Apple CEO Pokes Fun At Multi-Device Spread of Windows 8

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.

To try Windows 8 for yourself, download the latest Consumer Preview.

  • demonhorde665
    screw tim cook, he's an apple employee , drinking his own puiss and calling it coolaid. as for you kevin parish what the hell did apple "seemingly" get right . they made a tablet that cost as much as a gaming pc (more than in some cases). while offering no where near the performance of a desktop or laptop at that price. you can get comparable android tablets for 250-400. only an i-idiot would buy an ipad. and even though i hate the idea of windows 8 metro on desk top , i do agree it makes a compelling interface for tablets
  • rantoc
    Seems someone is running scared and try to calm the investors who also sees the potential of this! I wont speculate in how well it will sell but considering windows 90%+ market-share and the benefits it will bring to the hand-held devices with the same os/dataset/apps have the hugest potential IF it is executed well. (Removing the start menu for instance is a huge mistake)
  • mariusmotea
    Tim Cook has read the comments from Tom's Hardware, and because nobody likes metro UI in windows 8, he think this is a good opportunity to strike at Microsoft.
  • Bloob
    I wish AMD would support HD4XXX in Win8 so I could use it. Yeah, I know many here think I should be like them and hate Win8, but overall I did like it better than Win7.
  • jimmyjohnz
    I'll just stick with Windows 7 and hope Windows 9 sorts out any of Microsoft's misconceptions as to what the "average consumer" wants. Either that or I go to Linux and hope there's a distro that will run most of the games I like.
  • olaf
    well apple will most certainly win customers with metro debacle that will ensue
    I'm going to have a Windows 7 PC for the rest of my life at this rate. F Metro UI!
  • mcvf
    So now Microsoft has a strategy of delivering even/odd numbering system for their OS being in development/stable versions? One would think they have learned their lesson from Vista about pushing their users way too far.
  • LOL at you smug ass Apple fan boys. Quick! Go put another Apple logo on your hybrid car after you just stopped at Starbucks for your daily Smugachinocafelatte. Cuz you know.. You're trying to make a statement right?
  • sten_gn
    Someone is thinking clearly. M$ is forcing one interface for everything, witch isn't optimal for everything.
    I don't want downgraded interface in my PC, yes DOWNGRADED since i use keyboard/mouse, i don't need HUGE start failure.
    Previous start Vista/7 was/is crappy: set size of menu, messy tree, lots of scrolling ... so now they went over heads and it is full screen and no start button.

    The idea of getting the same programs working on different platforms isn't bad, but execution is crappy.
    Another annoying thing is forcing single look of interface in system, if M$ is using ideas from Linux, they could at list give more options to to change interface to our needs.
    Gnome 2 is like that, you CAN change it entirely and that is the future !!!