Users frustrated with limitations of iPad: Bill Gates

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said yesterday that users were 'frustrated' by limitations of devices, and implied many would look to go for `Surface' products.

Gates said many iPad and Android users were frustrated with the devices and were optimistic about the future for PC-tablets.

However, commentators point out that the figures do not seem to be on Gates's side with total iPad sales since April 2010 exceeding 141 million and total tablet sales according to IDC at 253 million – of which fewer than 2 million were the Surface RT or Surface Pro.

Gates added that a key problem for Microsoft in trying to grow its business in China was levels of piracy within government and large businesses there – a problem that it did not face elsewhere – and which had made it a "disaster" for revenue growth.

In an interaction with CNBC, Gates, who is also a member of the board of Berkshire Hathaway, led by the legendary investor Warren Buffett, said Windows 8 was part of a blurring of the distinction between the PC and the tablet.

"Windows 8 is revolutionary in that it takes the benefits of a tablet and the benefits of a PC, and it's able to support both of those – so if you have Surface, Surface Pro, you've got that portability of a tablet but the richness of a PC in terms of the keyboard, Microsoft Office of a PC," Gates explained, when he was asked what was happening to the PC market – which, despite its highs and lows still generated around $80 billion in annual revenues.

According to Gates, The Surface, brought the ''portability of the tablet but the richness of the PC.''

He added a lot of people using iPad-like devices, were frustrated, they could not type, they could not create documents, they did not have Office there.

However, while some people were frustrated by the iPad's limitations, most embraced it, and while Apple sold 19.5 million iPads last quarter, the same period saw HP, the world's number one PC seller, sell 11.7 million PCs, according to Gartner.

However, all said and done the truth was that the iPad just worked for surfing the web, light emailing, videos, and some games.

However, Microsoft's Surface had sold in very small volumes as compared with the iPad. According to some commentators, perhaps, Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Microsoft had been too quick in their pursuit of making a

tablet that was as powerful as a PC. Perhaps people wanted something a bit more lightweight at the moment.