Microsoft CEO tells iPad users to 'get a real computer'

Commentary: In India, Satya Nadella spots two journalists with iPads. He isn't entirely impressed.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

He likes to tell a joke or two.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

There's been so much news this week, what with the Xbox One X being launched and the iPhone X undergoing teething troubles. (Its teeth are chattering in the cold, apparently.)

You might, therefore, have missed a touching tweak of Apple's cheek offered by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on a trip to India.

He was there to create excitement around the idea that the Microsoft brand has changed. 

In many ways, the job Nadella has done to try to make Microsoft relevant in the modern world -- and still a competitor in some spheres to Apple -- has been praiseworthy.  

Indeed, he seems to be so confident now that he'll cheerily make quips about Apple.

As TechRadar's Sahil Mohan Gupta reports, Nadella walked into a room and couldn't help but chuckle.

"Nadella spots that I and a colleague have iPads and cheerfully says, 'You need to get a real computer, my friend,'" said Gupta. 

And you thought Nadella's overarching strategy was to be on good terms with everyone. 

It's curious how rival companies choose to periodically belittle Apple, then withdraw, only to succumb to the temptation all over again.

Microsoft, for example, has insisted that Windows 10 computers can do more than Macs. The company has laughed at Apple's claim that the iPad Pro is a computer. One of its executives has also suggested that the iPad Pro is merely an example of Apple copying Microsoft.

It's not as if Microsoft is alone. This week, Samsung emerged from a period of ignoring Apple in its ads to insult the last 10 years of the iPhone.

Neither Microsoft nor Apple responded to a request for comment.

Though Apple has long ignored competitors in its ads, its executives haven't always refrained from mocking other companies. Why, last year Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, observed that using an old PC is "really sad."

Though Nadella's comment is surely industry humor, he does believe Microsoft is different from both Apple and Google .

"I don't want to take away from whatever success Apple or Google are having," he told TechRadar. "We are very different companies. We are not some middleman in the marketplace. We are a tool creator, we are not a luxury good manufacturer. That's not who we are. We are about creating technologies so that others can build."

Not a luxury good manufacturer? All right, now that is a bona fide Apple burn.

Does the Mac still matter? Apple execs explain why the MacBook Pro was over four years in the making, and why we should care.

The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter.