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Posted at 10:35 AM ET, 01/31/2011

Netgear CEO Lo slams Jobs, Apple and Microsoft

By Hayley Tsukayama

Netgear chief executive Patrick Lo told a lunch crowd in Sydney over the weekend that Apple's closed culture will not change as long as co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs lives and that Microsoft is "over."

As the Sydney Morning Herald reported, Lo went on a rant about Apple and Jobs, saying that Jobs was keeping Apple from an open, innovative culture.

Gizmodo Australia quotes Lo as saying:

"It's critical for Apple to make a decision how to go forward. And I think as long as Steve jobs lives, there's no way they're going to open it up. 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."

Lo's remarks seem particularly tone deaf given Jobs's recent decision to step down as Apple CEO for health reasons. While it's unclear whether Lo was referring to Jobs's death as the point at which he will "go away," many have interpreted the remarks that way.

He added that Jobs's ego was hurting Apple, particularly in the notable battle over Adobe Flash.

"What's the reason for him to trash Flash? There's no reason other than ego," Lo said.

The Netgear CEO also had harsh words for Microsoft, which he declared "over," and unable to catch up with Apple and Google's Android.

The open-source Android, it seems, is the only company Lo mentioned in a positive light during his screed. Netgear uses Android in some products.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 31, 2011; 10:35 AM ET
Categories:  Apple, Gripes, Mac  
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Maybe you should precise, especially when quoting somebody, the context or subject of his speech, otherwise you are just misquoting him and misinforming us... For example he was telling that Microsoft was "over" concerning smart-phones and Windows Phone 7, not about Microsoft as a whole...

Posted by: Sensi23 | January 31, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

ironic how the CEO of a company without any truly innovative products will criticize Apple; a company who has established themselves a the number one most recognizable brand and have been awarded countless awards and accolades. The tone of Mr. Lo's rant perfectly punctuates the driving force behind Apple, think differently. The notion of "open-source" being synonymous with "innovation" is the standard model, not necessarily the best one. Apple's success is simple, only create the best product by controlling all aspects of production. Granted it's a risk, to do something perfectly is a gamble, but if you pull it off you're the king. The iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, App Store and iTunes are a testament to that. Anyone saying otherwise is speaking out of pure frustration.

Posted by: matatiouz | January 31, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lo must have had jet lag. His comments were pretty tasteless. Or maybe Apple's AirPort hardware is hurting his sales?

Posted by: oldgeezer1 | January 31, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Fortunately for Apple shareholders, Steve Jobs has not "stepped down" as CEO. Job's wrote on January 17 "At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.

While conventional wisdom supports the theory that "open" will surpass "closed" in the smartphone and tablet wars, Apple seems to be doing alright, thank you. Built on the sales of Mac, iPod, iPhone and now iPad, Apple is now the worlds second largest company by market capitalization.

Apple's iTunes platform provides the company with a undeniable market advantage. It's products are consistently rated the best in category. Customer service is rated tops in the industry. Sales and profits have grown exponentially.

I'm sure Steve Jobs appreciates Patrick Lo's advice (and best wishes for a speedy recovery?), but forgive Steve and his management team if they they don't agree.

When the dust settles, I believe Apple will be the market leader in tablet and smartphone sales. And if you're keeping score, Apple's competitors are Motorola, HTC, RIMM and Nokia. Google doesn't sell devices, they give away an OS. If you can find an analyst who forecasts any other maker who will exceed Apple's smartphone/tablet sales within the next three to five years, I'd like to hear about it.

Posted by: jbhoule | January 31, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Lo also stated that Netgear was trying to get into "IPTV and connecting people's home entertainment devices, such as their TVs and Blu-ray players, to the internet."

... in other words, Netgear has linked up with Google to offer another version of the disastrous Google TV, which is being destroyed in the market by practically all other TV-connected boxes, including those from Apple and Microsoft.

The surest way to know that one is desperate is that he attacks the best in the business with unfounded criticism and slander. Netgear looks like an inexpensive corporate takeover target to me.

Posted by: roule | January 31, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I fail to see the value of Mr Lo's comments, unless he just needed to feed his ego. Interesting that he waits until Steve Jobs is on medical leave before spouting his venom. Mr Lo's action were cowardly and rude. I won't buy another NetGear product.

Posted by: JimP88 | January 31, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Hayley Tsukayama, you wrote: " long as co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs lives..."

Lo did not say that. You are trumping up his words and adding your own spin. For some time now, MANY people all over the web have been speculating that Jobs would step down for a number of reasons--likely his health--so to slate Lo's statement as a wish for his death by merely referencing his desire for Jobs not to be the CEO is unfounded. Lo didn't even mention Jobs's health in your quote of him. How about finding and reporting the news instead of spinning people's words so you can fabricate it.

I don't really care about the story as much as I care about news writers escalating things and turning nothing into something so they can get cheap hits on their sites using bogus buzz.

Posted by: Cricketw | February 1, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

its pretty sad when all the emo apple kids try and make the comment about Steve Jobs, and not about the CEO of Apple. A corporation is a legal entity, according to the IRS, but Apple is Steve Jobs. Why didn't anybody go off about Bill Gates, he gives billions away to charities, and mr Lo slammed Windows. You pathetic appleheads need to go away, too hahahahaha

Posted by: DenverJim | February 1, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

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