Anyone wondering what Apple CEO Tim Cook thinks of Microsoft's new Surface tablet didn't have to wait long to get an answer. Cook offered a fairly blunt assessment of the device on the company's quarterly earnings call today, saying that while he hasn't personally played with one, "we're reading that it's a fairly compromised, confusing product." He went on to say that "I think one of the things you do with a product is make hard trade-offs. The user experience on the iPad is absolutely incredible," adding, "I suppose you could design a car that flies and floats, but I don't think it would do all of those things very well. When people look at the iPad versus competitive offerings, I think they'll continue to want an iPad."

As for Apple's own new tablet, the iPad mini, Cook dismissed the notion that it would cannibalize other iPad sales. "The way that we look at this," Cook said, "is that we provide a fantastic iPod touch, an iPad, and an iPad mini. Customers will decide which one, two, three or four they want, and they'll buy those." He went on to add that "we've learned over the years not to worry about cannibalization of our products. The far bigger opportunity is the 80 to 90 million PCs shipped each quarter. I think a great number of those people would be better off buying an iPad, or a Mac. That's a bigger opportunity for Apple. Instead of looking at cannibalization, I see an incremental opportunity."

New York Times for Windows 8 hands-on (video)