Three in one blow
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the CEO, Chairman and co-founder of Netgear, Patrick Lo, launched a scathing attack on Microsoft, Apple and Steve Jobs at a lunch on Monday.
The exec opened by taking easy shots at the insanely-popular iDevices, complaining that the manufacturer's success was built on closed and propriety products and only worked because it 'owned the market'. He also suggested that the company would soon be overtaken by open platforms, namely Android - a fact that might already be true.
But then things took a turn for the tasteless, with Lo explaining that "once Steve Jobs goes away, which is probably not far away, then Apple will have to make a strategic decision on whether to open up the platform". True or not, this seems a little inconsiderate, given Jobs' recent poor health.
Lo continued, "Ultimately a closed system just can't go that far ... If they continue to close it and let Android continue to creep up then it's pretty difficult as I see it". He went on to give examples of other formats in the past - including TCP/IP and VHS - where the 'more open' system had prevailed.
He also criticised Apple's strict control over content distribution, explaining that "Steve Jobs wants to suffocate the distribution so even though he doesn't own the content he could basically demand a ransom". Lo also suggested that "there's no reason other than ego" for the Apple icon's decision to keep Adobe's Flash away from iOS - other than the myriad of technical reasons, we assume.
But Lo's ire wasn't limited to Apple. Microsoft also got a look in when the CEO expressed his feelings on Windows Phone 7, which he felt was "over - game over - from my point of view".
Finally, the Lo was asked whether he was concerned over the fact that the supply of IPv4 addresses was drying up. Showing the depth of his compassion, Lo replied, "it's disruptive, but we love it - everybody has to buy something new".
Thankfully Lo isn't completely heartless. Although he stood by his original comments on openness and ego, he later apologised for his choice of words and the fact that they were construed as comments on Jobs' health.