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Gates unmoved by iPad

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is not impressed by the iPad, saying it doesn’t have the right hardware to make the device truly remarkable. 

Gates has been an advocate for tablet computers, touch and digital reading and has spoken previously about his awe of other Apple products, but said he thinks netbooks will be the big winner between the two.

In an interview with BNET he said, “It’s not like I sit there and feel the same way I did with the 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.’” 

Gates said the iPad is missing essential hardware (like voice and pen capabilities and a physical keyboard) that he believes is still necessary for the device to be successful in the mainstream. 

This isn’t the first time Gates has talked about Apple products but, with both the iPhone and the release of iTunes in 2003, the tone was decidedly more awed.  

Emails from Gates to executives in 2003 have surfaced as part of an old Microsoft antitrust case, in which he said shortly after the launch that Microsoft had to “move quick and match and do stuff better”. The full email, and responding email from former Microsoft executive Jim Allchin can be seen on Gizmodo. Allchin responded to Gates by email saying, “We were smoked.” 

While the iPad has been widely criticised, many analysts are quick to point out that the iPod suffered intense criticism when first launched and is now a ubiquitous fixture among young and old alike. But until the device is available, nobody knows if the product will be a success or a flop. 

Gates image via Microsoft. 

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