Ballmer: 'I Don't Think Everybody Wants a Tablet'
"I think people are going to be using PCs in greater and greater numbers for many years to come," Ballmer told an AllThingsD conference in 2010 after being asked about the iPad, while stressing that PCs will continue to "morph" in form factor.
"I think there is a fundamental difference between small enough to be in a pocket and not really small to fit in your pocket," Ballmer added.
"I don't think everybody wants a slate," Ballmer later told the Microsoft annual financial analyst meeting on July 29, 2010, talking about tablets, while acknowledging that "we have got to make things happen with Windows 7."
Still, Ballmer isn't the only Microsoft luminary to minimize the impact of the iPad in the tech world. Bill Gates had this to say to The Boston Globe in 2010 about the iPad:
You can understand why Redmond might be touchy about the iPad: Microsoft has been trying to get the tablet PC concept off the ground since the beginning of the last decade. (See CES: Gates on 'Digital Decade'.)
In fact, Microsoft had already started development of -- and then canned -- what Gizmodo and others had reported as a possible "iPad Killer" in 2010, the dual-screen "Courier" tablet:
So, despite all their botched attempts to popularize tablet PCs and "slates," Microsoft should really be thanking Apple for actually creating a real market that it might actually be able to land its Surface on.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile