Apple's Tim Cook on Windows 8: It's like merging a fridge with a toaster

Apple's Tim Cook took time out from Apple's earnings call to give a sideways slam to Windows 8, saying that Microsoft's attempt to get it to work on PCs and tablets was like trying to mate a refrigerator with a toaster.

Cook and the rest of Apple certainly had plenty to brag about. For the quarter ending March 31, 2012, Apple had revenue of $39.2 billion, well over the $24.7 billion it had in the same period last year. Apple sold 11.8 million iPads in the quarter and 4 million Macs.

Not long after Cook got onto a call with analysts about the earnings, he was asked about Microsoft's decision to have a common operating system and interface for tablets and PCs. He answered:

"Anything can be forced to converge. Trade offs at end of the day don't please anyone. You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but won't please anyone."

Cook's offhand comment was right on target. Touch-interface tablets and traditional PCs are used differently and require different operating systems. Apple recognized that when it designed the iPad's operating system. It's based on Mac OS X, but optimized for tablets. The two share a common foundation, ensuring that Mac OS X devices and iOS devices work smoothly with one another and share information and data, such as in iCloud. But the basic interface is different.

Microsoft is making a mistake by trying to force tablets and traditional PCs to use the same interface. The Desktop is now just another app inside the tablet-focused Metro interface, and it's not even as useful as the Desktop in previous versions of Windows.

A publisher I worked for years ago, who was no fan of meetings and group decision-making, used to say that a camel was a horse designed by a committee. It may be that Windows 8 was designed by one as well.

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