Steve Ballmer takes on the iPad

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer attacked the iPad last week, saying Apple’s latest gadget was no different from a normal PC.

At the D8 Conference in California, Ballmer responded to WSJ journalist Walt Mossberg and said the iPad was “a different form factor PC”.

“A guy tried to take notes on one in a meeting with me yesterday – that was fun,” he said. “The meeting didn’t go very fast.”

“There will be general purpose devices in the world that let you participate in consumption, in entertainment, in interaction,” he said, in response to comments from Apple chief executive Steve Jobs in which he said people will have less use for normal PCs.

“It wouldn’t surprise me to see the competition try to eliminate the role of what they’ve had that hasn’t been popular,” Ballmer added.

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