can tell you that the keyboard/cover thing is nothing amazing. You still have the issue of having no feedback when you tap a key, but it’s actually made all the more frustrating (for the touch-typist) because of the way it auto-corrects, which is (IMHO) far less intuitive than the Apple equivalent.

    I tried the Surface Pro, which is the hideously expensive version with Office and whatnot. It was surprisingly speedy, but I found I was at odds with the touchscreen interface. For the money, I’d rather have a Macbook Air (which is almost exactly the same price).

    Go for the Surface RT tablets and you’re in pretty much the same position as you are with the iPad, except less Apps, and in my opinion, usability.

    • Paul

      ” I think if you’re doing the sort of things they can’t do (writing VBA macros, etc) then you’re using the wrong device anyway.”

      Couldn’t agree more, and what Gates has commented on has been taken out of context as applying to “all ipad owners” which is obviously not the case.

      iPad owners that aren’t happy with the onscreen keyboard have resorted to the many bluetooth options available, which include the excellent Logitech Ultrathin keyboard that snaps on like the surface keyboards do, so there’s no selling point there.

      What I do like about the Surface Pro, is that it does apply to a market where people want that “tablet and PC” compromise, where they have the portability of tablet, with the benefits of running their existing software and peripherals (via USB) when needed.

      What I don’t get, it why it’s taking so long for the Surface Pro to hit the UK market. Out of interest, “Prof” where did you get the chance to try one?

      • Anonymous

        I was over in North Carolina on business last month and decided to pop into Best Buy just for something to do. I got talking with one of the sales assistants, and he gave me a demo of the Surface Pro. I wasn’t unimpressed exactly, but it left me a bit cold. Saying that, I do have somewhat of an aversion to anything Microsoft anyway.

        While it didn’t seem clunky, I didn’t think it was slick either. It was quite heavy, and a little bulky if you ask me. It was quick enough to boot, and stuff, but I found the time from it being off (in standby mode) to being on and usable was a few seconds longer than one would expect, especially after having owned an iPad for a bit.

        From a business point of view, I can very much understand that a company primarily using a Microsoft infrastructure (which is most of them), and with a good number of legacy apps, it could be a useful thing. My problem with it is, you can get a nice slimline laptop for a fair bit less, yet actually end up with a more practical unit. I really believe the tablet form-factor is much less suitable in this instance.

        Absolutely agree with you about the keyboard thing – I do occasionally use one (bluetooth) myself, but tend to leave it at home more often these days, as for most things the on-screen will suffice.

        As a side-note, I am absolutely in love with Splashtop 2. I run it to connect to a VM of my laptop, which I run on an experimental cloud at a Uni I do some work for. It’s blindingly fast, and most of the time (on a good Wifi network) you’d barely know you were not using it locally. For me, this fills the gap enough that I rarely need to carry a laptop around with me.

        • Paul

          Nice one, thanks for reply

  • Shon

    I think this may article may be a little unfair on Gates, as I can’t see where he’s said anything truly controversial or untrue.

    ” I think if you’re doing the sort of things they can’t do (writing VBA macros, etc) then you’re using the wrong device anyway.”

    To be fair I think this is exactly what Gates means when he says they’re trying to gain market share by offering something different to the iPad in the shape of Surface. He doesn’t state that users on the whole are ‘suffering’…only that some may require a different experience.

    Neither does Gates suggest even once in that interview the Surface is on the whole better than the iPad, however I get the feeling that’s the road this article is trying to go down.

    • Anonymous

      I agree actually – I think he’s saying that Surface is trying to fill a gap between the iPad and the laptop, although not quite in those words. This is true, and it does. Whether there’s any actual market demand for this is another thing entirely.

      I’m firmly of the belief that an instant-on laptop with battery life equivalent of an iPad, similar size/weight, maybe a touch-screen, but primarily a normal pointing device would be much better than a surface pro to more business people.

      Rather controversially, I think that the Chromebooks are closer to the mark than the Surface, although Cloud use in business has a lot of catching up to do before these will be a viable alternative.