Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered one of his zingiest zingers to date when asked during an earnings call Tuesday whether he thought the markets for tablets and laptops would eventually converge -- a not-so-subtle reference to Microsoft's plans to have its forthcoming Windows 8 operating system work on both tablets and PCs.
Cook didn't mince words in his response.
"Anything can be forced to converge, but the problem is that products are about tradeoffs and you begin to make tradeoffs to the point where what you have left at the end of the day does not please the user," Cook said. "You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user."
While Apple hasn't embraced the toasterator approach to the extent Microsoft has, its OS X operating system, which runs on Macs, looks increasingly like its iOS operating system, which runs on iPads, iPhones and iPod touch devices. 9to5Mac declared the most recent version of OS X, Mountain Lion, evidence that the "iOS-ification of OS X continues" and pointed out that Mountain Lion "brings even more popular iOS features to the Mac platform," such as Twitter integration, iMessage, and a Notification Center.
If Microsoft is pursuing the fridge-cum-toaster strategy, then maybe Apple's taking the knife-cum-blender approach: Sure, it's not whole-heartedly merging its mobile operating system with its desktop operating system, a la Microsoft, though it's certainly taking bits and pieces from iOS and mixing them with OS X.
Cook's Microsoft jab sparked a flurry of commentary in the Twitterverse. Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw tweeted, "must be a typo. it’s not a toaster/fridge. It’s a toaster/oven. Those seem pretty popular. Just saying. #win8 #toasterovenFTW."
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