Competition is expected among tech companies. Google, Apple, and Microsoft are always trying to one-up each other with the next big gadget or piece of hardware. Along with that comes some playful sparring over products, with Microsoft's Satya Nadella the latest to jokingly throw some shade in Apple's direction.
At the India Today Next Conclave, Nadella was walking in with Microsoft India head Anant Maheshwari, the popular CEO spotted an iPad-toting reporter, and without hesitating, playfully jibes ”You need to get a real computer, my friend.”
This isn't the first time a Microsoft head has given Apple some bulletin board fodder. Back in 2007, when the iPhone was launched, then-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer outright laughed at the concept of the device. Ballmer later said he has regretted the faux pas, and with the subsequent failure of Windows Mobile, the laugh is now even more cringeworthy.
Ballmer also put Google in the crosshairs in an internal memo in 2012 promoting Bing: "We made search more social (and we did it the right way!) with a significant redesign of Bing." The comment was a dig at Google+ being heavily promoted in search results, much to the consternation of users.
Of course, Apple CEO Tim Cook has had his moments as well. In 2013, without naming names, he accused the competition of not knowing where the PC industry was headed. In 2014, he mocked Microsoft's poor customer acceptance of Windows 8 vs. OS X Mavericks during a speech at Apple's WWDC that year.
Google chairman Eric Schmidt also has taken a few shots at Apple. In 2011, he said the company was not that innovative, but instead just likes to sue people. In 2015, he said Google had a much better Ai process for user music selection than Apple, saying "it’s a much less elitist taste-making process — much more democratic."
And we can't forget about all the ads where the big three trade punches about how their products are superior to their competition.
So while Nadella's comments might rightly bring a smile to your face, it is really just par for the course in the bare-knuckled tech scene. We'll have to wait and see if the next line of products land any serious body blows that back up the playful disrespect.