Former chief executive and current chairman of Microsoft Bill Gates knows exactly why the company seemingly punched its partners in the gut with the introduction of the Windows 8-powered Surface tablet. Even more, he thinks Microsoft has done the right thing by going solo, and that Windows 8 is going to kill the traditional PC. Whoa.
Bill Gates made this revelation on Charlie Rose Monday night as he talked about Microsoft's decision to make its own tablet. As previously reported, Surface will arrive in two flavors: x86-based featuring Windows 8 Pro, and ARM-based using Windows RT. It will feature a unique cover that also serves as a super-thin keyboard, and go head to head with other Windows 8 tablets manufactured by HP, Dell, Asus, Lenovo and others.
"I actually believe you can have the best of both worlds," he said. "You can have a rich eco-system of manufacturers and you can have a few signature devices that show off, wow, what's the difference between a tablet and a PC?"
To Microsoft's defense, Google is taking the same route with its Nexus 7 tablet and the other "Google Experience" tablets planned in the near future. These will be "signature" devices offering the best of what Google has to offer while manufactured by one of its top-tier manufacturers. However these devices will be competing not only with Amazon's Kindle Fire and Apple's iPad, but all the other Android tablets on the market.
As for Bill Gates' vision of the future, he openly admitted that Windows 8 tablets will replace the traditional PCs. Is he right? After all, All-In-One PCs seem to do well in the general consumer market. They're not as thin as tablets, but they're more compact than the traditional desktop and typically sport touchscreens. Maybe it will be this specific sector that tablets while annihilate first.
"You can get everything you like about a tablet, everything you like about a PC, all in one device. That should change the way people look at things," he said.