Tim Cook thinks Apple's iPad + MacBook Air strategy is better than Microsoft's Windows 8 everywhere plan

During the Q2 2012 Apple conference call, CEO Tim Cook was asked if, like Microsoft is doing with Windows 8, the iPad and the MacBook Air would inevitable converge into a single product line. Cook thinks not.

Forcing a tablet and an PC together, in Cook's view, is a forced convergence and something that creates a compromised experience for users. He likened it to making a combined toaster and refrigerator, and said it results in tradeoffs that don't please anyone.

Cook's use of the word "compromise" is interesting because Microsoft has been using that word extensively in their pre-Windows 8 hype. Microsoft has been claiming that Windows 8, because it can run desktop apps on a tablet, and run across tablets and desktop environments, is a "no-compromises" solution. To their thinking, an iPad can't do what a PC can do, so it's a compromised device.

It's the classic contention. Apple compromises on what each platform can do so that each device is best at what it does. Microsoft is compromising on what the platform can do so each device can do more.

There really is no such thing as "no-compromises". One of the first lessons you learn in life is that can't have everything. There's opportunity cost to every decision. Microsoft's "no compromises" is and will always be utter BS, they've simply chosen different compromises and hoped it's a better choice.

Microsoft is doing a lot of interesting things with Windows 8 and you can never discount them from any market, even tablets, regardless of how far behind they may seem to be.

Some users will prefer a refrigerator that also makes toast, be it a Windows 8 device that can run full-on Office, or a MacBook Air with a detachable screen that can run iOS as a tablet.

But if Tim Cook is to be believed, Apple isn't going to be making that product now, or for the foreseeable future.