Microsoft Exec Calls iPhone 4 Apple's Vista

PR problems with phone get compared to that of infamous operating system

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I’m okay with that," Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner quipped about the public relations problems Apple has been experiencing with the recently released Apple phone.

The comment came during a keynote speech at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C. and refers to the infamous Windows Vista operating system that was a publicity debacle for Microsoft.

And Turner isn't the only one making jokes -- the gear heads of popular BBC program Top Gear cracked wise about the iPhone, and on Tuesday night, talk show host David Letterman offered his "Top 10 Signs You've Purchased a Bad iPhone."

The cost to the company might not just come to its brand, however. A finance analyst suggested that the company could end up spending from $45 million to offer free "bumpers" to iPhone owners which seems to fix the antenna problem, to $900 million if it initiates a full recall.

Either way, it would require Apple to admit there's a problem with the hardware, which is an admittedly unlikely scenario. The analyst doesn't think it will affect Apple's stock prospects in the longrun.

What might prove more significant in the long run is the purchase by Apple of map developer Poly9 Group. Apple's growing discontent with Google, which powers the default mapping software on iPhones, means the company might be developing its own competitive offering.

Apple earlier bought another mapping company, Placebase, earlier in the year, and countered Google's purchase of AdMob by buying Quattro Wireless and creating a competing mobile advertising platform called iAds.

Jackson West wonders if this comment from the Microsoft COO is an admission of poor PR handling, or, you know, the fact that Vista was a bad product to begin with.

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