Preston Gralla

Apple's Tim Cook: Windows 8 tablets will be 10 years behind the times

May 30, 2012 1:45 PM EDT
Apple CEO Tim Cook took another swipe at Windows 8 yesterday, saying that forcing tablets to use an operating system written for desktop PCs means Windows 8 tablets will be "very similar to what tablets were 10 years ago." And PCs will be worse off as well, he added.

Cook's comments came at the AllThingD's D10 conference, and he had plenty of other bad things to say about Windows 8.

His main criticism of Windows 8 is that it's designed for both traditional PCs and tablets. He believes that requires compromises that will hurt both types of hardware. Paul Thurrott quotes him as saying:

"[With Windows 8, Microsoft] is pulling all of the leg weight of the PC market. You wind up with something that's very similar to what tablets were 10 years ago. The more you look at combining the tablet and the PC, the more the baggage from the past affects the product. If you force them together, the tablet and PC can't be as good as they can be."
According to GeekWire Cook also said:
"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."
Thurrott says that Cook also said that by having one operating system for both tablets and PCs, "the PC isn't as good as it can be, nor is the tablet."

Naturally, one would expect Cook to criticize Windows 8, particularly because the next public version of it is expected to be released as soon as Friday, or possibly next week. He's previously disparaged Windows 8 as like trying to merge a fridge with a toaster. But he may well be right about the problems inherent in designing a single operating system for both tablets and PCs. In my tests of previous versions of Windows 8, I found that it seemed better suited for tablets than for PCs, particularly because the Metro interface takes center stage, and the Desktop is less useful than in previous Windows versions.

I'm not sure if that's still the case, but when the Windows 8 Release Preview hits, I'll be putting it through its paces and report on what I find.