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Apple CEO Likens Surface To Car That Flies, Floats 377

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the ceos-are-so-cute-when-they-fight dept.
theodp writes "Conceding that he hadn't actually played with one, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Wall Street that Microsoft's Surface tablet is 'a fairly compromised, confusing product' in the company's 4Q earnings call. Cook joked, 'I supposed you could design a car that flies and floats, but it wouldn't do those things very well.' In Apple's 2Q earnings call, Cook also mocked the idea of touch on a laptop or desktop, quipping, 'You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going be pleasing to the user.' Cook added, 'We've done tons of user testing on this, and it turns out it doesn't work. Touch surfaces don't want to be vertical.' So, is Cook just pulling a page from Steve Jobs' people-don't-read-anymore playbook, or is he unaware that children happily used vertical touch screens forty years ago on UIUC's PLATO System (more PLATO History)?"
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Apple CEO Likens Surface To Car That Flies, Floats

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  • DOA.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VMaN (164134) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:06AM (#41776115) Homepage

    Sounds almost as DOA as a 7" tablet to me....

  • Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:06AM (#41776117) Journal

    So, not only do we display such stories as the shocking revleation that Apple was going to live stream its product announcement (only to Apple owners), but now we get stories about what Apple thinks about other products. Is anyone shocked that Apple is less-than-impressed with a Microsoft product? Next we'll have a story about how Mitt Romney thinks Obama has made policy mistakes.

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:07AM (#41776123)

    Seriously - don't talk about them, don't mention them, don't respond to reporters about them, and DONT COMPARE YOURSELVES TO THEM. Once you let them into the conversation about a product, you're granting them an equivalence in many people's eyes. Don't give them the sanction.

  • by jkrise (535370) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:11AM (#41776147) Journal

    Apple's walled garden has early mover advantage and gazillion apps.

    Android's open nature has attracted dozens of OEMs to make the hardware, and also has gazillion apps now.

    The Surface is neither open, nor are developers flocking to i since Microsoft is now screwing over developers like they have done OEMs.

    So it is neither open nor low-cost; and bound to be a colossal failure. No need for Cook to break into sweat...

  • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:15AM (#41776171)

    don't talk about them, don't mention them, don't respond to reporters about them, and DONT COMPARE YOURSELVES TO THEM

    Are you joking? I'm a product manager - I constantly field questions from customers, sales, the media asking how our product compares to X. WTF do you think the "I'm a Mac I'm a PC" ads were all about? Companies that refuse to acknowledge competition do so at their peril. BlackBerry, anyone?

  • Fatigue (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CMU_Ken (574499) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:16AM (#41776181) Journal
    I suspect Apple's dismissal of vertical touch screen usage has to do with muscle fatigue. Try holding your arms out in front of you without resting your hands on anything for 5-10 minutes, and I think you'll see what he's getting at. People want to love Minority Report-style interfaces, but the truth is that there are reasons for not using them. Is it a well-founded argument against vertical screens? I guess we'll see!
  • Re:Nice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OffaMyLawn (1885682) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:18AM (#41776197)

    My thought exactly.

    Competitor bashes Microsoft product. Film at 11.

    What exactly is news worthy about this?

  • Must be unbiased (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hessian (467078) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:18AM (#41776203) Homepage Journal

    After all, he has no dog in this fight.

    Oh wait, he's from a competitor.

    Wonder if he has incentive to twist the truth a little bit?

    Apple seems desperate these days.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:19AM (#41776211)
    I really like the look of the surface hardware. I suspect that most users will end up using the touch screen only in "tablet mode" but so what! This is sour grapes from apple.
  • Re:Fatigue (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:21AM (#41776241)

    I suspect Apple's dismissal of vertical touch screen usage has to do with muscle fatigue. Try holding your arms out in front of you without resting your hands on anything for 5-10 minutes, and I think you'll see what he's getting at. People want to love Minority Report-style interfaces, but the truth is that there are reasons for not using them. Is it a well-founded argument against vertical screens? I guess we'll see!

    I agree that this won't be used much, but most users will just use touch-screen in tablet mode and keyboard/mousepad in other modes

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:22AM (#41776247) Homepage

    'I supposed you could design a car that flies and floats, but it wouldn't do those things very well

    So the headline should read:

    Apple CEO Likens Surface To Car That Flies, Floats And Does Neither Very Well.

    A car that flew and floated, lacking other qualifiers, would be awesome.

  • Re:DOA.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rolfwind (528248) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:41AM (#41776369)

    Apple/Jobs has a history of shitting on concepts that they are simultaneously developing.

    OTOH, MS/Ballmer has a history of mocking things as well while lagging behing in the market.

    Time will tell what type of CEO Cook will be. Hopefully his hubris is just a smokescreen to mask moves and not arrogance for its own sake.

  • Stop right there (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jamesl (106902) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:41AM (#41776371)

    "Conceding that he hadn't actually played with one ...

    Stop right there.

  • by Rexdude (747457) on Friday October 26, 2012 @09:00AM (#41776567)

    ..so that in a couple of years when Apple announces its competing product we see what he has to say. Apple has a history of dissing other products and then quietly incorporating those very features into their own ones later.

    2007 - iPhone launches without the ability to install apps. According to Jobs, web apps should be more than sufficient. Same goes for cut n paste - 'Who needs it anyway?' until it appeared on the next model.
    And most recently, 'Who needs a 7" tablet?' Voila - the iPad Mini.

  • Re:DOA.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Friday October 26, 2012 @09:01AM (#41776585)
    But their extensive user testing shows that people love reading tiny text that they can barely see.

    By the way, I hate Apple but I hate vertical touch screens for everyday PC use because it's a stupid gimmick that makes people feel all futuristic when in reality it's 1/3 the speed of a mouse. What a paradox!
  • by digitalchinky (650880) <dtchky@gmail.com> on Friday October 26, 2012 @09:15AM (#41776763)

    Acknowledgement is one thing, any company that outright slags off another is walking in dangerous territory, I think Apple are doing themselves a lot more harm than good lately.

  • Re:Why vertical? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @09:30AM (#41776937)

    UCK! My neck is sore just thinking about that. You don't work for a chiropractor do you?

  • Re:DOA.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MacGyver2210 (1053110) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:29AM (#41777787)

    I don't know what the problem is, when I was 7 I was pretty good at setting up PCs as well. I actually made a fair bit of spare cash doing it for friends and neighbors.

    By Apple's assumptive logic, that means that Apple is against the free market and fair competition.

  • Re:DOA.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Psyborgue (699890) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:41AM (#41777953) Homepage Journal
    The real issue for me would be having to clean the damn display of fingerprints every 5 minutes. I like a clean screen.

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