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Bill Gates says lack of a physical QWERTY makes the Apple iPad "frustrating"

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Bill Gates says lack of a physical QWERTY makes the Apple iPad
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates made a visit to CNBC's Squawk Box on Monday and among the topics discussed was the tablet market. Unlike BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins, who gives tablets just five years to live, Gates sees the device thriving and noted that tablets are growing in popularity. With the tablet market on the way up and the PC market on the way down, the Microsoft chairman told the television audience that soon the lines between a tablet and a PC will be completely blurred.

So what does Bill Gates think about the industry leading Apple iPad? Not surprisingly, he did not give a ringing endorsement of Apple's slate, saying that the lack of a physical QWERTY keyboard is"frustrating" users of iPad-like tablets. "A lot of those users are frustrated, they can't type, they can't create documents, they don't have Office there," Gates said. The Microsoft Surface, on the other hand, offers the optional Type Cover which is a dock that provides a QWERTY keyboard with raised keys and doubles as a protective cover for the tablet's screen.

Obviously not the most impartial observer, Gates spoke about the Microsoft Surface and said it had the "portability of the tablet but the richness of the PC."  Despite Gates' comments, the Apple iPad continues to trounce the Surface where it counts, at the cash register.

source: CNBC via BusinessInsider

56 Comments
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posted on 06 May 2013, 11:54 16

1. mrblah (Posts: 549; Member since: 22 Jan 2013)


so buy a bt keyboard with all ur money

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:01 6

2. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5497; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Don't be jealous. :D

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:18 17

11. omar300 (Posts: 190; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)


i like bill gates but come on, thats a cheap shot and he could do better!
surface dont come with keyboards either, have to pay additional 100$ for it.

posted on 06 May 2013, 13:23 6

26. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5497; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


I agrre, but at least Surface has own keybord. :)

posted on 06 May 2013, 17:31 8

38. pookiewood (Posts: 626; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)


I'm a Bill Gates Fan, Love the Surface but that doesn't count. The Surface KB should be a Pack in.

posted on 06 May 2013, 17:44 1

40. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5497; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


True, I agree with that.

posted on 06 May 2013, 18:26

42. atsamman (Posts: 74; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


Thats it!!
Thats gates biggest flaw about non-surface tablets !

Hes gotta be kidding him self I personally love typing on my on screen keyboard and am quite fast too
I almost never find my self in-need of an actual keyboard

I could mention a million thins that I dont like about the surface
Baterry life and weight and thickness would be the biggest flaws I think

posted on 06 May 2013, 20:07

50. ecmedic4 (Posts: 202; Member since: 02 May 2013)


You can always buy an apple keyboard and bluetooth connect it to the iPad and use that. You have to buy a keyboard separate from the surface tablet, so its basically the same thing.

posted on 06 May 2013, 16:53

37. Droiddoes (unregistered)


Wow that's awful! I mean apple sure as hell doesn't gouge people for their access- oh wait...

posted on 06 May 2013, 22:51

54. omar300 (Posts: 190; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)


Apple gives access to 3rd party companies to make a BLUETOOTH keyboard not a PIN IN, A bluetooth! there is a difference. in that case you can pick up any bluetooth keyboard and start using it on surface too.

posted on 06 May 2013, 18:42

44. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6718; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


don't be a troll

posted on 06 May 2013, 18:55

47. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5497; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


In which way, my comment makes me a troll?

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:07 9

7. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5948; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Sounds more like sour grapes from Bill. The Surface doesn't ship with a physical keyboard. And as others have posted, Bluetooth keyboards are available for the iPad.

Yup, sour grapes from Bill.

posted on 06 May 2013, 13:41 3

28. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4135; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


I think he's jealous that ios just works outside the box while windows requires a few hoops to jump through.

posted on 06 May 2013, 13:45 10

30. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5948; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


How does Windows require "...a few hoops to jump through."? The Surface works "...outside the box...".

posted on 06 May 2013, 15:32 5

33. JonBjSig (Posts: 176; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)


Pretty much every single computer sold new today works right out of the box, Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Ubuntu, any OS.
Either the OEM or the retailer sets it up before you get it.
It's pretty much only when you assemble your own computer or reinstall the OS that you need to jump through 2 or 3 easy hoops for it to work right.

posted on 06 May 2013, 15:50 1

35. the_best (Posts: 137; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)


that doesnt make any sense at all.
it sounds like an ad for tvshop.

posted on 06 May 2013, 18:43 1

45. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6718; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


i think youre just a mad person.

posted on 06 May 2013, 18:56 1

48. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5497; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


"Don't be a troll."

posted on 06 May 2013, 18:49

46. joey_sfb (Posts: 3191; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


He didn't know about all the different manufacturers and design of Bluetooth keyboard iPad owners can choose from via buying one type of Bluetooth keyboard from Microsoft.

I used to respect him for all the good work he has done but he not good at being impartial when its come to Microsoft.

posted on 06 May 2013, 21:38

52. heyhi (Posts: 126; Member since: 19 Feb 2013)


I think if people care about a physical keyboard, they wouldnt buy a tablet.
Instead, they would buy a netbook or a laptop.

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:01 4

3. sharks (Posts: 167; Member since: 16 Feb 2013)


Maybe Bill doesn't know about third-party QWERTY keyboards which work perfectly with all iPads and can be connected via Bluetooth.

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:05 11

5. nlbates66 (Posts: 313; Member since: 15 Aug 2012)


because that totally magically allows them to run a full office suite doesn't it. :)

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:23 2

12. joaolx (Posts: 364; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


You also have other options that are very good, like polaris office, smart office, i know its probably not as good but definetly works well but i dont even use office, so i dont care much.

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:56 1

21. sharks (Posts: 167; Member since: 16 Feb 2013)


Office's availability on iOS is fully controlled by Microsoft, you genius! xD As such, it depends solely on Microsoft to make it available on iOS, which they haven't yet! So, Bill's argument about not having Office on iPad is a moot point. On the other hand, a QWERTY keyboard is very much available for the iPad. So, in that interview, Bill basically said much about nothing.

posted on 06 May 2013, 13:07 1

25. Luuthian (Posts: 219; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


Office has been rumored to hit iOS for ages. The only reason why it hasn't is likely because MS wanted to see if they could make a strong dent in the tablet space on their own using Office as a trump card.

Considering they have utterly failed so far, they will eventually be forced to dump their trump card and sell Office on other platforms if they wish to make real money again. It will absolutely slay any advantage they had but it'll be a necessarry restructuring.

Sad to say, but MS isn't what it used to be. They'll have to learn some new tricks and adapt to stay alive.

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:35 6

14. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1648; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


1. Third party aka not official APPLE brand because then it would be $2356
2. Surface keyboard connects directly - doesn't need bluetooth or spare charger
3. I'm sure he knows, I hate the iOS keyboard myself although the iPad is really only used for Angry Birds and Porn so you don't really need one.

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:04 1

4. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Mr. Gates, you know what will happen right?

If Apple makes an iPad with QWERTY keyboard with the Type Cover like on the Microsoft Surface, I can guarantee that Microsoft is gonna sue Apple. :P

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:49 6

16. ideal_josh (Posts: 29; Member since: 26 Nov 2012)


If apple can sue for shape of icons and rounded corners. There's no reason for Microsoft to hold back

posted on 06 May 2013, 13:03

23. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


What I mean is what is Bill thinking? He knows that if Apple makes an iPad with QWERTY keyboard (Type Cover), Microsoft is gonna sue Apple for that! Remember the Microsoft Surface?

And also, why Bill said lack of a physical QWERTY keyboard makes the Apple iPad "frustrating"? Even though I respect Bill, but, is he jealous of Apple?

posted on 06 May 2013, 13:32

27. haseebzahid (Posts: 1836; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


lenavo makes keyboard HP Acer does with tablets why on earth is that a patent from which angle

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:50 4

17. Rehankhan (Posts: 323; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


are you 9 or what ? you sound like a kid

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:53 1

19. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


I'm not trying to be mean, but, you need to see a doctor.

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:07 2

6. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8907; Member since: 14 May 2012)


The iPad 4 is the best tablet on the market hands down, but the Surface Pro isn't a slouch either. But the Surface does get a one up from me for the keyboard/cover idea.

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:24

13. joaolx (Posts: 364; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


But don't forget the absurd price of the keyboard/cover

posted on 06 May 2013, 13:00 1

22. BattleBrat (Posts: 1162; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


I have an iPad 4, I also have a surface pro. The ipad is pretty much a giant iPod Touch compared to the Surface Pro. the iPad is SO limited! Sorry but if the iPad wants to replace a Notebook for me, it is gonna need a HELL of a lot more functionality! My Xperia Tablet S (Android) can at least do the basic things

posted on 06 May 2013, 14:43 4

32. nerdylish (Posts: 51; Member since: 13 Apr 2013)


So you're saying that you own an iPad 4, a Surface Pro and an Xperia Tablet S.
And you think iPad is 'SO limited'.
Haha, you own none of them. Stop trolling, kid.

posted on 06 May 2013, 15:39

34. BattleBrat (Posts: 1162; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


I do own all of them, and yes, the iPad is SO limited, the Xperia Tablet S is far more functional

posted on 06 May 2013, 16:09 2

36. darkkjedii (Posts: 12553; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


LMAOOOOO that does sound kinda suspect. If he dislikes the iPad so much why even own one? C'mon BB, give us something a little better. Ask PhoneArenaUser for some help, he's pretty good at this stuff.

posted on 06 May 2013, 18:38

43. atsamman (Posts: 74; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


I own an android tablet and a laptop and let me tell u I only use my laptop when I need to store som big files or movies

Pcs are out of the equation they are so big and their battery runs out so fast not to mention how complex and annoying they could get

From this point pcs are only necessary for heavy users (designers and programers and what have u)

posted on 06 May 2013, 20:56 1

51. BattleBrat (Posts: 1162; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


Actually, that is the beauty of the Xperia Tablet S, It can take full size SD cards up 128 gigabytes and I purchased the 64 gigabyte model. so I can take the big stuff and movies with me too!

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:12 1

8. ocilfa (Posts: 334; Member since: 03 Aug 2012)


I thought that was the whole point of tablets vs a laptop. Not to be tethered by wires or peripherals all the time?

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:51 2

18. ideal_josh (Posts: 29; Member since: 26 Nov 2012)


No, to be portable enough to carry everywhere

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:17 2

9. cornerofthemoon (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Apr 2010)


Microsoft always waits too long to join the party. They responded to the iPod with the Zune 5 years too late. The same thing happened with Windows Phone and now Tablets. I'm sure they'll drag their heals for an answer to the iWatch too.

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:18 2

10. phoneman09 (Posts: 12; Member since: 23 Mar 2012)


Well he can cry about it.. LOL

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:36 1

15. buccob (Posts: 1553; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


I really want an ASUS Transformer with 2 or more GB of RAM...

posted on 06 May 2013, 12:54 1

20. Aeires (unregistered)


And a Snapdragon 800 on board.

posted on 06 May 2013, 13:04

24. buccob (Posts: 1553; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


This....

posted on 07 May 2013, 12:43 1

56. Stuntman (Posts: 777; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


I think the Transformer keyboard docks edge out the Surface Type Cover for the best keyboard dock. The Type Cover offers a better typing esperience. The Transformer keyboard dock is just better overall. What puts it over the edge for me is the battery pack and the hinge. You can angle the tablet as much or as little as you like. For the Type Cover, you can only have the screen on one fixed angle.

posted on 06 May 2013, 13:45 3

29. AhmadAlsayegh (Posts: 254; Member since: 18 Jul 2011)


I disagree with PC market going down, my cmi graduation research showed that laptop and desktop market is still growing, but in a slower rate, which will happen with the tablet market when it is mature

posted on 06 May 2013, 13:49

31. Kelley71 (Posts: 45; Member since: 26 Nov 2012)


While Bill is right (and I shutter that I composed that clause), he's missing the bigger picture. The lead in applications and polish puts Windows RT worlds behind iOS, and the same issues exist with Android multiplied by the breadth of manufacturers all completing (some on price, some on quality, some on combinations creating the entire spectrum of value). QWERTY alone can no more save Windows RT than it can save Blackberry OS 10--all it can do is provide a tiebreaker when the product is competitive without it, because touch, while inferior, is clearly "good enough" for the majority of the market. Neither is competitive enough at this stage, so those two will continue to slug it out for the 5% market share 3rd place is drawing.

posted on 06 May 2013, 17:32

39. dhmcop (Posts: 11; Member since: 12 Dec 2012)


I do a lot of writing/communicating using Siri. Increasingly I do not need a keyboard! I believe this will only get better with time. For my part, Siri understands almost all of what I want to say. I am old, retired, with arthritis, and feel blessed that we have this form of communication available to me today. All that I have written here has been done with Siri and only one mistake.

posted on 06 May 2013, 18:15 1

41. JojoGo101 (Posts: 211; Member since: 17 Dec 2012)


Yeah but Bill, we don't want to pay a $18 Type Cover for $100.
Haters can hate, but that's robbery.

posted on 06 May 2013, 20:04

49. ecmedic4 (Posts: 202; Member since: 02 May 2013)


I didnt find any issues typing on my iPad's on screen keyboard. Most cell phones now have on screen keyboards so ppl should be fairly used to it. Also you have to pay extra for a keyboard for the surface tablets so i dont understand where hes getting it.

posted on 06 May 2013, 22:18

53. 9thWonderful (Posts: 232; Member since: 24 Jan 2013)


i don't have issues typing on my "iPad-like" iPad (guess he's taking a shot@all tablets other than Surface) but i guess no one told Mr. Gates that there is this thing called a bluetooth keyboard that works w/pretty much any tablet.

posted on 07 May 2013, 08:01

55. selena1000 (Posts: 83; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


With all due respect for Bill Gates,in tablet market the ipad is still the best option available. especially compared to surface (RT).btw keyboard in not such a good excuse for buying surface

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