Apple's Cook heaps scorn on Microsoft's Metro UI
April 25, 2012 // 11:51 a.m.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook has used the occasion of the company's earnings call to throw scorn on Microsoft's plans for Windows 8, likening them to combining a toaster and a fridge.
During a question-and-answer session following the earnings call, Cook - who took over the reins from founder Steve Jobs - was asked if Apple had any plans to merge its tablet and laptop efforts, as with Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8. 'You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator,' Cook replied, 'but those aren't going to be pleasing to the user.'
Claiming that any convergence between tablets and laptops would result in a dilution of both, Cook further explained that 'we are not going to that part, but others might from a defensive point of view.'
Cook's comment is clearly designed to attack Microsoft's Windows 8 before it even hits shops. With Intel planning touch-screen Ultrabooks running the operating system, and Microsoft's Windows Phone-inspired Metro UI proving a capable touch interface - if woeful for use with a keyboard and mouse - it's not hard to see why.
Cook, however, appears to be forgetting something: when the iPhone was first announced under Jobs' leadership, Apple made a big deal of claiming that the new iOS operating system was, at heart, the same as its OS X desktop - making Apple the first company to, borrowing Cook's phraseology, create a refrigetoaster.
Despite Cook's clear defensiveness in response to the question, and his apparent ignorance of Jobs-led iOS marketing strategies, Apple remains the company to beat for premium-priced portable products: the new high-resolution iPad is selling well, while Cook has reiterated his company's impending anti-Ultrabook innovation through its MacBook Air line.
That's a second fight Apple's picking: Intel is rumoured to be betting heavily on its Ultrabook project, using technology it originally licensed to Apple for the original MacBook Air. With Cook's convergence comments applying equally to both Windows 8 and Intel's touch-enabled Ultrabooks - due for launch at the same time as Microsoft's latest operating system - Cook is clearly not out to win friends.