Back in June, when Microsoft first announced it would be producing Surface, its first computing device that can turn from a tablet to a laptop-type PC with a click of an add-on keyboard, Apple CEO Tim Cook had this to say:
You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going be pleasing to the user.
Now, Cook’s got another metaphor. During Apple’s fourth quarter earnings call yesterday, he had this to say about Surface:
What we’re reading is that it’s a fairly compromised, confusing product. … You could design a car that flies and floats, but I don’t think it would do either of those things very well.
Cook took some flak for that in the Twitterverse where some asked why one wouldn’t want a floating, flying car, and others wondered if Cook’s comment would eventually come to be seen as the equivalent of Ballmer scoffing at the iPhone when it first came out.
And, we’re waiting to see if Microsoft PR chief Frank Shaw comes back with any zingers, akin to the one he tweeted back in June, in response to Cook’s refrigerator-oven comment:
must be a typo. it’s not a toaster/fridge. It’s a toaster/oven. Those seem pretty popular. Just saying. #win8 #toasterovenFTW
(Microsoft’s Windows President Steven Sinofsky, meanwhile, took at dig at the iPad Mini’s value for price in an interview with AllThingsD, saying there are full-featured Windows 8 laptops for $279. And “here we are, talking about seven-inch recreational tablets for $329,” referring to the iPad Mini.)
In any case, now that Surface is launching today in Microsoft’s retail and online stores, it’ll be up to consumers to decide if the device is indeed a refrigerator-toaster/floating-flying-car thingie or a sleek toaster oven.