In an interview with Charlie Rose last night, Microsoft founder Bill Gates explained why the iPad was successful and why his original vision of a tablet PC didn’t do so much. Microsoft had an idea of a tablet PC way back in 2000. In fact, Bill Gates first unveiled the tablet PC concept to a crowd of over 12,000 people at the Computer Dealers’ Exhibition (COMDEX) way back in November 2000. Ten years later, Apple released the iPad, a tablet that sold over 14.8 million units around the world. During the interview, Rose asked Gates, “You thought about a tablet and a touch system way before Steve Jobs?”
Gates’ response was, “Way too early.” But when asked why the iPad was so successful, Gates reportedly replied saying “He [Steve Jobs] did some things better than I did. His timing in terms of when it came out, the engineering work, just the package that was put together. The tablets we had done before, weren’t as thin, they weren’t as attractive as what came along.” Although it was a bitter pill to swallow, Gates retorted that Microsoft’s Windows 8 and its newly launched Surface tablets will be a game changer. “Now Microsoft has something that may change the rules again,” Gates added.