Microsoft exec mocks iPhone 4, dubs it Apple's Vista
Consumer Reports urges Apple to provide free cases to all iPhone 4 owners
Computerworld - A top Microsoft executive today compared Apple's iPhone 4 to his own company's problem-plagued Vista operating system.
"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that," said Kevin Turner, Microsoft's chief operating officer, in a keynote speech at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), which runs through Thursday in Washington, D.C.
The successor to Windows XP, Vista launched in early 2007 and was heavily criticized by users, and in a series of e-mails that became public during a class-action lawsuit, even by the company's own senior executives. The consensus, deserved or not, has become that Vista was one of Microsoft's worst operating systems.
Earlier in his talk, Turner poked fun at the reception problems that have dogged Apple's iPhone 4 since its June 24 launch. "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 and not have to worry about how you're holding it to make a phone call," Turner said, referring to the Microsoft mobile operating system set to debut on smartphones this fall.
Complaints about the iPhone 4's call reception surfaced within hours of its release to retail, as buyers griped that touching the external antenna -- embedded in a steel band that encircles the case -- often dropped calls or caused the signal strength indicator to plummet. Apple acknowledged that holding the iPhone 4 could weaken the cellular signal, then a week later claimed that the iPhone 4's signal formula was flawed and promised to update the software.
Others have called for Apple to make good.
Late Tuesday, Consumer Reports magazine, which on Monday told buyers it would not recommend the iPhone 4 -- a first for the publication, which has given its "Recommended" label to all previous iPhones -- said it was Apple's responsibility to "provide the fix -- at no extra cost to consumers."
Saying that it was wrong for Apple to put the onus on iPhone 4 customers -- Apple told users to "avoid gripping it in the lower left corner" or "use one of the many available cases" -- Consumer Reports urged the Cupertino, Calif. company to provide a free case to people who buy or have bought the smartphone.
"We insist that Apple pays for the fix, not consumers," said Mike Gikas, the magazine's senior electronics editor, in an interview yesterday. "The best solution would be for Apple to issue a case with the iPhone 4, or give consumers a credit at its online store for one."
Besides mocking Apple's iPhone, Turner also touted Windows Phone 7, now slated to reach retail in the U.S. this November on a number of smartphone models.
The iPhone's position isn't unassailable, Turner argued. "We're back in the game," he said. "And this game is not over."
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Apple has bigger plans than just song ID with Shazam deal
- Automakers show off in-vehicle Wi-Fi, new smartphone interfaces
- First-to-market means diddly when it comes to smartwatches
- Apple slates WWDC for June 2-6, sets up ticket lottery
- Nadella to Cook on Office revenue sharing: Drop dead
- Microsoft scraps 'Windows-first' practice, puts Office on iPad before Surface
- iOS tops Android for Web browsing in U.S. and other developed nations
- Microsoft's free OneNote vaults to top of Mac App Store chart
- Apple discounts iPhone 5C 8%-9% in five markets via storage cuts
- Microsoft's OneNote strategy: Battle Evernote, or something bigger?
Read more about Macintosh in Computerworld's Macintosh Topic Center.
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- How WAN Optimization Helps Enterprises Reduce Costs If you wanted to break down innovation into a tidy equation, it might go something like this: Technology + Connectivity = Productivity. Productivity...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users? All Macintosh White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!