Combining a MacBook and an iPad would never work, and that's why Microsoft's plans to push Windows 8 out to both tablets and laptops will be a disaster, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Cook compared Microsoft's plans for Windows 8, which will run on personal computers, laptops, netbooks, tablet PCs, and media centre PCs, with the idea of combining a toaster and a refrigerator. Cook thinks that in order to make Windows 8 power everything some tradeoffs will have to be made.
During a conference call with analysts following Apple's announcement of its financial results yesterday, Cook said: "Anything can be forced to converge. But the problem is that the products are about tradeoffs. You begin to make tradeoffs to the point where what you have left at the end of the day doesn't please anyone. You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but you know, those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user."
For this reason, Cook claimed, Apple will never converge the MacBook Air and the iPad. Too many compromises would be necessary, and the two types of products are used too differently.
Cook referred to Gartner research that shows that the market for tablets will grow over the next three years. He also stated that there will be continued potential for conventional systems like the MacBook Air because "I do think that it appeals to someone that has a little bit different requirements."
"You wouldn't want to put these things together because you end up compromising in both and not pleasing either user. Some people will prefer to own both, and that's great too. But to make the compromise of convergence, we're not going to that party."
Cook suggested that Microsoft's alternative strategy is defensive as it tries to protect its legacy PC business. He said: "Others might, from a defensive point of view particularly. We're going to play above."
Apple's late-CEO Steve Jobs also thought that convergence of an iPad-style touch screen and a Mac would be a bad idea. He said it would be "ergonomically terrible."
According to Business Insider, Microsoft head of PR Frank Shaw has already tweeted a response, joking that it's a toaster oven that Apple's CEO was referring to. We think Microsoft missed the point.
Apple Insider notes that this isn't the first time Microsoft has tried to deliver a Windows-based tablet. The Slate PC ran Windows 7 and was launched just before Apple announced the first iPad. HP Slate PC was abandoned soon after launch.