Just when we thought that the 'iPad can't do productive stuff' debate was over, Microsoft co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates, has fired fresh salvos at the world's best selling tablet.
During an interview with CNBC, speaking on the declining PC market, Gates said that people using iPad-like devices were frustrated because "they can't type, create documents, and don't have Office." He said that tablets were becoming more popular and that the line between PCs and tablets was becoming thinner.
He also praised the Surface, Microsoft's own tablet, for integrating the "portability of the tablet with the richness of the PC."
Microsoft launched Windows RT in October 2012, along with the Surface tablet (Review). The software runs on a few tablets from other manufacturers as well. Windows RT is designed to run on phone-style chips, of the kind used in the iPad, rather than PC-style chips, which tend to use more energy and require bigger batteries. Using Windows RT means the tablets can be thinner and lighter, but it also means regular Windows programs won't run on Windows RT. That's caused some confusion and limited the appeal of Windows RT, analysts say.
However, the market response to Microsoft's Windows RT powered tablets has been anything but good. Researchers at IDC said manufacturers shipped 200,000 tablets running Windows RT, the special version of Windows for iPad-style tablets, in the January to March period, down from about 900,000 shipped in the fourth quarter.
It's worth pointing out that Apple still remains the top tablet seller although Android tablets are showing increased presence thanks to low cost devices from Asian sellers. Tablet shipments reached 49.2 million units in the January-to-March period, according to IDC. Apple's iPads accounted for 19.5 million units out of these. Android tablets accounted for 56.5 percent of shipments in the March quarter, compared to 39.6 percent for iPads. Tablets running Microsoft's new Windows and Windows RT platforms accounted for 3.7 percent of total shipments.