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Gates sticks to company line on tablets, knocks iPad

Gregg Keizer | May 7, 2013
Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates today stuck to the company line on tablets, and disparaged rival Apple's iPad for its lack of a keyboard and its inability to run Office.

What Gates did not say, however, was that the iPad's inability to run Office was not Apple's idea, but a key part of Microsoft's apparent strategy to promote Windows and Windows tablets at the expense of the company's Business division's revenue.

A purported release roadmap seen by long-time Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, who blogs for ZDNet, showed Office for iOS launching in October 2014, a year-and-a-half away. The consensus among analysts was that that would be a major mistake, one that eliminated potential revenue now and may miss the closing window of opportunity entirely as tablets shrink in size.

Gates also neglected to point out -- although Microsoft officials, including Ballmer, have -- that iPad owners can run some parts of Office via the bare bones online editions of Excel, PowerPoint and Word from within their Safari browser.

Monday's Gates-Buffett interview sported the U.S.'s two biggest billionaires, with the pair representing a combined fortune of more than $120 billion by Forbes' estimate.

 

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