Shots were fired in both directions as partisans previewed Microsoft’s next tablet OS
A war of words — blogged, tweeted and syndicated — broke out at Microsoft’s (MSFT) annual developers conference Tuesday when the company distributed Samsung tablets loaded with beta copies of Windows 8, its answer to Apple’s (AAPL) OS X and iOS, rolled into one.
Paul Thurrott, the news editor of Windows IT Pro and host of the Windows Weekly podcast, set the tone when he tweeted an imaginary phone call in which the iPad concedes victory on the spot: “Hello, Windows 8? This is iPad. You win.”
“Apple bloggers were apparently so flustered by the platform that they resorted to bombarding Twitter with jokes about cooling fans and Silverlight instead of stopping for a moment to realize that Microsoft is showing us the future of computing,” wrote Boy Genius Report’s Zach Epstein in a post entitled Sorry Apple, Windows 8 ushers in the post-post-PC era.
“I wasn’t flustered,” says The Loop‘s Jim Dalrymple, who had made one of those jokes, posting a photo of an industrial-size fan under the label Must-have accessory for Windows 8 tablet. “I was laughing my ass off.”
Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber, speaking for the Apple establishment, granted that Windows 8 might turn out to be a successful OS, but added: “I’d be appalled if Apple were to unveil something in the half- (if that) finished state of Windows 8 for tablets.”
Below: More sniping.
Epstein: “Down the road, Mac OS and iOS will merge into a single platform or OS X will adopt enough iOS-like characteristics that Apple will finally be comfortable with slapping it on a touch-enabled device… At that point in time, Apple will be able to offer a computing solution that is infinitely more versatile and capable than the company’s current solutions. A solution like Windows 8.”
Dalrymple: “I just threw up in my mouth.”
Epstein: “If the iPad ushered in the post-PC era, then welcome to the post-post-PC era.”
Dalrymple: “When Windows 8 is released and millions of people choose that over the iPad, then you can safely say that Microsoft ushered in something — until then, they have nothing.”