Apple CEO Tim Cook questions how one operating system can accommodate numerous form factors.
During an on-stage interview at the AllThingsD conference on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook poked fun at rival Microsoft and its upcoming operating system, Windows 8. He openly disagreed with Microsoft's current philosophy that tablet and PC is a continuum that can run on one operating system. Just like Google, Apple believes that one focused OS should reside on one form factor.
"In my view, the tablet and the PC are different," he said. "Products are about trade-offs. And you have to make tough decisions, you have to choose. The fact is, the more you look at a tablet as a PC, the more the baggage from the past affects the product."
Of course, Apple should know this: it seemingly created the "tablet" sector with the launch of the original iPad. And while there have been many Windows-based slates on the market for quite some time, Apple seemingly got the mixture right and hasn't looked back. The only real contender thus far has been Amazon's Kindle Fire Android-based tablet.
"If you force them together, the PC is not as good as it can be, and I think the tablet is not as good as it can be," Cook added. "If you look at [a hybrid] as a notebook, you're not going to come out of the design of the product and have it be a kick-ass product."
He also went on the criticize Windows 8 -- without actually naming the product -- for pulling all the leg weight of the PC market into the tablet space. "You wind up with something that's very similar to what tablets were 10 years ago," Cook said.
Cook's criticism seems to echo previous complaints about Microsoft's Windows 8 Consumer Preview in that its interface is more focused on the touch-based experience rather than the current base mouse-keyboard audience. Navigation has reportedly been annoying, and the company even yanked out the Start menu. So far we haven't heard any feedback about the just-released Windows 8 Release Preview.
On Wednesday Google said that Chrome OS and Android would never merge into one OS, but will converge instead.
"The use cases in technology stacks on phone and tablet are very different to desktop and laptop, as are the user expectations, and the types of things you do are also very different," Google's vice president of engineering Linus Upson said. "Apple doesn't try to smash the two together and we're not trying to do it, but in time there will be a seamless user experience across all the devices."
With Windows 8, Microsoft believes it's a "no compromise" operating system that can be used on multiple form factors including tablets, smartphones, desktops, hybrids and other devices. Manufacturers are currently cranking out said devices that offer both touch-based capabilities with the standard mouse-keyboard setup.
But Cook muses that you can blend anything together -- even a toaster with a refrigerator -- but in the end will please absolutely no one.
To see a video of his interview during the AllThingsD conference, head here.