While Microsoft has yet to give any official sales numbers for its Surface tablets, research firm IDC claims that the company shipped 900,000 Surface units in the first quarter of 2013. In an interview on the CNBC business news cable TV network, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates defended Microsoft's efforts in entering the tablet market.
The interview was conducted in Omaha, Nebraska in a joint talk with Warren Buffet, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. When asked about what the world will look like in the future with tablets competing with the PC, Gates stated that Windows 8 was designed to work with both tablets and PCs and the Surface tablets can have the portability of a tablet with the uses of a PC. He said:
It's going to be harder and harder to distinguish products, whether they are tablets or PCs. With Windows 8, Microsoft is trying to gain share in what has been dominated by the iPad type device. A lot of those users are frustrated. They can't type. They can't create documents. They don't have Office there. So we are providing something with the benefits they have seen that have made that a big category without giving up what they expect in a PC.
Gates also said there are a number of strong tech companies out there, including Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Samsung. He added:
If you do deep software both on the client and deep services, if you have things that are unique for businesses, which is a particular strength of Microsoft, the software business is an amazing business to be in both in terms of growth and the profitability dynamics.