Pointing fingers: Apple and hype; Microsoft, smartphones and security

And now for a little Friday fun, by way of pointing out a couple of what some might consider absurd statements from Apple and Microsoft executives:

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday’s earnings call, as the company reported fourth-quarter numbers — including slower sales of iPads — that fell below analysts’ high expectations, reportedly cited seasonal variations. And: “In addition to all of that, it’s clear that customers delay purchases of tablets due to new product rumors, and these intensified in August and September.” The Telegraph noted Cook has blamed the hype before, when iPhone sales came in lower than expected.

Could it be true that Apple’s hype machine — the one that has rewarded it so richly in terms of free advertising and cultivating its mystique — is now working against it?

Apple shares are falling today, below $600 for the first time in months, after the company’s earnings report Thursday.

• Microsoft would’ve dialed into the whole smartphone phenomenon sooner, says an executive, if it hadn’t been for cybercriminals. Development director Craig Mundie blames cybercriminals for supposedly taking up so much of the company’s vast resources (market cap $236.38 billion) that the Redmond, Wash., company had no choice but to concentrate on them and fall behind in smartphones and tablets. “The criminal activity in cyberspace was growing dramatically ten years ago, and Microsoft was basically the only company that had enough volume for it to be a target,” he tells Spiegel Online.

Windows 8, Microsoft’s new operating system, became available to the public today. Its shares are slightly higher as of this post.


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  • Bruce

    Amazing presumption of ignorance by Craig Mundie. Does he really think that people are unaware of the security problems created by Microsoft’s wedding of Visual Basic code in its Office products with the operating system was not at fault or its allowing apps to directly access the kernel or hundreds of other bad decisions made over a period of decades as the Windows operating system’s kludgy design has devolved? It Mundie really believes what he is saying then he should be replaced by someone who has some idea of how to design software for security.

  • Bryan

    And the moral is: greed makes people stupid. Also whiny. And dishonest.

    And what is a corporation but a legal abstraction built to embody greed?

  • RedRat

    LOL and ROTFL about MSFT saying cybercriminals took too much of their resources. Holy cow! Maybe MSFT should have been improving Windows security for the past 15 years. Why keep including back door code in your OS. You would think that with all the hackers out there who have hacked and bashed Windows for the past two decades that MSFT would have eventually written a secure OS. Maybe Windows 8, which MSFT claims is written from the ground up, may at last be a secure Windows.

  • sd

    Thanks for relaying the Spiegel interview, Levi. I needed a laugh today.