Microsoft chairman Bill Gates believes that iPad users are "frustrated". His solution to this frustration is Microsoft's Surface and Surface Pro tablets, which come with a keyboard, and more importantly, the Office suite of applications.
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates believes that a lot of iPad users are "frustrated" by the tablet, and that the Surface and Surface Pro tablets have an advantage over Apple's offerings.
Speaking to CNBC, the Microsoft co-founder and former CEO said that the line between tablets and PCs is blurring.
"With Windows 8, Microsoft is trying to gain market 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," said Gates. "So we're providing them something with the benefits they've seen that has made that a big category, but without giving up what they expect in a PC."
"If you have Surface or Surface Pro, you have the portability of the tablet, but the richness of terms of the keyboard, Microsoft Office of the PC," he added.
Reading between the lines here, it's clear why iOS and Android users are still waiting for Microsoft's Office suite to come to the respective platforms — Microsoft sees this suite of apps as an ace up its sleeve in the war against Apple and Google.
Bringing Office to these platforms would both strengthen Apple and Google's footing, while simultaneously weakening its Surface strategy.
NPD predicts that by 2017, tablets will be outselling notebooks by as much as six to one, and with this sort of chatter, Microsoft clearly wants to be a bit tablet player. With a PC industry that's stagnating, Microsoft is obviously keen to redefine its position within the industry so as to keep the dollars flowing in.