Bill Gates shows off his giant tablet, talks up Windows 8 on Reddit

by David Needle

February 12 2013

Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates believes large, touchscreen displays will become pervasive.
Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates believes large, touchscreen displays will become pervasive.

During a candid Q&A session on Reddit, the Microsoft cofounder and Chairman covered a range of topics focused mainly on the charitable work he and his wife Melinda are engaged in, but touched on a number of tech topics as well.

The hottest trend is tech is smaller mobile devices, but that doesn’t mean bigger computers don’t have their place. During his online Q&A Reddit session, Gates shared a photo of the “tablet” he uses -- or as he called it a “huge Windows 8 touch whiteboard.”

Gates confirmed it was a Perceptive Pixel display (believed to be an 80-inch model).  Microsoft acquired the company last year.


“These will come down in price over time and be pervasive,” Gates said. Microsoft has talked in the past about turning the wall’s in people’s home into interactive computer displays. In his own home Gates has long featured a wide selection of artwork  on digital displays.

Gates said he just got his Surface Pro last week (apparently the cofounder doesn’t have as much pull as you might think) and “it is very nice.” Asked which he liked better, Windows 7 or 8, Gates cracked, "Higher is better." 

Gates also said he still does some programming, but is disappointed there hasn’t been more advances.

“I write some C, C# and some Basic. I am surprised new languages have not made more progress in simplifying programming. It would be great if most high school kids were exposed to programming,” he said.

Asked about Microsoft’s rivalry with Apple he reminded the audience that Microsoft was the biggest early backer of the Mac and that while he mainly uses Windows systems, he has tried all of Apple’s products.

“Our biggest joint project was the Mac where Microsoft had more people on the project than Apple did as we wrote a lot of applications,” said Gates. “I saw Steve [Jobs] regularly over the years including spending an afternoon with him a few months before he tragically passed away.” 

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