Microsoft thinks Apple is selling too many iPads

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, under whose watch Office, Windows, and Server profits have soared while mobile has stumbled and faltered, was bombastically candid when addressing Apple's 3.3 million strong iPad install base:

"they've sold certainly more than I'd like them to have sold."

In response, Microsoft is hard at work on a Windows-based alternative (which is curious given Bill Gates' almost singular drive to popularize Tablet PC over much of the last decade):

"They'll be shipping as soon as they are ready," Ballmer said, offering few details on the products, which he said will come from partners, not Microsoft itself. "It is job one urgency. No one is sleeping at the switch."

So Microsoft won't be making their own tablet the way they made their own Zune music player or Xbox gaming console, nor will they be using the panoramic Windows Phone 7, set for release this fall:

"We have got to make things happen," he said. "We're in the process of doing that as we speak. We're working with our hardware partners. We're tuning Windows 7."

Apple of course didn't try to put Mac OS X on the iPad, they went with iOS. HP has gone out and bought Palm webOS, and Google is readying both Android and Chrome OS, and even RIM is showing signs of life. There were tons of Windows-based tablets being touted at CES 2010 back in January, but none have really appeared on the market yet and while Microsoft's Courier project was interesting they KIN'ed it pre-launch. 3 months and as many million sales later and iPad pretty much still has the category it created to itself. It needs competition (from more than just the Kindle).

Hey, maybe if they call it WinPad?

[CNET, thanks to everyone who sent this in]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Microsoft thinks Apple is selling too many iPads


Really? What a stupid headline.
Do you really think that the Apple competitors would be happy they are selling lots of iPads?

"...but they KIN’ed it pre-launch."
Aren't you clever. Bloggers wonder why they'll never be recognized as or respected as real journalists.

They should have thought about this years ago. It's rumored Steve Jobs has had the iPad idea on the drawing board for almost a decade. I mean come on. Whipping something up to compete with the iPad in under a year, while focusing on the rest of what your company needs to be doing probably isn't realistic. You need a team dedicated to this project to make it happen.

I doubt they would call it WinPad, sounds too much like Wimp Pad.
That would probably be an accurate description, though... ;)

I have a really great idea for all the Tablet makers out there... MAKE SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
Oh Apple has to make a touch screen phone, lets all us make one too!
Oh Apple made a touch screen tablet PC, lets all us make one too!
One day Steve jobs is going to jump off a bridge, all these people are going to follow them, and half way down they'll notice Steve brought a parachute and they didn't because they were just following Steve.
I mean it's almost that literal!

@proof. No they didn't. But the way the touch phones work now. Yes thank apple for that. And btw the iPad was on the drawing board way before the iPhone.

@proof. I love it how some individuals feel that they constantly have to remind people of the fact that Apple did not invent the touch screen phone or tablet...everybody knows that already, but touch-screen phones and tablets pre Apple were CRAP and not worth using! that is the point people are trying to make.

@Rick, @Bill, & @Matt: you guys are whiny baby a$$es. Rene & his team have done a great job getting up-to-the-minute gadget news and presenting it to all of us for YEARS. What have YOU guys done lately?
I think I smell 3 sour grapes, with maybe a hint of troll.

Apple of course didn’t try to put Mac OS X on the iPad, they went with iOS.

Well, ok... but iOS is an adapted version of MacOS, right? I thought the big advantage to iOS was exactly that it WAS (oversimplifying here) a stripped down version of MacOS? So why is it good when Steve J does it, but bad when Steve B does it? I mean, sure, Steve B is probably going to screw it up, but still - the IDEA seems sound.

Well, they were selling too many iPhones at first and now too many iPads?
Maybe Microsoft should think about their innovations and bring state of the art products. Instead of lagging and chasing all the time...