Microsoft founder Bill Gates recently stated that its upcoming tablet, the Surface, may prompt Apple to shift its iPad strategy in order to compete with capabilities offered by their Windows 8 tablet in an interview on PBS. According to Gates, Microsoft’s Surface is a completely new form factor which he feels is “exciting” for the market.
Gates continued to discuss how consumers would be given the best of both worlds with the Surface – a tablet that runs a full-fledged desktop operating system. He seemed to be clearly alluding to the iPad’s stripped down mobile operating system. According to Gates:
You don’t have to make a compromise. You can have everything you like about a tablet and everything you like about a PC all in one device. And so that should change the way people look at things.
For those of you who didn’t already know, Microsoft announced the Surface two weeks ago in a surprise event, revealing that the company would launch two versions of the device, an ARM-supported model called Surface for Windows RT and an Intel Core i5 iteration dubbed Surface for Windows 8 Pro. The new device soon to be released by Microsoft has already been causing controversy with OEMs that license Windows for their hardware. Acer founder Stan Shih felt that the tablet was a ploy to boost Windows 8 adoption, guessing that Microsoft is likely to abandon the project later this year. HP was said to be ditching Windows RT all together for other mobile operating systems.
Apple has been clearly dominating the tablet market since the release of the original iPad in 2010 and seems to be continuing the trend thus far. Analysts are estimated that the iPad’s market share (which is currently sitting at 60% for 2012) could account for 50.9% of total shipments by 2016. Furthermore, tablet sales are forecast to surpass laptop sales in the next four years growing from 121 million units this year to 416 million in 2016. Last but not least, there are several rumors going around that a 7.85-inch version of the iPad is in the works for a release date later this fall. That being said, we’ll have to see what happens to the market once the Surface is released, Google’s Nexus tablet is released, and if the rumored smaller version of the iPad is released.
Source: PBS via CNET