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Apple CEO Tim Cook: Microsoft’s Surface Tablet ‘Confusing’ and ‘Compromised’

Joanna Stern/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The Apple vs. Microsoft post-PC war is just getting started. Microsoft has argued why its new software and Surface tablet are better than the iPad, but Apple’s not staying quiet.

“I haven’t played with a Surface yet, but what we are reading about it is that it is a compromised and confusing product,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said on the company’s earnings call late Thursday afternoon, which took place just hours after Microsoft’s Windows 8 launch event. “One of the toughest things you do is make hard tradeoffs and decide what a product should be, and we’ve done that with the iPad.”

Cook didn’t stop there.

“You could design a car that flies and floats, but I don’t think it would do all those things very well,” he said. “I think when people look at the iPad versus competitive offerings, they will continue to want an iPad.”

Apple and Microsoft are taking different routes when it comes to tablet software. While Apple offers its iOS mobile software on its family of iPads, Microsoft has decided to revamp Windows by bringing in elements from its smartphone operating system. Previously, Cook had compared what Microsoft was doing to combining a refrigerator and a microwave.

Microsoft, on the other hand, claims Windows 8 doesn’t have any of the compromises that the iPad has.

“We have a different perspective, a different reason why we would want to make a tablet computer and that is really rooted in PCs being a general-purpose device that works within a broad ecosystem, that connects to a lot of peripherals, and represents an open platform,” Steve Sinofsky, head of the Windows division, told ABC News in an interview.

Apple announced the iPad Mini earlier this week.

On the Apple earnings call, Cook defended the $329 starting price, which is higher than the $199 Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7.

“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 said.

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer also noted the premium parts in the tablet, including the aluminum build, the faster processor and the iSight camera.

Apple announced that it sold 14 million iPads in the fourth quarter.

Find a full recap of the earnings HERE.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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