Microsoft is pitching its upcoming Windows 8 as a “no compromise” experience — working across desktop PCs, notebooks, tablets and hybrid devices — but Apple CEO Tim Cook remains unconvinced that such an approach will be effective.
“If you take a view that says, this is another PC, all of a sudden you’re pulling all of the leg weights of the PC market, and I think you wind up with something maybe not that dissimilar to what a tablet was 10 years ago,” Cook told Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg. “We didn’t invent the tablet market, it was there. We invented the modern tablet.”
He continued, “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.”
On another topic, Microsoft and Apple are on the same page, as the Apple CEO criticized companies that seek premium royalties on patents required to implement industry standards. Microsoft is taking a similar stance in its battle with Motorola, recently acquired by Google, over patents on wireless technologies and online video.
Cook also talked about the growth of Apple TV, noting that the company has sold 2.7 million of the devices in the last six months, roughly double the pace of sales last year. However, he acknowledged that it’s still in the realm of hobby for the company, not a primary driver of Apple’s business.
Microsoft’s corporate communications chief Frank Shaw responded on Twitter, “66m Xbox customers streaming gobs of great content and playing great games = not hobby.”
Cook declined to tell Swisher and Mossberg about any plans by the company to make its own TV set.
Tony Bates, the president of Microsoft’s Skype division is speaking at the conference later this week, and one of the key questions is how Microsoft will incorporate Skype into Windows 8. Microsoft is planning to issue a release preview of Windows 8 in early June.
See the full AllThingsD live blog of Cook’s appearance.