Apple CEO: Microsoft's Surface Tablet 'Confusing'

Dennis Faas's picture

Apple's chief executive officer has publicly criticized Microsoft's new tablet computer, the Surface. However, he admits that he has never actually used the device.

Microsoft's Surface tablet launched last Friday. Priced at $399 and up, it's seen by many experts as a major threat to Apple's iPad, which has dominated the tablet market for several years.

The Surface runs Microsoft's Windows RT operating system, a slimmed-down version of Windows 8. Versions of the Surface running fully-featured editions of Windows 8 are expected to hit the market in the coming months.

Cook: Microsoft's Surface "Confusing"

But Apple CEO Tim Cook isn't bothered by the new threat. When asked about the Surface during a recent Apple earnings call, Cook had this to say:

"I have not personally played with the Surface yet, but what we are reading about it is that it is a fairly compromised confusing product." (Source:

Cook then suggested that Microsoft, like other competitors challenging Apple's dominance of the tablet market, has failed to make the "hard trade offs" necessary to build a successful device.

In other words, Cook believes Microsoft may be trying to do too much with the Surface. "I could design a car that flies and floats, but I don't think it would do all those things really well," Cook said.

"I think when people look at the iPad versus competitive offerings, they will continue to want an iPad," he added.

Cook Not Impressed with Hybrid PCs

Earlier this year Cook took a similar shot at the idea of combining a laptop with a tablet to produce a hybrid device. Several hardware makers have introduced products like this in recent months, including Asus' new TAICHI Windows 8 PC.

"You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator," Cook said back in April 2012, "but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user."

Aside from bashing the Microsoft Surface, Cook offered a 'thumbs up' for his own company's recently-unveiled iPad Mini.

"We try to create a product that people will love for months and years after they've purchased it. That's what iPad Mini is designed to do," Cook noted. (Source:

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