Can't say that Patrick Lo is a name that immediately rang any bells around here. He's certainly not as recognizable as Netgear, the company that he chairs and rules supreme. But boy did he hit our radar screens this morning. Lo had plenty of criticism to spread around the Microsoft and Apple camps today during a press lunch in Sydney. Oh where to even begin? Let's start with Microsoft, and Lo's claim that, "Microsoft is over -- game over, from my point of view," when comparing Windows Phone 7's chance to compete with Android and the iPhone. Doubtful, not with Redmond's Windows 7 and MS Office cash cows fueling Microsoft's intense desire to execute on its new mobile strategy.

Lo then turned his sights on Apple, having this to say on the topic of Steve Jobs' refusal to support Adobe Flash on Apple's mobile devices: "What's the reason for him to trash Flash? There's no reason other than ego." Funny, we thought it was due to performance, security, and power consumption issues. Lo later added, "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." Classy. Hit the source link below if you're just dying to hear how "closed" systems are inferior to "open" systems all over again.

Update: We just received an email from Patrick Lo. While he continues to support his opinions expressed on open standards, he is backtracking from some of the comments. Notably, he regrets some of the words chosen, particularly those that seem related to Steve Jobs' health. Full apology after the break.

Hi. As many of you know I spoke in Sydney on Monday, at a lunch with more than a half dozen of Australia's leading technology and business journalists. We covered a wide range of topics including the emergence of new IP protocols, cloud computing, wireless routers/repeaters in the home, the National Broadband Network (a current major Government project in Australia) and much more. During the course of the discussion, I shared my views about the future of Apple and Microsoft, as well as the surge of Android. Some of my comments were covered by the media who attended, and were reported more broadly outside Australia by media and bloggers who picked up on the story.

I stand by the opinions I stated on the business issues. Supporting open standards and environments in order to ease seamless networking integration of multimedia content is good for the consumer and good for content providers.

However, I deeply regret the choice of words I used in relation to business decisions Apple must grapple with in the future in relation to open vs. closed systems, which have been construed by some to be references to Steve Jobs' health and which was never my intention. I sincerely apologize that what I said was interpreted this way, and I wish Steve only the very best.

Patrick Lo,
NETGEAR
Chairman and CEO