When Apple launched the iPad, its tablet computer, many people expected wondrous things. Many different rumors were spread, from supposed internal hardware specifications all the way up to it having a solar panel on the back (which a surprising amount of people fell for), which led to an enormous amount of hype. The rumors weren't the only thing against Apple, though: when they launched the iPhone a few years back, a lot of people swore by it. Many still do, and it has sold over 40 million devices across the world, despite AT&T's bad reputation in the US, and the fact that it is currently missing features such a multitasking. A lot of people expected this tablet device to live up to the reputation of that phone, which currently, it doesn't seem to be doing – in an interview with BNET, Bill Gates, former Microsoft CEO, stated that he isn't very impressed by Apple's latest offering.
Gates stated, "You know, I'm a big believer in touch and digital reading, but I still think that some mixture of voice, the pen and a real keyboard – in other words, a netbook – will be mainstream on that. So, it's not like I sit there and feel the same way I did with the iPhone where I say, 'Oh my God, Microsoft didn't aim high enough.' It's a nice reader, but there's nothing on the iPad I look at and say, 'Oh, I wish Microsoft had done it.'" Many have related the iPad to just being an "oversized iPod touch," which seems to be the viewpoint that Gates has, as at first glance, it doesn't offer much more than what Apple's other touchscreen mobile devices do. The debate for and against the iPad is an extensive and detailed one, which can't really see an end until the release at the end of March, though many believe that the iPhone OS event that usually hits mid-March will see some drastic changes to the operating system.
Gates is known to have considerable tolerance (unlike another certain CEO of the company) when it comes to Microsoft's main competitor, Apple, though he (like many others) doesn't feel that the iPad is as revolutionary as the Cupertino-based company claims it to be. So far, the group with the most enthusiasm is the developers, as the iPhone OS 3.2 adds some extremely nifty stuff that'll show up upon the iPad's release. Whether or not this'll take off is anyone's guess, though nobody can truly know until the device has actually been released.