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Bill Gates Responds To Apple iPad

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the tired-of-these-yet dept.

Microsoft 503

superapecommando writes "Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has called Apple's iPad a 'nice reader' but claims netbooks are the way forward. Speaking briefly to BNET's Brent Schlender, the Microsoft Chairman, who had admitted to being in awe of the iPhone on first release, saw nothing in the iPad to really excite him."

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503 comments

That's it (5, Funny)

Renegade Lisp (315687) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143644)

If there was anything that could guarantee the skyrocketing success of the iPad, we've just witnessed it.

Re:That's it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31143768)

When asked that question, Billy Boy should've just said "LULZ" and left it at that.

Re:That's it (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143948)

True, but unlike most tech pundits, at least Bill Gates is smart enough to recognize that there is a difference between the iPad and a netbook insofar as intended use. Most of Mr. Gates' adoring legions among the tech punditry (including the most highly respected of the bunch) haven't even made that mental leap just yet.

Personally, I'm happier with a notebook - but my missus is the user type the iPad was aimed at. In spite of hating my Mac desktop, she's positively dying to get her hands on an iPad. It's this factor that Mssr. Gates and Microsoft will have to convince (and she uses but hates her netbook now, so, err...)

Re:That's it (2, Insightful)

otrtiresupply (1745886) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144242)

The problem with the iPad, from my perspective, is the fact that it is an LCD vs. EInk . Eyestrain is a big deal. I think Jobs should have innovated, and placed heavy development on a color device that would be easy on the eyes. I'd rather have an ugly device that limits my trips to the optometrist, than a beautiful device that fatigues my biological sensors.

Re:That's it (2, Insightful)

quadelirus (694946) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144312)

I hear this argument from everyone, but I use a computer with an LCD screen 10-12 hours a day, 7 days a week, and I've never (ever, ever) had a problem with eye strain. That was a problem with CRTs, sure, but are there really that many people who actually have a problem looking at an LCD screen, or is this just a lot of hot air brought about by tech pundits? I sort of think that most people have heard there is a problem and believe it the way most people thought the Atkin's diet was a good nutritious diet. Maybe the e-ink guys are just marketing hard from this angle and no one has bothered to respond?

I'm not an optometrist or anything, so I could definitely be quite wrong, but I just haven't experienced this "problem" and I asked around to fellow long-term computer users and nobody I know has either. By the way, I'm a CS doctoral student and programmer and gamer, so I basically do look at screens ALL DAY. I even read academic papers on my laptop regularly (and read printed novels but I don't mind using a screen at all).

Re:That's it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31144006)

I'm buying one. Day one, I will be in line at the Apple store with my mock turtleneck, tortoise-shell glasses, and my douche. I'll snatch one of these puppies up for the sole purpose of donning my Yoko Ono, blind-people shades, holding this thing to my ear, and asking the kids at the Genius Bar why my iPhone for the visually impaired gets such shitty reception. I will do this multiple times per store to no less than a dozen stores.

Of course... (0, Redundant)

King InuYasha (1159129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143660)

Meh... Of course Microsoft responds that way.... They don't want to say that the iPad could possibly be another game-changer, even though Apple seems to be known for doing that nowadays...

Re:Of course... (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143838)

Microsoft hasn't stared an opinion. A major shareholder and founder has. This is the opinion of a private individual.

post first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31143666)

frost piss

Pretty straightfoward comment (1, Interesting)

Liquidrage (640463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143670)

Not much meat to the article (*gasp* I read it).

I think a lot of people would agree with his statement, myself included.

I think the charitable donations for vaccines at the bottom of the article is more interesting, though that's been covered here already.

Re:Pretty straightfoward comment (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31143814)

I think the charitable donations for vaccines at the bottom of the article is more interesting, though that's been covered here already.

Yeah, because nothing says "altruism" like adding 7.6 million people to a community that already has widespread famine.

Re:Pretty straightfoward comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31144306)

Despite having been moded as a troll, you're absolutely right.

First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31143674)

For once I sort of agree with Bill Gates - this ends up being a great content delivery system for iTunes and the App Store..so far I haven't seen any other apps that make me want to go out and buy one . Would I buy this over the "JooJoo" - who knows..

Borg with a heart of gold (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31143676)

The article is only short so here's the whole thing:

"Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has called Apple's iPad a "nice reader" but claims netbooks are the way forward. Speaking briefly to BNET's Brent Schlender, the Microsoft Chairman, who had admitted to being in awe of the iPhone on first release, saw nothing in the iPad to really excite him. "You know, I'm a big believer in touch and digital reading, but I still think that some mixture of voice, the pen and a real keyboard - in other words a netbook - will be the mainstream on that," Gates said. "So, it's not like I sit there and feel the same way I did with 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.'" The Microsoft founder and his wife Melinda now devote much of their time to good causes. Last month, they announced plans to donate $10bn (£6.2bn) over the next 10 years to develop and deliver new vaccines. The couple believe it should be possible to save the lives of 7.6 million children under five between 2010 and 2019 in poorer countries."

Good on you Borg Bill, saving the life of one child is a life-changing thing, a million I can't even get my head round.

For those who didn't RTFA (2, Informative)

Lord Grey (463613) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143684)

You don't need to. There is zero meaningful information in it that is not included in the summary.

It would have been interesting to here some of Gates' reasons behind his statement.

Re:For those who didn't RTFA (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143822)

It would have been interesting to here some of Gates' reasons behind his statement.

The same reasons /. has been saying the same thing, except he likes win7 "3 app" edition. Frankly, I'd take "3 apps" before 1 app + greater lock-in any day.

Re:For those who didn't RTFA (2, Insightful)

zeromorph (1009305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143938)

It would have been interesting to here some of Gates' reasons behind his statement.

Indeed it would be, from TFA:

"You know, I'm a big believer in touch and digital reading, but I still think that some mixture of voice, the pen and a real keyboard - in other words a netbook - will be the mainstream on that"

So he says that he believes in touch and digital reading, but voice, pen and keyboard will be the mainstream on that!?

WTF, seriously WTF! Either they mangled his statement beyond recognition or he has a very strange perception about what the iPad is, where digital reading is now (and what its problems are) as well as what most people do with their computers and smartphones

Re:For those who didn't RTFA (2, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144278)

The problem with Bill Gates is that he holds his tablet vision to death do us part.

I have a tablet PC and have to say a stylus SUCKS! I use Windows 7 and ever since they improved the UI so that I can tap and twist my way through everywhere the pen has not left its socket.

A long time ago when I was in engineering university and the tablet idea first came (1990) out the administrative assistant to the dean of engineering said, "now that's a dumb idea." I was shocked and asked would you not want to write? She said, "no..." She said her husband is a professor in British history. Whenever he goes to the UK he has to copy books by hand (no pictures allowed, and no running the photo copier.) And when he has to write for three days solid his hands are completely cramped. Yet if he were to type there would be no such problem. 20 years later she was right and I was wrong... And Apple knows it, but Mr Gates is still clueless as ever on this topic.

Uh, what? (2, Insightful)

consonant (896763) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143692)

Isn't the iPad essentially a netbook of the future?

Re:Uh, what? (5, Insightful)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143742)

A DRM riddled, unable to multi-task, underpowered tablet with no ability to expand? Lord, I hope not.

Re:Uh, what? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31143872)

A DRM riddled, unable to multi-task, underpowered tablet with no ability to expand? Lord, I hope not.

Yes, this is exactly what has kept Tivo and cable company DVR's out of the market now entirely dominated by MythTV... oh, wait, no. It's not that I don't agree with your assessment of the iPad, it's just that I don't think it will in any way stop the iPad's success in the market. Don't worry. I'm sure there will always be alternatives for geeks; just don't expect your idea of the ideal product to be mainstream.

(For the record I use MythTV, an HDHomeRun, and my own homemade antenna to record OTA TV.)

Re:Uh, what? (-1, Troll)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144014)

Say what you will about Tivo or cable DVRs, but they get the job done. The iPad hasn't exactly had fawning reviews and it starts hitting the price point where people start to second guess their purchases unless they know exactly what it is. Is it an e-reader? Not really with a backlit display and likely a criminally short battery life. Is it a netbook? No, especially if you have to choose between an awkward virtual keyboard or lug a physical keyboard around to type--not to mention the lack of multi-tasking. It's essentially a enlarged iTouch without phone or a camera and still tied to the ever-so-shaky AT&T network. It is the multi-function object that doesn't really do any particular function well.

Re:Uh, what? (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144146)

The iPad hasn't exactly had fawning reviews and...

What is wrong with you?

The iPad was announced 3 weeks ago. No one has reviewed it. In fact, next to no one has touched the thing. We're getting these stories like "iPad becoming less popular" but you can't buy one for another 3 months.

I know people like to bash Apple (and MS, and....) but why not wait until you've touched the thing to declare it a failure of a netbook without a keyboard.

"The Mercedes Personal Jetpack is widely known as not being the game changer they say. Everyone knows a 200 mile range is too short, and the I hear the exhaust smells like bananas. The controls (which I've never felt) feel awkward and the Mercedes emblem isn't chrome-y enough. I look forward to a more thorough bashing it once the product is announced."

Re:Uh, what? (4, Insightful)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144274)

Oh, but people have said plenty about it. I'm not going to link to all of it (you would expect people to Google these things), but here is a link [pcworld.com] to one article that links to several.

And for sake of clarity, I have and iPhone, own an iMac, spent many years working support on Apple products. I don't call them out just because I'm a "hater" because I like some of their products. But honestly, look at this thing and its specs and try to tell me what there is to get excited about this.

Re:Uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31144204)

Say what you will about Tivo or cable DVRs, but they get the job done.

This is exactly what I believe most people will say about the iPad a year from now. I disagree with your assessments, but these points have been discussed to death already. Apple has done everything right to launch this product successfully: plenty of (mostly free) advertising, fashionable style, sufficient availability and retail outlets, and reasonable price with plenty of room to move down.

It just has to work. Period.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144248)

What job? You say that people will say that the Ipad "gets the job done", what job? What is the job that the Ipad is the perfect device for?

Re:Uh, what? (2, Insightful)

p0 (740290) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143908)

If it ever succeeds in the market, I'm going to use your comment as the "Less space than a Nomad, lame" equivalent for the iPad.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144048)

A DRM riddled, unable to multi-task, underpowered tablet with no ability to expand? Lord, I hope not.

The reaction to the iPod was pretty similar way-back-when, to much capacity, too expensive, not enough whiz-bang features.... now everybody has one. I'll wait and see before passing judgement. Personally I'd prefer the iPad to have the full OS X desktop OS rather than the iPhone OS.

Re:Uh, what? (2, Insightful)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144230)

I'm going to posit that the success of the iPod, which was not instantaneous, is really tied to the Apple store and their ability to deliver songs, especially individual songs at a reasonable price point. That was the piece that was missing from the scene at the time which led to other players (Amazon, mostly) trying to imitate the store. The iPhone delivered more functionality than the other phone manufacturers were willing to dole out to us (secretly because phone companies hate their customers). Unless Apple somehow comes up with a really revolutionary idea with the iPad, there's nothing to get excited about here. There's not a single feature here that isn't already on another Apple product or netbook.

Of course, some people will buy it because it's Apple, but you could hardly call them technologists. Early adopters and Apple fanboys will eat it up, but really, is there anything to get excited about here?

Re:Uh, what? (1, Insightful)

macs4all (973270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144084)

A DRM riddled, unable to multi-task, underpowered tablet with no ability to expand? Lord, I hope not.

DRM? Where, EXACTLY?

Unable to multitask? Um, since the OS is Darwin-based, it most certainly CAN multitask (and does). And it is quite likely that the artificial limitation on third-party app multitasking will disappear very soon, due primarily to the iPad having more breathing-room, battery wise.

Underpowered? For what, exactly? At least one hands-on report called it "Wicked fast." Doesn't sound "underpowered" to me. Also, all the demos I have seen show it to be extremely responsive and "fluid". But if you DO want to see "underpowered", there are a plethora of UNSUCCESSFUL Windows-based "Pen computers" around. Check eBay, I'm SURE you can find a deal...

Re:Uh, what? (4, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144124)

You clearly want a computer. Buy a computer. A tablet is not a computer.

Feel free to point out all the tablets that are trying to be a computer. Now try pointing out the ones that have been successful products. Perhaps the market does not want a tablet that is a computer. Perhaps the market wants computers that are computers and tablets that are something else. Perhaps what you want is not what the market wants.

Something to contemplate.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144246)

You clearly want a computer. Buy a computer. A tablet is not a computer.

A tablet was a computer until about three weeks ago, when Steve Jobs corrected us all.

Of course, we don't know what the market wants, and won't find out until people can buy iPads. I personally can't think of a use case for the iPad as it stands, that warrants paying $500 (beyond "I really like gadgets and I'm rich enough to drop $500 without a thought).

I'm pretty sure the iPad will be a success in the long term, probably when a lot of the criticisms people have, get addressed. I think we'll see the ability to switch between running apps, and the ability for an iPad to function as the only computer in a household, without needing a "real" computer to sync with.

Re:Uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31144128)

IMHO, the next logical step for Apple would be a mini-Macbook, running OS X on what is essentially the iPad platform. They could position this at roughly $1k, using some of the extra money to provide more connectivity. This would in theory replace the current MacBook (which lacks Firewire anyway), and keep the MBP as is. That's what I would do.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143804)

No, the Ipad appears to be an oversized Ipod designed to be an ereader.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144036)

I can see uses for a tool like this. However, it's more of a niche tool and the lockdown is a bit of a problem. At a few places I've worked at, we've had forms and checklists that need to be run through and the form factor of the iPad would be useful for that. However, with the lockdown on it, the iPad just isn't suitable unless all the forms could be filled out in Safari over ssh on the 3G connection. Still, being able to pull the forms off local storage and then transfer them to the central server periodically would be more useful, especially when a network connection can not be guaranteed.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144212)

You can have that. Mobile safari supports the local storage extensions to HTML being developed by WhatWG, which is designed for exactly the purpose you described.

Download some forms when you have a connection, go offline and fill them in, and then synchronise when you get back. You can see it working with Google Mail and Reader, as well as quite a few other pieces of software, already.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143824)

Isn't the iPad essentially a netbook of the future?

How so? Even if it weren't restricted to approved applications, it would only be as good as other tablets of the present, which haven't gone anywhere. It's just an overgrown PDA.

Re:Uh, what? (4, Insightful)

stuntpope (19736) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143954)

It's just an overgrown PDA.

In other words, as asserted earlier, a netbook of the future. Netbooks were conceived and marketed for purposes befitting an overgrown PDA. Not devices to do your programming on, or write your term papers, or edit videos, do your Photoshop work on, etc. But a portable device to carry around and share your photos, movies, music, or check your email, browse the Web, without the bulk/weight penalty of a full-sized laptop. That's why they're called netbooks, not "mini laptops".

Netbooks aren't merely cheaper, smaller, lower-performing laptops, the idea was "why carry all this around when in reality you want a device for only a small subset of the capabilities of a full laptop?" Not "people need smaller laptops with full computing capabilities."

I see the iPad as the best expression of that type of device thus far.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

alex4u2nv (869827) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144096)

yes, and input output should be more comfortable. If both items are to take PDAs to the next level, then I think the netbook wins.

Why?

Tilt screen and keyboard. who cares about multitouch and a huge screen if communicating with the device is cumbersome.
Maybe the iPad would make an advanced digital photo frame.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144186)

It's just an overgrown PDA.

In other words, as asserted earlier, a netbook of the future. Netbooks were conceived and marketed for purposes befitting an overgrown PDA. Not devices to do your programming on, or write your term papers, or edit videos, do your Photoshop work on, etc. But a portable device to carry around and share your photos, movies, music, or check your email, browse the Web, without the bulk/weight penalty of a full-sized laptop. That's why they're called netbooks, not "mini laptops". Netbooks aren't merely cheaper, smaller, lower-performing laptops, the idea was "why carry all this around when in reality you want a device for only a small subset of the capabilities of a full laptop?" Not "people need smaller laptops with full computing capabilities." I see the iPad as the best expression of that type of device thus far.

FINALLY! Someone who GETS IT!!!!

Re:Uh, what? (5, Insightful)

clifyt (11768) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144118)

"It's just an overgrown PDA."

To some of us, this is perfect.

I have a superpowerful desktop that I can use if I need to...honestly, except when I'm needing to process 100 tracks of audio at once or need a compiling station for the few times a decade I actually get back to programming, I rarely turn it on (and even with my music, my laptop or macmini that is ultraquiet and fits in my rack case in a smaller slot than any of my outboard gear is powerful enough).

I have an iPhone for 99% of the rest of what I do these days...I felt constricted to my office otherwise until I picked this up. I've been a gadget junkie for most of my 4 decades on this earth and the last device that was as compact as my iPhone that was useful to me? My Newton...had to invest in cargo pants to have this with me (had palm and a sony branded palm before those...or was it after...I forget).

I can get to my servers anywhere with my phone...can do just about anything. And yeah, I can do that on my friends Droids or Win phones, but never quite as easily or quickly...the OS just gets the hell out of the way with this device which should be the goal of ANY device so that you can focus on the task at hand.

My only complaint with the iPhone is that the screen is too small. I still find myself using it more often even at home or the office than I do my computers sitting around (and in some ways, I use to do that with my other gadgets...its faster to pull up email on a device where it is always running...I thought of buying one of those Peek emailer devices for the same reason (and they are pretty cool, but when I tried one, was slow for what I needed...didn't speed up my life and one more gadget).

So yes, an overgrown PDA might be EXACTLY what is needed. I played with the Dell Tablet, but it felt like using a PC with a stylus. I generally like Dell products if I go the PC route (at least the business class ones...other than the one I'm installing today has no fricken XP drivers and I'm having to scour the net to get the appropriate install!!!) and I thought it would be great. Honestly, it felt more cumbersome using than simply having laptop with a wacom on it. Why aren't tablet PCs going anywhere? Because they think they are PCs (I saw one recently that once you unplugged the keys and otherwise, it pulled up a custom tablet environment that was simplified to this world...might have to see if I can get a loaner sometime to check it out!).

So current tablets don't work because they try to be too much. PDAs are perfect because they don't. Geeks don't get that...limiting what you can do will help you focus on your job, not focus on technology. If your job IS technology...well, then this is the wrong device for you. If you job is making certain you get your life together? A more limited device with the appropriate apps might just be the thing...My only concern right now is I don't want to carry two deviced (i.e., if the pad could be a phone too, it would be an instant choice...except for the times my headphones run out of juice, but then again, I also find it just as akward to hold the iphone as well and just throw it on speaker 90% of the time!)

Re:Uh, what? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31143830)

Depends. Follow this handy process to decide:

Q: Are you an Apple fanboy?

Yes: OH MY GOD THE IPAD IS AWESOME IT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING NETBOOKS ARE OVER! HOW CAN YOU ALL NOT SEE THIS?!

No: What the hell is this thing for? It looks pretty damn useless to me.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

elnyka (803306) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143890)

Isn't the iPad essentially a netbook of the future?

Take away the restrictions of installing software, and add multitasking, and then, maybe.

For once... (1)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143700)

...I have to agree with Gates. The iPad is a cute novelty, but nothing about it convinces me open my wallet. Maybe successive generations of it will be more compelling, but at this point, it's feature set and interoperability with other devices is a bit too limited to suit me.

Re:For once... (3, Interesting)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143750)

While I agree with Gates, I find it ironic that he is the one making the statement, considering real netbooks (at least those fulfilling the original definition of the term, low price and tech) can't be found anymore, as they weren't really capable of running Microsoft's OS's

Re:For once... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143952)

While I agree with Gates, I find it ironic that he is the one making the statement, considering real netbooks (at least those fulfilling the original definition of the term, low price and tech) can't be found anymore, as they weren't really capable of running Microsoft's OS's

Is that the whole, entire definition of what a netbook is? Or just yours?

Re:For once... (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144144)

Apparently not just mine [wikipedia.org].

"At their inception in late 2007 — as smaller notebooks optimized for low weight and low cost[3] — netbooks omitted key features (e.g., the optical drive), featured smaller screens and keyboards, and offered reduced specification and computing power."

In the short period since their appearance, netbooks have grown in size and features, now converging with new smaller, lighter notebooks. By mid 2009, when comparing a Dell netbook to a Dell notebook, CNET noted "the specs are so similar that the average shopper would likely be confused as to why one is better than the other," noting "the only conclusion is that there really is no distinction between the devices."

My original netbook (a 8.9'', 512MB Acer Aspire One) ran Linux Mint happily, and I even compiled Ogre3d in a reasonable time on it, watching movies never was a problem (I'm not talking HD of course;).
I never tried it, but I was told XP ran like a dog on it, to the point of being unusable. The ~smallests~ you can find nowaday are the 10'',1GB versions, ~blessed~ with XP or Windows7.

I was digging to prove you wrong.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31144082)

The closest I've gotten do far: is this Acer [amazon.com] from Amazon with a choice of XP or Android.

Asus used to have a bunch of them.

NewEgg just has two now - which have a BIG red note above saying they're deactivated or some such. [newegg.com]

To be a Slashdot pedantic, you are wrong. BUT I used find a shit load of Linux notebooks at both locations and now I just see a couple, so YOU WILL be right even to the pedantics in a few weeks it looks.

Re:For once... (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143914)

Dunno. Cute novelties are OK as long as the price is right. If the iPad is cheap, I'll buy several of them, wallmount them on a charger, and just use them as in-room web access terminals, for checking cinema times, and settling arguments with Wikipedia. Maybe watching a video or two, or just using them as an electronic photo frame.
Expect me to pay 'real' computer prices for one on the other hand, and ... well, I'd be wanting a real computer thanks. My 'living room PC' can be a cheap laptop just as easily.

Re:For once... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143998)

... but nothing about it convinces me open my wallet.

It's not your wallet that Apple wants to see open for it - nor mine. This thing wasn't made for geeking out on.

No, Netbooks are NOT the way forward (2, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143738)

Definitely not, netbooks cannot be the way forward.

That being said, neither is closed-DRMd-not-really-yours iPad like appliances.

The way forward is tablets using electro-wetting like technology with touch based input capabilities.

Of course the keyboard will always be necessary, but a on-screen touchable keyboard is an option for the stuff that people would need to write while using these devices (say, small emails, forum posts, login info, etc.... something like Opera's Wii text-input)

Re:No, Netbooks are NOT the way forward (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143880)

Touch screens will never replace keyboards. It is possible that a dedicated touchscreen that is designed as a strictly input device will replace keyboards, but I suspect that most people will still prefer the tactile feel of an actual keyboard. However a display screen that also doubles as an input device will never replace the keyboard except in specialized usage (such as phones). It may be become a standard part of PCs in addition to keyboards.

Touchscreen with feedback (1)

Necroloth (1512791) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144232)

You can get touchscreens that give feedback too. If you touch a button on the screen, you feel a little pulse/vibration through the finger. They're actually quite good as I hate tapping the screen for a touch to register and few seconds later several things happen!

Re:No, Netbooks are NOT the way forward (2, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143970)

I'm glad you've defined for me what I should be doing with my netbook. I will cease taking notes, writing papers and design documents on it immediately when I travel so that it can be replaced by a tablet PC in future.

Seriously though, people use Netbooks for all sorts of things, an onscreen keyboard will almost certainly never cut it for my usage patterns. If netbooks dissapeared tommorrow, I'd just have to go back to carrying a full blown laptop around, a tablet still wouldn't cut it. I do have a 15 inch laptop too for when I'm having to write code on the move, but usually that's done at my desk where it otherwise stays docked.

My girlfriend also really likes netbooks, because she is a retail area manager for a large fashion chain, it's small enough to fit in her fashionable handbag which is part of her role (to use the products she sells), but has a proper keyboard allowing her to type up notes whichever store she's travelling too.

Sometimes normal laptops are just too much of a ballache to lug around with you, and really if all you need to do is use an office suite, a netbook is plenty powerful enough, particularly when you can get 10.5hr battery life out of them which is great when doing long journeys.

What did you expect him to say? (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143740)

"It's the greatest thing since sliced bread! I have told Ballmer to just give up and shutter the doors at Microsoft." - Not Bill Gates

Actually for BG that just might qualify as a CE Oh No He Didn't!

Not excited (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31143748)

The Microsoft Chairman, who had admitted to being in awe of the iPhone on first release, saw nothing in the iPad to really excite him.

Doesn't he realize you can navigate to whatever content you want? He was probably just looking at the wrong porn site.

His actual quote is far more interesting : (3, Interesting)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143756)

“You know, I’m a big believer in touch and digital reading, but I still think that some mixture of voice, the pen and a real keyboard–in other words a netbook–will be the mainstream on that,” Gates said. “So, it’s not like I sit there and feel the same way I did with 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.’”

source [allthingsd.com].

Re:His actual quote is far more interesting : (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31143926)

Gates: "So, it’s not like I sit there and feel the same way I did with iPhone where I say, ‘Oh my God, Microsoft didn’t aim high enough.'"

Ballmer: "There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." [appleinsider.com]

Looks like Apple and Linux platforms are putting Windows CE on phones between a rock and a hard place.

Re:His actual quote is far more interesting : (5, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144026)

...the diff between Gates and Ballmer should tell you why Microsoft is so damned moribund these days.

Trust in Bill Gates predictions (2, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143766)

because we all have more than enough memory with 640k

Re:Trust in Bill Gates predictions (0)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143788)

He never said this. I must know, I was there when he did not say it.

Re:Trust in Bill Gates predictions (1)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143840)

Gates has denied ever saying anything like that and I've no memory of his having said any such thing. He did predict hardware would come free with the purchase of an operating system by now. My memory of the whole 640 should be enough for anyone was that it was said by an Intel engineer but I'm too lazy to run it to ground.

eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31143776)

1. the future of netbooks is arm and linux. microsoft is irrelevant.

2. microsoft has been putting a touchscreen on windows and calling it a tablet for almost a decade, with a different name (and the same result) every time. Most recently, it's "slate computing".

Yea right...... just like Balmer dissed iPhone (3, Insightful)

rimcrazy (146022) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143780)

Yea, I remember Balmer dissing the iPhone. "So what so they sell a million phones. WE have the OS in millions of phones"

So we fast forward a few years and there are what, 30 million or so iPhones out there at $600 a crack to Apple and if I remember correctly iPhone installed base just surpassed phones with Windows Mobile in them. Yea.... right. Well they are not perfect but for me I think I would like Apple's revenue per phone much more than Windows Mobile but what the hell, gives Steve another reason to kick some more chairs.

How About Neither? (3, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143790)

I don't think either of them are the way forward. I don't feel particularly compelled by the iPad but I think it's probably closer to the way forward than a netbook will be. Just because Bill Gates is one of the richest men in the world doesn't mean he craps daisies and technological innovation. Remember that this is the guy who blew off the Internet as another fad for several years.

Re:How About Neither? (1)

Xiterion (809456) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144284)

Just because Bill Gates is one of the richest men in the world doesn't mean he craps daisies and technological innovation.

Nope. That job belongs to Steve Jobs ;)

Oy. (2, Insightful)

schmidt349 (690948) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143798)

Is this like a cottage industry for you Apple haters? You post every possible negative comment about the new product you can find, drum it up into some kind of grand pronouncement on the future of the device, then complain that there's too much media coverage and everyone should just shut up now!

Re:Oy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31143874)

you got it wrong. We're complaining about the fact that there is too much uncritical media coverage. Besides, it's not like there is much MS love here neither, and even Linux has its share of bashing from time to time.

Re:Oy. (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143986)

You post every possible negative comment about the new product you can find, drum it up into some kind of grand pronouncement on the future of the device

I really didn't read negativity in his statement. I just read one man's opinion, which was pretty neutral.

On the other hand, why would you be getting that bent out of shape over someone's opinion?

Its got some faults (1)

jschmitz (607083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143812)

I certainly won't be running out to get one but its way sexier than anything MS could ever dream up - Its kind of lame that it runs iPhone OS instead of some stripped down OS-X..probably the future versions of it will be pretty cool - If Gates is talking about Linux on Netbooks then yeah that is pretty cool = ) --Jeffery

iPad vs netbook (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31143832)

I got an iPod touch for Christmas. I really wanted a netbook. So, I bought a netbook and ended up with both. I can honestly say that I use my iPod touch far more than the netbook. The reasons are:

1) pocket portability
2) instant on
3) very nice UI
4) lots of free or inexpensive apps
5) variety of entertainment

I don't much care for the typewriter interface to the iPod touch. I haven't checked out voice recognition yet and maybe that is the way to go.

I would be very interested in trying the iPad to see how its keyboard interface is. Perhaps an iPad docking station would be nice.

It's just a computer. (4, Interesting)

onion2k (203094) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143836)

These days more than ever the hardware only makes one difference - what inputs are available. There are a few other minor considerations like which APIs are enabled for developers, but really the only significant factor is how you can get information into the machine. Everything else like CPU speed, RAM, storage, etc are problems that, for the ordinary user at least, are solved.

The iPad is designed to make it easy to enter spacial information (where you're pressing on the screen) compared to a mouse or a keyboard. That's why it'll make a great reader, web browsing tool, and gaming device, but a relatively poor word processor or data entry device. A netbook on the other hand isn't really optimised for information entry at all. The keyboard isn't as good as a laptop, it's harder to operate a touchscreen on one than a tablet, and there's usually a pretty rubbish trackpad. Netbooks are a great compromise but they're not going to win in the long term when we can make laptops fold up smaller (somehow!).

In the future there will be a place for tablet PCs while there won't be for netbooks. I'm sure Bill is right that for now MSFT's interest lies in the netbook, but looking to the longer term he's dead wrong.

Re:It's just a computer. (1)

mystikkman (1487801) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144158)

Please don't call it a 'Computer'. Lets reserve the term for devices for which you can develop without having to be approved by a Czar and with no forced cut of sales.

Give the pad time (2, Insightful)

stokessd (89903) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143842)

If the iPad is a game changer, it won't be one overnight. I see the iPhone as being an instant success not because of what it was, but because of what all other phones weren't. The rest of the smartphone landscape at the time was dismal, both in terms of hardware and plans (yes, this is a USA centric view). So the instant success of the iPhone was an anomaly, not the "apple norm".

Think back to the iPod, it languished and didn't really gain a whole lot of traction until the third version. That's a lot of time to wait and watch. If the iPad does turn into a "gamechanger", it will also be over time.

The apple store will be the big game changer. I would drop my cable in a heartbeat if I could get shows (all the shows) when I want them. I pay like $100 a month to comcast for a DVR and their crappy compressed digital cable. I'd be willing to pay at least that for a vast and deep menu of shows I could watch when I want. The same holds true for books, newspapers, and magazines. The content will be the killer app, and the ease of getting that content will differentiate the iPad from all others.

If what I've outlined above happens where I can get my TV shows and movies from an apple store, it will also revive the appleTV which is like an airport express just waiting for content.

Sheldon

People wont for out for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31143902)

The only reason people got Iphones is because they were able to pay for it in installments (ie though their mobile phone contract). People aren't going to want to fork out alot of money for something that is essentially the same as their phone but with a bigger screen and less functionality. Even hardcore mac fanboys think the Ipad is a bit of a joke.

PC version (1)

Andypcguy (1052300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143910)

I like what I've seen of the iPAD. I wouldn't buy one as anything Mac is too expensive and I don't like their os. I will wait until a PC vendor starts making a similar device for half the price running windows and all the software I like to use. The overal concept is a good one and I have to give the mac guys credit for being real innovators. I think the ipad will read all my pirated E-books quite nicely. Most of them are technical in nature and don't fit the small fiction novel formfactor. My books are textbook sized.

Re:PC version (1)

Viewsonic (584922) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144028)

If you're trying to read textbooks on your iPad, your eyes may hate you. Try using a device with e-ink. I find it ridiculous that companies are trying to sell non-eink devices as e-readers.

Re:PC version (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144296)

If you're trying to read textbooks on your iPad, your eyes may hate you.

Why? Weren't they all written on LCDs? Do your eyes hurt when you read slashdot on a LCD? How do your eye muscles know the difference between slashdot and a novel, so that they can hurt on queue?

Try using a device with e-ink

Been there, tried that, gray on gray with distracting shadows from lack of backlighting, crazy flashing flickering during each 2 second long page turn isn't going to cut it.

If you want the e-ink experience on a LCD, turn the brightness way down, the contrast way down, monochrome it, modify the display driver so each screen change takes 2 seconds and makes the whole screen flash distractingly. It would be amusing to write a KDE plugin/theme that emulates e-ink.

I will give you that my LCD based jetbook battery only lasts probably 5 to 10 hours at a charge, whereas they claim an e-ink device can run for 20-30 hours continuous on a charge. However, in my modern lifestyle, I consider myself lucky to get 3 continuous reading hours at a time, so the difference is irrelevant to me.

getting excited on an iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31143916)

...saw nothing in the iPad to really excite him

Did you try looking at porn?

Plans to donate $10bn!!!!??? Forget the iPad!!!! (3, Insightful)

viraltus (1102365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143974)

Really, the article says the guy is about to save 7.6 million children's lives and the head title is about the iPad? I can imagine the day someone cures cancer; the head news title will be "Dr. X uses an iMac to do his things"

Well, what do you expect Gates to say? (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 4 years ago | (#31143976)

He was unable to monetize the tablet format, even after a couple of unsuccessful tries of forcing Windows into the tablet format. So the only thing he can utter now is flatulent sour grapes when Apple comes out with a tablet with a usable UI and a possibly successful tablet.

Re:Well, what do you expect Gates to say? (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144194)

So when everyone else says "it looks neat but I don't want one" it's ok, but when Gates basically says the same thing it's sour grapes? Face it, Apple is trying to sell the iPad in a market segment that doesn't really exist. The only people buying this will be people who buy everything Apple releases.

That's unless they make some major functionality upgrades without increasing the price before it actually hits the market. It's an underwhelming device for the price.

I initially poo-pooed the iPad too (5, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144020)

I didn't think there was a whole lot of use for the device until I took a trip from Munich to Philly in one of US Airs brand new A330s and noticed something, every single seat had a USB power outlet and all over the US USB power outlets are increasing in number. Are there any netbooks that can run off of USB power? The fact that the iPad can, has (supposedly) a really good battery life, and the fact that you can use the thing while standing up has sold me on the device.

That being said, the first company that can come out with a netbook that can run off of USB power will have a winner.

nor did we Bill.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31144046)

"..saw nothing in the iPad to really excite him." ..nor did we.

Shocking! (2, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144056)

Shocking, one of Microsoft's largest shareholders is talking down about a competitor's product. Who would have guessed?...

Apple screwed the pooch with this one (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144074)

What they should have done is built it on a high-end Atom CPU, and then created a hybrid interface that lets users choose between an iPhone-like interface for convenience and a real OS X desktop.

If Apple can create a fat binaries for PPC and x86, why couldn't they have updated the toolchain for the iPhone to let developers do a one click rebuild to support x86 as well?

Gates is still MS and focuses on what MS can do (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31144160)

Touchscreens are not yet commodity hardware, and therefore most MS customers are not going to pay for the added benifit. It is like GPUs in the mid 80's. Critical for the GUI interface, but expensive so kit that ran MS Windows did not generally include it. The same goes for touchpads. Most computer that run MS software does not have the top of the line touchpads, so still need multibutton mice to work. Card readers are cheap, touchpads are less so.

Netbooks can be made cheaply from parts that fall off the assembly line, so this is where the future has to lie if MS is going to continue to show a profit, and Gates will continue to get the stock benifits. It would make no sense for him to promote a market in which MS cannot compete.

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