A long-time champion of tablet computing, one has to wonder how former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates feels given that Apple seemingly swooped in out of nowhere and quickly claimed the tablet market as its own in 2010.
Indeed, the latest data from IDC indicates that the iPad amassed a 39.6 percent market share during the first quarter of 2013. In contrast, tablets from Microsoft accounted for just a 1.8 percent share.
While Apple views the tablet and PC markets as two separate entities, Microsoft takes the opposing view.
During a CNBC interview this morning, Gates continued to toe the party line insofar as he praised the benefits of Microsoft's tablets and Windows 8 while explaining that iPad users are frustrated because they have trouble typing and creating documents.
With Windows 8, Microsoft is trying to gain 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. They don't have Office there. So we're providing them something with the benefits they've seen that have made that a big category, but without giving up what they expect in a PC.
As for frustration with respect to creating documents and the lack of Office, booming iPad and iPad mini sales suggest that most folks find the iPad feature set to be perfectly fine. In fact, Apple's Pages is the top paid iPad app of all time while Keynote and Numbers check in at number 10 and 11 respectively.
Clearly, many consumers are, in fact, typing and creating documents on the iPad, just outside the familiar confines of Microsoft Office.
As for any chance Apple may one day merge its tablet and laptop offerings, I think Tim Cook has been rather clear about where Apple stands on that. During an earnings conference call from last April, the Apple CEO quipped, "You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those aren't going to be pleasing to the user."