After a decade of selling tablets, Microsoft and supporting PC manufacturers never had a runaway hit as Apple did with the iPad. It must sting a little, and Ballmer is disappointed at the results. His competitor has caught up.
"Today, one of the top issues on my mind, hey there's a category -- tablets," Ballmer said, according to a transcript by Business Insider.
"Apple has done an interesting job. They've sold more than I'd like them to sell. We think about that," he said. "So it's our job to say, we have got to make things happen. Just like we made things happen with netbooks, we have to do that with Slates."
After fretting about Apple's ominous iPad sales numbers, Baller also took the opportunity to criticize the product, saying "I don't think there is one size that fits all […] I've been to too many meetings with journalists who spent the first 10 minutes of the meeting setting up iPad to look like a laptop." Presumably, Ballmer meant pulling out a Bluetooth keyboard.
But here's the thing: if people wanted a laptop, why didn't they just carry one in the first place? It's not like tech journalists can't make choices. In my mind, that says a lot about both the portability of the iPad, and what it's capable of, even if people are using an external keyboard. The software experience must be that good to where somebody is ditching a device with a full blown OS. Ballmer, instead of thinking, "How do I put Windows on this product?" you need to be thinking about how to make something completely new. Like... Courier (which would perfect for journalists).