Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Apple’s iPad tablet and Windows-powered personal computers are fundamentally same. The only difference according to Ballmer is that the iPad can’t do much of computing when compared to PCs.
In an interview with Wall Street Journal tech columnist Walt Mossberg, Ballmer said that iPad is only “a different form factor PC.” Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, however has labeled the device "magical."
In the D: All Things Digital conference this week, Ballmer said, "The real question is, what’s a PC? Nothing that people do on a PC today is going to get less relevant tomorrow. There are usage cases. Whether those are done today on PCs–or alternate devices. (And the latter) are going to grow in popularity. There’s no question about that. Particularly entertainment-oriented scenarios. (But) there will exist a general-purpose device that does everything you want because I don’t think the whole world is going to be able to afford five devices per person."
I thought iPad was a general-purpose book reader to compete with Kindle. Now, what would a general-purpose device from Microsoft look like? We might get the answer by next year.