Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has claimed that more powerful and versatile tablets are taking over where PCs left off and that iPad owners wish their devices had keyboards so that they could create documents and use Microsoft's software.
Bill Gates claims that iPad users are frustrated because their devices don't have keyboards or access to Microsoft Office.
Speaking to CNBC's Squawk Box on Monday, Gates said, when asked about the future of personal computing, that the lines between the traditional PC and tablets are set to blur to the point where it will no longer be possible to distinguish one from the other and that through Windows 8, Microsoft is ready to capitalize on this blurring of the boundaries: "Windows 8 is revolutionary in that it takes the benefits of a tablet and the benefits of a PC and it is able to support both of these so if you have Surface Pro you've got that portability of the tablet but the richness in terms of the keyboard and the Microsoft Office of the PC."
He criticized Microsoft competitor Apple, claiming that despite the huge success of the brand's tablets (more than 142 million have sold since the launch of the iPad), many "iPad-type device" users are "frustrated" because their tablets aren't Windows PC. He also opined that Microsoft would gain share in the market that Apple created because "A lot of those [iPad] users are frustrated. They can't type, they can't create documents, they don't have Office there. So we're providing something with the benefits they've seen which has made that [tablets] a big category, but without giving up what they expect in a PC."
There currently isn't an iPad Microsoft Office app and no news of one on the way: industry watchers chalk that up to the company's reulctance to offer the option on other platforms and possibly dilute one of its own tablets' main selling points -- the fact that they come with Office pre-installed -- in the process. However, there is a huge range of Apple and third-party wireless keyboards and touch cover cases (like that found on the Microsoft Surface Pro) available to users of the iPad.