back to article Apple CEO Tim Cook v Microsoft's Ballmer: Seconds out, round two!

As The Reg reported on Thursday, Microsoft communications chieftain Frank Shaw went off on Apple in a near-thousand word blog post defending his company's beleaguered Surface and Surface 2. His fit of pique, while possibly a bit over-the-top, can be forgiven, considering that Apple CEO Tim Cook was unusually pugnacious during …


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  1. Tommy Pock


    Sounds more like Gil Gunderson.

  2. Big-nosed Pengie

    The unspeakable in hot pursuit of the uneatable.

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      The unspeakable in hot pursuit of the uneatable.

      Strange how you make a link with Oscar Wilde on reading the article. As for me, I see those clouds and the clear road signs and I'm reminded of pure Excellence (courtesy of Dave Barry):

      An excellence-oriented '80s male does not wear a regular watch. He

      wears a Rolex watch, because it weighs nearly six pounds and is

      advertised only in excellence-oriented publications such as Fortune and

      Rich Protestant Golfer Magazine. The advertisements are written in

      incomplete sentences, which is how advertising copywriters denote


      "The Rolex Hyperion. An elegant new standard in quality excellence and

      discriminating handcraftsmanship. For the individual who is truly able

      to discriminate with regard to excellent quality standards of crafting

      things by hand. Fabricated of 100 percent 24-karat gold. No watch

      parts or anything. Just a great big chunk on your wrist. Truly a

      timeless statement. For the individual who is very secure. Who

      doesn't need to be reminded all the time that he is very successful.

      Much more successful than the people who laughed at him in high

      school. Because of his acne. People who are probably nowhere near as

      successful as he is now. Maybe he'll go to his 20th reunion, and

      they'll see his Rolex Hyperion. Hahahahahahahahaha."

      -- Dave Barry, "In Search of Excellence"

      (mutatis mutandis, it should be obvious, eh?)

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        >Strange how you make a link with Oscar Wilde on reading the article.

        Well, Oscar Wilde was a part of the Arts and Crafts movement by virtue of being a critic, and an advocate of 'Honesty of Materials' which has filtered through the decades to influence designers such as Dieter Rams. Not only that, but Wilde once descended upon San Francisco and criticise the aesthetic choices and craftsmanship of the residents:


        The Apostle of Estheticism Exposes Our Sins.


        The Aristocracy of Minna Street

        Gratuitously Insulted by a Disquisition on Mortar.


        But yeah, what Wilde's view of fox hunting have to do with Apple I'm not sure.

  3. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge


    More Stories about Icahn-Cook, please... we could do with more food stories here.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: P.S.

      Food stories - Mmmm, Dell issues :)

      Ballmer's now trying recipes from Rose Elliot's Has-Bean Book.

    2. dan1980

      Re: P.S.

      That actually made me laugh out loud.

      Un point.

      1. Mr. Peterson

        Re: P.S.


  4. andreas koch

    I still have a hickups every time

    I read: free Mavericks upgrade.

    I haven't paid for an upgrade in decades*; and ,I think, neither should anyone else if it's tied to the hardware.

    Apple stuff runs on Apple stuff which needs Apple stuff to run. They actually expect their users to pay for the packed software each iteration again. And they get away with it.


    *Not tied to anything. Linux.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I still have a hickups every time

      That may work for you but most people at home / at work use Windows or Mac OS and traditionally you have always paid for the OS (as part of the purchase of the hardware) or separately (updates etc.). Apple have made the OS free (it was previously cheap) which will really mess with Microsoft.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I still have a hickups every time

        Apple have made the OS free (it was previously cheap) which will really mess with Microsoft.

        - Not until they allow people to run their OS on whatever hardware they want to run it on.

        Unless / until Apple hardware comes down to a par with PC hardware sold by the likes of HP, Dell, IBM, etc (and lets face it, under that Apple logo, it is the same hardware), they will never seriously challenge Microsoft without releasing their software out of the walled garden (which release will never happen).

      2. andreas koch

        @ AC 1159h GMT - Re: I still have a hickups every time

        The tl/dr:

        It will mess with MS? No.

        The long one:

        It will mess with MS? In which way? People downloading OSX for their homebuild Gaming rig? Companies not upgrading from Win XP to Win 8, but installing OSX on their office Dells? Production computers, still using NT4 now, will be running their proprietary controller software on Apple's OS?

        Well, I'd say no.

        The reason OSX is so nice and stable is that it has not to deal with anything other than approved Apple hardware. It's more like a Games console software, like Nintendo 64. You would not expect an N64 to run Mario Kart if you replaced the inbuilt OS with, let's say, a Playstation1 software, would you? Do you think that your Panasonic DVD player would work if you put an LG Software on it?


        Apple's software is tailored to exactly work with Apple hardware. That made it "Just works". If you look at it like this, it's a medium miracle that non-tied software like Windows or Linux distros work at all. The multitude of different hardware configurations that these OSs have to cope with exceeds anything that OSX would ever have to or can. OSX is an integral part of the Apple computer that you buy, it's got no value whatsoever on it's own. A bit like an upgrade for a Virginmedia cable router. It would not make your ADSL box suddenly understand DOCSIS, it would almost always not work, and if you could install it at all, it would brick anything but the right machine.

        The next time your Freeview receiver get an OTA update, you should cheer and exclaim that, as it was free, this will be the end of SKY TV!




  5. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "Who remembers netbooks?"

    I do. You could actually work on them.

    1. phear46

      Re: "Who remembers netbooks?"

      I have an eee pc 901 (linux variant, naturally) and would love to see something in this form factor with a little more umph.

      i5, 8gb ram, 128gb ssd and a 9inch screen. No fancy graphics, just a portable workhorse.

      Few usb 3 ports, an SD slot and hdmi out(and in?)

      Oh, and not stupidly expensive!

      1. Valeyard

        Re: "Who remembers netbooks?"

        totally agree. Want to upgrade my netbook so I can write on the train or go on the web to read reviews/book tickets/check mail during edinburgh festival etc, but there's not much out there. I really liked the convenience and actual functionality of netbooks.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Who remembers netbooks?"

        > i5, 8gb ram, 128gb ssd and a 9inch screen. No fancy graphics, just a portable workhorse. Few usb 3 ports, an SD slot and hdmi out(and in?) Oh, and not stupidly expensive!

        So basically you want everything a laptop has - except the optical drive and GPU - but smaller? The cost of a higher density battery to give the same battery life in a smaller form factor probably costs as much as the bits you ripped out.

        1. phear46

          Re: "Who remembers netbooks?"

          You know what, I could happily put up with a 2 hour battery life, just something so I could move from plug to plug or look after me in a power outage. I mostly have mine plugged in anyway.

      3. JC_

        Re: "Who remembers netbooks?"

        So, basically you want a Surface Pro with extra USB ports? There's a discount on the earlier model.

      4. druck Silver badge

        Re: "Who remembers netbooks?"

        phear46 wrote:

        I have an eee pc 901 (linux variant, naturally) and would love to see something in this form factor with a little more umph.

        i5, 8gb ram, 128gb ssd and a 9inch screen. No fancy graphics, just a portable workhorse.

        Few usb 3 ports, an SD slot and hdmi out(and in?)

        Oh, and not stupidly expensive!

        Closest I could find was the ASUS Vivobook S200, 11.6" touch screen, 3 USB including one USB 3.0, with both VGA and HDMI out for less than £400. It's only an i3, but plenty fast enough for everything I've tried. The only real concern is the fixed 4GB of RAM, but I've only hit that running VMs. There is the 13.3" S400 which can take up to 8GB, but I wanted the smaller form factor.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Who remembers netbooks?"

      I do. My wife uses her's almost non stop. We've tried an ASUS transformer tablet (which I love) but she prefers the netbook. Sure we could replace it with a surface but why when the netbook works so much better on a lap? An ultrabook would be too large width wise for her bag. I can see myself hunting for another once it finally dies.

      1. Amorous Cowherder

        Re: "Who remembers netbooks?"

        "We've tried an ASUS transformer tablet (which I love) but she prefers the netbook."

        Buy the official hardware keyboard for the Transformer? I will when they get cheap enough on Fleabay!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Who remembers netbooks?"

      This is actually quite a smart comment, remember he is preaching to the converted and the converted would have all rushed out and had themselves a net book when they first came out. They would have played around with it for a while, realised it wasn't as good as their Mac OS (if only through un-familiarity) and probably left it in a draw gathering dust, just about the same time as the Mac Book Air was released. They've now totally bought into ultra-book type laptops and the guy who runs the company they got those ultra-books from is telling them how smart they are for making the correct decision.

      This is re-enforcing the choices of those who are wedded to everything Apple and when you're spending that much money on products, it's nice to be reminded that you've not made a foolish decision in spending the money.

      I do have a MBP, I also have Win and Lin machines, I'm not buying into this pandering to my decision to buy a Mac and especially not buying that a company who rigidly and unflexingly follow one direction are any more or less capable than one who is prepared to change their strategy. I'm especially not buying it from a company who have had a habit of binning off products in the past. Server hardware, the Newton, whatever their games console was called, their non-pro laptop range, etc. etc.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Who remembers netbooks?"

      "I do. You could actually work on them."

      Quite - and ironic that far from being an MS idea, MS did everything ti could to kill them as they turned out to be most usable with a Linux distro on them rather than an MS OS.

      I still have an Asus 701, (and a continulng mental image of That Picture), now running Wheezy, and it plays video via smplayer fanatstically well, displays my email and allows me to browse. Two friends have Asusi (Asuses?) of later vintage still running happily on Xubuntu and still can't believe how productive they remain. But with a monopolist demand for MS on them, they were best (from MS point of view) killed.

      1. Fihart

        Re: "Who remembers netbooks?"

        I must have world's worst netbook (Elonex WebBook that was free from Orange) but I love it.

        Dumped the hopeless crippled Ubuntu version, installed XP from external CD drive. Faffed around getting drivers that were NOT on the the Elonex site.

        Terrible but real keyboard still better than any touchscreen virtual keyboard I've tried.

        Just the best computer format yet.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Who remembers netbooks?"

          Think you need to use a Macbook Air then comment on that. The Macbook Air is basically the perfect netbook (and even runs Windows if you wanted) - fast, light, good keyboard, good screen - if anything you could wish for it to be cheaper but it's still a great machine.

          I too had netbooks - they had the benefit of being cheap but were pretty cr@p at the same time - slow (long, long time to boot up etc.), poor screens, very limited.

      2. Tom 13

        Re: Quite - and ironic that far from being

        Having never bought one, I can't speak to their usability on Linux, but as the tech stuck supporting them for the company in the XP variant (and being told to test upgrading them to 7) I concur they were a nightmare to support.

    5. nichomach

      Re: "Who remembers netbooks?"

      Quite. Other half replaced hers relatively recently with an 11.6" screen Core i3 subnotebook for about a third of the price of a Macbook Air, and was previously welded to an Aspire One 10" because you could actually *do stuff* with it.

    6. gerryg

      Re: "Who remembers netbooks?"

      replaced my 8GB SSD Acer Aspire One 8" screen 512MB, Linpus (changed to openSUSE) £199, 2007 with an AAO D270 1GB RAM 10.1" screen 250GB SATA with XP, (£170, 2013) heaved out SATA and replaced with 120GB SATA £60 added 1GB £12 and openSUSE 12.3

      Runs flawlessly and how much is an Airbook?

      I didn't forget my history which is why I wasn't doomed when I repeated it

    7. Roo

      Re: "Who remembers netbooks?"

      A lot of execs seem to have trouble remembering stuff that doesn't fit their current goals, I imagine it makes being a "leader" much easier.

      Perhaps Tim was asking if anyone remembers them because he's planning on patenting the concept of a tablet with a keyboard.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I can't see a need for the thing,"

    Neither can I. I do however see lots of desire for it.

    "Anyone who thinks it's a game changer is a tool,"

    Could be argued that it didn't change a game, but rather introduced a whole new one (that's political speak!)

    "It's not going to revolutionize anything, it's not going to replace netbooks."

    OK, I'll let them have that one... but remember that there's also the odd person who likes surface, so you can always find someone who's wrong about a new product!

  7. Cliff

    2/3rds running iOS7

    I don't understand - 2/3rds of what, and how does that blow away the other guys. Certainly not tablets, phones, desktops, laptops, etc. Making market share claims in the face of Android seems a risky strategy, so he can't have meant that they have two thirds of any sector I can think of, except maybe iDevices?

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: 2/3rds running iOS7

      That's exactly what he meant — almost 67% of active (ie, not long ago resigned to a sock drawer) iOS devices have been updated. Which I think is meant to be a roundabout way of saying you should buy Apple because you'll definitely get OS updates, for a while anyway, and you should develop for Apple because you can adopt the latest frameworks pretty much as soon as they become available.

      Per about 70% of Android users now run 4.x so there are definitely more Android people — in both absolute and proportional terms — running the latest major version of Android than the latest iOS. The Android market doesn't tend to update as swiftly but at this point in the cycle that matters about as much as which phone manufacturer managed to ship colour screens first.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2/3rds running iOS7

      And in other news, one-third of Apple owners left behind.

      I know, my fault for not having retired a iPhone 3G and bought the latest one.

      (but the Nokia was very affordable)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 2/3rds running iOS7

        And a pile of junk, Nokia did have to sell out right ?

        1. Pristine Audio

          Re: 2/3rds running iOS7

          100% of iPads here are runnign iOS5 - but then they're both iPad 1s and never even got the chance to see how slowly they'd run on iOS6...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 2/3rds running iOS7

            100% of iPads then you go on to say 'both' lol.

    3. hammarbtyp

      Re: 2/3rds running iOS7

      Another stat that makes no sense was Tim Cook's assertion during this weeks Apple presentation that tablet usage share was 81% Apple and 19% other devices. This makes little sense especially as IPad share of the market has fallen from 53 to 41% and is likely to continue falling as a large number of cheap Android tablets come out

      So what does tablet usage actually mean? How it is measured? or is it just one of those numbers that corporations throw up to divert attention from real issues and actually has no real world consequence?

      1. AMB-York Silver badge

        Re: 2/3rds running iOS7

        So, 2/3 of users installed an update that was automatically downloaded when they connected to Wifi/ Why is that impressive?

        I'd like to go back to iOS6 - even with bold readable text, iOS7 is horrid.

        Why does the keyboard keep changing between the old and the new? Looks like an OS cludge.

      2. Steve Todd Silver badge

        Usage share

        Not that hard to work out. If you collect web server logs together and analyse them then you find that over 80% of mobile devices that accessed them were Apple iOS machines.

        These are numbers generated by third party analytics firms over a wide range of web sites. The implication here is that a large proportion of Android devices are never used to access the web, which is kind of odd given that's what they are primarily designed to do.

        1. hammarbtyp

          Re: Usage share

          Yes it is odd. So either the figures are wrong or they have been mis-represented.

          Now it is possible that iPad users spend a lot more time on the web, but its a huge discrepancy.

          Not that google care. They get paid whichever way you access their services.

        2. Tim Parker

          Re: Usage share

          "Not that hard to work out. If you collect web server logs together and analyse them then you find that over 80% of mobile devices that accessed them were Apple iOS machines."

          The figures i've seen from the US show iOS mobile website usage between 65-70% - as the US typically shows the absolute peak of iOS usage for stats (60% iOS market share last I looked), i'd guess that would hint at it being a peak worldwide. Stats for Europe and Asia would be different, Africa even more so.

          "These are numbers generated by third party analytics firms over a wide range of web sites."

          Web sites in which country, in what proportion ?

          "The implication here is that a large proportion of Android devices are never used to access the web, which is kind of odd given that's what they are primarily designed to do."

          The implication could also be that you're extrapolating too far - difficult to tell without any real information - possibly due to your statistics not being reflective of world-wide numbers. The access number would also need to be for unique devices for the assumption that low usage = no usage (which you seem to be making - correct me if i'm wrong).

        3. TenOfZero

          Re: Usage share

          I think the issue are browsers on android not presenting themselves as mobile browsers so you get the "full" version of a page, these would get counted as desktop visits.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 2/3rds running iOS7

        he said USAGE not SALES - basically people 'use' their iPads a lot whereas other tablets are typically used very little. The figure was actually iPad usage (web) was more than 4x higher that ALL other tablets combined.

        I know plenty of people with Android / other tablets and especially the cheaper ones seem to be little used.

        The same is true of smartphones - lots of Android phones are sold as basic phones with a touch screen without even a DATA tariff.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2/3rds running iOS7

      " 2/3rds of what"

      I think you just failed a Google interview question......

    5. plrndl

      Re: 2/3rds running iOS7

      "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

      The purpose of statistics is to quantify differences. Depending on how you collect and analyse your numbers, you can get any result you want. People of integrity use statistics as an aid to discovery of new data: others use statistics to distort the truth, hence the famous quotation above.

  8. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  9. WhoaWhoa

    '"Anyone who thinks it's a game changer is a tool,"

    Could be argued that it didn't change a game, but rather introduced a whole new one (that's political speak!)'

    Could be argued that it's split the game into twolmthe looking at stuff game and the doing stuff game.

    Once there was one sort of device for both, thedesklaptop, with good sized screen, keyboard and mouse.

    Now there are two, the desklaptop and the tablet, with small screen, weak keyboard substitute and no mouse.

    The latter is fine for those who mostly look at stuff and sometimes do simple stuff.

  10. Big_Ted

    Please Tim kepp going............

    With any luck MS will tell Apple where to stick their agreement not to go after each other on patents etc and demand the same from them as they have from Android device makers. Just think how many billions that would bring in for a start.

    We could then see them wipe each other out with bans on devices etc.......


    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Please Tim kepp going............

      Oh yes - because handing a monopoly to Samsung would truly make the world a better place

  11. sabroni Silver badge

    Free upgrade

    with every massively overpriced device!

    IMHO they should ban the use of "free" in advertising when meaning "at no extra cost"!

  12. Rob Crawford

    I like the road signs

    They show where Apple are going, in this case it's straight towards

    Drum roll......

    Wait for it.....

    More of the same!

    Which is what all the fan boys and media types want

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I like the road signs

      No it means Apple have a plan / know where they are going. The others are scrambling around trying to appear innovative when in reality they are just following Apple and it's products or rumours.

      iPhone - oh look everyone makes phones like that. Same for iPods, tablets, ultra notebooks etc. etc.

      1. NumptyScrub

        Re: I like the road signs

        quote: "iPhone - oh look everyone makes phones like that. Same for iPods, tablets, ultra notebooks etc. etc."

        I was going to write a long post with examples of each of those device classes, made by other companies prior to Apple releasing their product, but tbh I can't be arsed. Feel free to go look up the Sony Walkman range or Microsoft Table PC specification yourself, if you like.

        The reason they all look the same now, is that the boards of all of those companies are (much like Hollywood) too scared to truly innovate, they just copy what sells and make a few tweaks to try and avoid litigation. If you really think Apple invented the mobile media playing device and the laptop, touchscreen phone and tablet form factor, then I think you may have overdosed on marketing releases.

        I'll give Apple their due, when they copy someone they do make an effort to clean up the flaws and focus on user interaction, but I have yet to see them make a device that another company had not already created a market for. <insert subtle dig at their upcoming smart watch here>

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Apple have not innovated a damn thing since the original iPhone, and please don't tell me that adding a fingerprint scanner and a 64 bit processor is innovation that's evolution not innovation. Most people I know with iPhones that have upgraded to ios7 are not big fans of it as they are getting less battery performance for the same tasks plus anyone with the newer iPhones has had to purchase the additional connectors or new hardware to make them work.

        I use an iPhone for work (sadly its what our co. provides) and its pure garbage from a looks and efficient functionality perspective - i can glance at a windows phone and see half a dozen different things that are new on my home screen, with the iphone i need to open 6 different apps to do that but yeah apps are more important right (sarcasm) give me android or windows phone over apple any day of the week.

  13. Alistair MacRae

    Argh stop calling it innovation!

    Maybe the original iPhone was an innovation, it was still combining existing technology innovations, not by apple.

    The iPad is an not really an innovation its just a bigger iPhone with some software changes and no phone.

    Everything since 2007 has been an improvement yes, but not an innovation. Again all improvements were not down to Apple either.

    That said they're completely right, MS is all over the place with its smartphones and tablets etc.

    The thing that made Microsoft successful with computers was the variability and utilitarianism of what it would run with.

    If you want to beat Apple you need to make a tablet for the masses that can be dismantled and serviced.

    Make something modular with expandable memory, replacable screens and chips and at the very least battery and casing.

    I'd buy something that I could upgrade and replace parts. Companies would buy tablets for the workmen to use on form filling. NHS would make great use of a tablet if it had a hygienic case.

    Just make something that your partners can work with!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Argh stop calling it innovation!

      You need to look up the word innovation - just because it is not a huge leap forward (in your mind) does not mean it is not innovative - it's subjective. You could argue a fingerprint reader is not innovative - yes people have tried to do it (properly) before (and failed) - but Apple have done it. Yes it's pretty obvious people would move to 64bit CPUs on portable devices - but Apple have done it.

      1. Alistair MacRae

        Re: Argh stop calling it innovation!

        Oh please don't patronize me saying I need to look it up, I do know what innovation means but here's a dictionary definition "innovation - The act of creating something new." which to be honest doesn't help the case in either direction.

        Its simply not innovation to take a technology invented by another company, manufactured by another company and then slap your brand on it. Or if Apple is innovative every person/company who makes anything is innovative so its nothing to boast about so as you say it's subjective.

        There's Motorola phone that was released 2 years ago that had a fingerprint scanner which worked, but no one bought it.

        Most things with fingerprint scanners work. The trouble was and still is that its easily tricked.

        Its a silly idea to fingerprint protect something that is normally covered in the uses fingerprints.

        When you're talking arguing for innovation the only thing that Apple could say is innovative is the processor, again, its not their processor, it's ARM's.

        That 64 bit architecture is just a marketing gimmick, no ones going to make 64 bit apps in the app store to take advantage of it with all the 32 bit iPhones out there, why would they?

        I like the product well enough. I'm happy with my iPhone 5, I just hate them tossing around and cheapening the word innovation when they're probably one of the least innovative of smartphone manufacturers.

        Tell you what, I'll say this no one is more innovative on Apple devices than Apple. Except Foxconn, and ARM, oh and Samsung...

        1. MattEvansC3

          Re: Argh stop calling it innovation!

          Like every word in the English language, what a word means when it was created and what it means now can be different.

          The term innovation is now used more to describe a different way of doing things or a different approach that could cause a new trend than it is to describe a physical component, so the implementation is innovative as opposed to the item thats being implemented.

          The finger print scanner is not innovative in and of itself as its appeared on hardware before, but implementing it in such a way that it could replace the PIN as a security measure is "innovative". Mozilla focusing on HTML5 instead of proprietary apps is "innovative" as it bucks the "there's an app for that" trend that has become core to the mobile market.

      2. Roo

        Re: Argh stop calling it innovation!

        "You could argue a fingerprint reader is not innovative - yes people have tried to do it (properly) before (and failed)"

        Actually fingerprint readers are old hat, and it turns out Apple's is no different and no more secure that the gear that preceded it. Also Apple didn't even develop it, they bought the company that developed the fingerprint scanner. Buying companies is not innovation by Apple in my book, it's called securing the IP and supply chain with a hefty wodge of cash.

        I genuinely don't understand why it is so important to some people that Apple be seen as innovators. Sure I understand that some folks get a warm fuzzy from having the latest & greatest - but why would you care that the vendor is perceived to be an innovator too ?

    2. MattEvansC3

      Actually They're Completely Wrong

      Sounds a bit like arrogance from Mr Cook but you shouldn't confuse implementation problems as a lack of direction.

      Microsoft actually have the clearest direction of the three big players.

      Google's pushing ChromeOS and Android for differing products in the exact same price band that are incompatible with each other and have different ecosystems. Chromebooks are competing with Android Tablets and hybrids such as the Asus Transformer and there's no incentive to own both products so we'll see each platform cannibalizing the sales of the other, there's no clear sign of direction as to what Google wants from ChromeOS. If it was a sister platform then there should be compatibility with Android, if it was a replacement it should be on tablets also and if it is its own entity then it shouldn't be priced to compete with Android.

      Apple has no direction, they are just coasting and drifting down the path Jobs set them on. The new iPad and iPhone5S are just, smaller and more powerful versions of what went before and that can only go so far. I'm using an iPad2 and at no point have I ever thought "damn, this needs to be thinner". The same applies to the MacBooks. Apple is just about to hit its XP stage and possibly even the Vista/Win7 stage with iOS7. The platform is as perfect as its going to get, it can be tweaked, updated and refined, if you took away the new paint job iOS7 was nothing more than a point release for all it added over iOS6 and Apple will hit the same problem Microsoft did and there'll be incentive to upgrade, just to replace items as they break and just like Microsoft did we aren't seeing any new ideas from Apple to diverge and will likely see Google beat them to the punch on wearable tech and integrated systems.

      Now Microsoft know what they need and want. Mobile platforms now do what the avergae customer used their PCs for 5-10 years ago and for Microsoft to stay relevant they need to diverge to those platforms and their direction is to treat portable and desktops as a single product as opposed to seperate products. Whether its the right or wrong direction it is a clear direction and one that could likely give Microsoft the edge over Apple over the next decade.

      1. MattEvansC3

        Correction to above post

        Oops, should read;

        The platform is as perfect as its going to get, it can be tweaked, updated and refined, if you took away the new paint job iOS7 was nothing more than a point release for all it added over iOS6 and Apple will hit the same problem Microsoft did and there'll be NO incentive to upgrade,

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Actually They're Completely Wrong

        " I'm using an iPad2 and at no point have I ever thought "damn, this needs to be thinner". "

        Well, I have been using an iPad3, and that is pretty much the only thing that irritated me. Too fat and too heavy. Relative to the competition though, it was pretty much the best technology limit at the time. So, personally, I offloaded my iPad3 to a good home and the "new iPad 5" or whatever it is properly called will soon be my tablet of choice

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Dead On Arrival

    They should have dug up that other misguided statement by someone who didn't see the market's future where he said; "7-inch tablets are going to be DOA"

    I know you're asking who said that. You are? Ok, since you asked I'll tell you. It was Steve Jobs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dead On Arrival

      Perhaps he meant iPad priced 7" tablets would be DOA.

      Jobs didn't obviously realise that people are often quite happy to tolerate awful devices if they are cheap enough.

  15. Arachnoid

    Netbook v Tablet & keyboard

    Well in basic terms the netbook contained all the hardware under the keypad and had a hinged screen attached whilst the Tablet [of whomevers make] has the hardware behind the screen with a removable keyboard as an extra purchase.So basically baring the specs its essentially the same or very similar device but with a hefty price difference

    1. h3

      Re: Netbook v Tablet & keyboard

      I would like a half decent rugged netbook but they just don't exist. (I would use Linux or another *NIX) on it so I don't need Windows don't need a ton of space - 32GB would probably be enough if it took an SDcard. Matte screen. One of the new Core / Haswell hybrid atom's.

      Netbook's failed because the OEM's stopped making them. (And MIcrosoft had the stupid rules about how good they could be).

      Even if the price was similar an ultrabook wouldn't suit me they are form over function and more than likely not at all robust.

      (I want one as a tool not a fashion statement).

  16. Dale Vile, Freeform Dynamics

    The emperor has no clothes

    While such blunt competitor-bashing is not something to be applauded in itself, this is another step towards dismantling the myth that Apple is somehow magically different from other big technology players. Perhaps it had something for a brief spell, but now it's sounding and acting like everyone else in the pack

    Apple under Jobs drove a much-needed shake-up in a couple of industries (music and mobile telco), but it also distorted a lot of peoples’ perceptions of reality. I’m not knocking what Apple is chucking out the door per se, but the latest round of tablets and phones are not actually that well differentiated from the competition, if at all.

    It’s still arguably ahead of the pack with the MacBook Air from a hardware perspective, but having just upgraded my own MBA to Mavericks, I haven’t spotted anything to write home about there. I can still get a lot more work done in the Windows VM running in Parallels. Meanwhile, other players are not that far off in terms of hardware specs, and are innovating more than Apple on form-factors.

    I personally hope more people start to see through the many Apple claims that can no longer be substantiated (if they ever could in some cases), and begin to realise that wind is now swirling freely around the emperor’s nether regions. To sooner the influence of religion and fluffy aspirational/image factors are reduced in this industry, the better.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A thousand words?

    Here's three: They're both crap.

  18. Christopher Rogers

    With Apple giving away its OS, Google Chrome suddenly makes a hell of alot of sense. Outside of their own chromebook, any device with web access and a variant of Chrome browser does the exact same thing. So really with taking aim at Microsoft, surely Apple have just positioned themselves as an expensive Google?

    Free OS

    Free apps for productivity

    dedicated hardware

    Cloud storage integration

    1. MattEvansC3

      The OS is not free though, the update is free Snow Leopard onwards. If you have an older version than Snow Leopard you have to purchase that first to get this update.

      Maverick is as free as Windows 8.1

      The productivity apps also aren't "free", its free with certain hardware but older models have to pay for it.

      Google doesn't have dedicated hardware. The Nexus line is Google branded but manufactured by OEMs and does not differ to other models from a hardware perspective.

      Microsoft also offer cloud storage integration.

      1. Christopher Rogers

        All of which makes Apple the expensive version of google.

        I am aware of MS's cloud integration. But my argument is this:

        Today I can go out and buy a laptop branded with Apple or Google's logo, running their "free" operating system and make use of their "free" productivity apps and store my work on their integrated cloud storage.

        The price of this with Google starts at £199. With Apple its £849.

        I know you can do additional stuff with OSX, but on the basis of what the majority do i.e. internetting, some multimedia, mail and a couple of documents, Google provide the better option.

        1. MattEvansC3

          The only laptop you can go out and buy branded as Google is the Pixel, all other Chromebooks are made by OEMs such as Samsung and HP.

          OSX is not free, the price may be included as part of the Macbook but it is not a free product as it is available for purchase seperately. Saying OSX is free is the same as saying Windows is free because its included in the price of the unit.

          You can gou out and buy a Surface RT with the keyboard attachment from tesco for just over £300 that does everything you mentioned. Does that make Microsoft the more expensive version of Google?

          The approaches for all three companies is far to different to just pick out some aspects and say company A is a variant of company B.

    2. PJI

      Google Chrome = OS X functionality?

      The idea that Chrome is a like for like replacement for OS X, or Windows, is odd. Try using a Chrome laptop as a stand-alone device, no network, in the middle of nowhere (as a good friend thought he could). But on the other two, you can write a book, a complex programme or play a game with no network connectivity. You can store your music, your pictures, reading material on your local storage.

      Last time I dealt with a Chrome machine, we could not even install Skype. This was a couple of years ago and perhaps Google has eased up a bit since then; perhaps the manufacturers are providing decent storage and the programmes to use it. But that machine ended up in a bag for a week until the owner got home, back to his network connection (we were in a part of Europe where free wi-fi, or any wi-fi, was unusual).

      One day, perhaps, every square centimetre of Earth will have free, fast wireless connectivity and network storage ("cloud") secure enough that one has no fears of the local authorities perusing its content. Till then, I keep a computer with the ability to work properly "off line".

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cook and Balmer can say and do what they want.

    Everyone I know it's buying either, they are buying Android tablets, be it Kindle, Nexus or £99 Supermarket variety.

    The war of words is because they are BOTH shitting it.

  20. Greg D

    tablets are still useless and not needed

    Give me a more powerful netbook/laptop any day of the week!

    Tablets are not even remotely designed to do work on. Ok-ish media device, but thats about as useful as they get.

    Not only that, why would anyone need to own two of them? I am referring of course to those iPhone owners who then go out and purchase an iPad. They're exactly the bloody same thing, just that one is bigger. Same applies to the 'droid tabs. They have then spent close to £1000 and still dont have a computer powerful enough to do any actual productive work and cannot use any of the apps they've bought licenses for.

    On the flip-side, I spent £1000 on a new desktop PC and built a lab at home for my job and exams. I can run an entire virtual environment from it. Win.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: tablets are still useless and not needed

      To be fair, you can't exactly carry your £1000 computer to bed with you and post comments to El Reg under the comfort of your duvet.

      Sent from my iPad...

  21. codeusirae

    Tim Cook was unusually pugnacious?

    So, talking up your own product is unusually pugnacious? It strikes me that it is Microsoft who has the Apple obsession, not the other way round. Same with Microsofts Google obsession. Getting into a public slannging match with the market leader doesn't necessarly make you relevent.

  22. Squander Two

    "Nearly two-thirds of the devices are running iOS 7."

    > "Nearly two-thirds of the devices are running iOS 7," he said. "Now this is tremendous – it blows away the other guys."

    I don't see how it blows anyone away. What would be interesting, now, would be to give users the option of undoing the "up"grade and see how many leap at the chance. iOS7 is the single worst set of UX changes I have ever ever seen. Wish I'd never downloaded it. As far as I'm concerned, it's broken my iPad.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: iOS7 is the single worst set of UX changes I have ever ever seen.

      So you've not seen Windows 8?

      1. Squander Two

        Re: iOS7 is the single worst set of UX changes I have ever ever seen.

        I love Windows 8. So nerr.

  23. Aye

    Tim Cook/: Too Litle, Too late

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time and Tim(e) again

    I find people saying, "I know nothing about computers", "I don't know how to put anything on a memory stick", "Oh Apple are supposed to be good aren't they? I like Apple. I'll buy an Apple if I can afford one."

    In effect a LOT of people out there (disregarding the fanboys), end up buying Apple, not because of any particular conviction other than "they are supposed to be good / they look good". It's a great marketing job and that and "styling" are Apple's forte. Apple make "lifestyle" products - "if the beautiful people have these and I get one, I'll be beautiful too."

    "I want to support a football team, oh Manchester United have won a lot, I'll support them."

  25. WatAWorld

    There is no denying the fact that most journalists take it extremely easy on Apple

    There is no denying the fact that most (not all) journalists take it extremely easy on Apple and its products.

    (In general The Reg is pretty good at questioning Apple's propaganda.)

    What Apples says are features are promoted, even if they are meaningless (like thin desk top monitors).

    Huge deficiencies in products are overlooked when Apple does not mention them (inability to replace batteries in battery operated products).

    Apples claims of innovation when it produces a 'me too' product are repeated unquestioningly.

    And let us face it, those Retina displays in Apple products, those are not an Apple innovation, Apple is merely buying a product from Samsung. Same with Corning and Gorrilla Glass.

    But the main stream press ignores that, and does something akin to giving the byline to someone other than an article's author.

    This is not Apple's fault. A PR department's job is to generate propaganda and try and get biased favourable press coverage. Apple has had great success in this.

    The fault is that of those journalists who report press releases unquestioningly. To report a press release without analysis is to abdicate journalistic duty.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There is no denying the fact that most journalists take it extremely easy on Apple

      There is certainly a lot of hype around, but you also need to give credit where credit is due.

      So 40 years earlier, a glass company had developed a glass which was no longer made, and there was no market for it.

      Flying to the glass company, telling them to learn how to make it again, set up a line, and putting in an order on the spot is merely buying a product?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did anyone actually go and read the MS guy's blog post? I'm always impressed how similar and ridiculous they all sound:

    "I have to say, I’m really excited for a 1080p Lumia with a third column on my start screen so I can keep a close eye on more people, more news, more stuff."

    I note though that he made the grave mistake of only being really excited, not super excited. Might have to start looking for a new job soon, of course ideally with the new Lumia 1080p so he can keep a close eye on more companies, more job ads, more stuff.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unfortunately that clear direction seems to be more crippled, more expensive.

This topic is closed for new posts.

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