220px Bill Gates in WEF ,2007 Gates asserts that Surface tablet wont hurt OEMs

In an eco-system where OEMs and Microsoft are each other’s benefactor, MS’s recent decision build its own tablet may have been perceived as a blind-sided blow to OEMs.  Bill Gates, in a recent interview with Charlie Rose, defends this company’s decision by asserting “you can have a rich eco-system of manufacturers” even if the line between PCs and tablets is removed.

In an eco-system where OEMs and Microsoft are each other’s benefactor, MS’s recent decision build its own tablet may have been perceived as a blind-sided blow to OEMs.  Bill Gates, in a recent interview with Charlie Rose, defends this company’s decision by asserting “you can have a rich eco-system of manufacturers” even if the line between PCs and tablets is removed.

"I actually believe you can have the best of both worlds. You can have a rich eco-system of manufacturers and you can have a few signature devices that show off, wow, what's the difference between a tablet and a PC?"

There’s no doubt that there is a fine line between current PC’s and tablets, and Gates’ statement resonates the possibility that OEMs may one day become an extinct breed.  Current PC’s are much more powerful in terms of flexibility and productivity, but tablets are slowly building momentum in both departments. 

microsoft surface tablet keyboard Gates asserts that Surface tablet wont hurt OEMs

The Surface tablet will come preloaded with an Office suite, not to mention a cover that conveniently turns into a keyboard. 

Professionals who rely heavily on their laptop PCs to create documents and presentations may find the Surface tablet especially attractive since it will cover much of the bases regarding productivity, and as for flexibility, the Surface is slim and very mobile.  Now, if the Surface possesses both flexibility and productivity then how is it distinguishable from a laptop PC? 

Perhaps the only base that the Surface tablet doesn’t cover is the power aspect.  Take for example, if a professional needs a device that is powerful enough to encode an HD video quickly, then perhaps an RT Surface may not be an option.  The same can’t be said for the Pro Surface tablet, which will most likely boast an Intel processor found in most ultrabooks. 

Therefore, the only “wow” factor that coincides with the Surface tablet is that it’s more of a PC killer rather than a product that will compete with current tablets.

Gates may have contradicted himself by attaching a “rich eco-system of manufacturers” to the topic of the Surface tablet.  There won’t be any competition if Microsoft is to charge OEMs for the Windows 8 OS, while negating the cost of an OS in their product.  Price is one of the main criteria in competition, and without competition there is no “rich eco-system of manufacturers.”

Gates may be referring to the "rich eco-system" between Microsoft, Apple, and Google.