A top Microsoft executive took the the stage for a keynote speech in which he compared Apple's iPhone 4 issues with Microsoft's badly-received Windows Vista launch.

Microsoft's chief operating officer Kevin Turner is quoted by Computerworld as stating that "It looks like the iPhone 4 might be [Apple's] Vista, and I'm okay with that," at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference yesterday.

While Turner isn't exactly letting Microsoft off lightly for a version of Windows that was roundly ignored by corporations and didn't exactly set the home-user world on fire - with many choosing to downgrade newly-bought machines to Windows XP, the OS that just won't die - it's clear that the company finds Apple's predicament over the iPhone 4 signal strength issue amusing.

Prior to the comparison to Vista, Turner made further reference to Apple's issues with a comment that "one of the things I want to make sure you know today is that you're going to be able to use a Windows Phone 7 [handset] and not have to worry about how you're holding it to make a phone call."

Turner's comments come as Apple releases a beta of iOS 4.1, which contains a 'fix' for what the company claims is a simple software bug which results in a false signal reading in marginal areas. Sadly, MobileCrunch reports that the patch fails to fix the issue, with the signal strength still dropping through the floor if your finger rests on the bottom left of the handset.

Apple has invited members of the media to a press conference on Friday, during which time it is thought that the company will address the growing concern over the iPhone 4's issues - and, possibly, even announce some form of recall or exchange programme. One thing's for sure, however: when even Microsoft is mocking you over a buggy release, you've got problems.

Do you think that Turner is being unfair to Apple with his comparison, or are you just shocked at his seemingly admitting that Vista was broken by design? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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