Apple CEO Tim Cook thinks there's one key element that separates Apple from Microsoft when it comes to developing products, he said in a recent interview with Fast Company.

Cook says Apple isn't afraid to cut legacy technology out of its products, such as the change from the 30-pin connector in older iPhone models to the new Lightning 9-pin connector that debuted with the iPhone 5.

Rick Tetzeli and Brent Schlender, the authors behind the upcoming book "Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader," asked Tim Cook how the company is able to manage its whole ecosystem of products.

They asked Cook whether or not it's hard to get them to seamlessly work together, pointing out that Microsoft has had some trouble getting its operating system to be "all things to all people."

Here's what Cook had to say:

I think itís different. Part of the reason Microsoft ran into an issue was that they didnít want to walk away from legacy stuff.

Apple has always had the discipline to make the bold decision to walk away. We walked away from the floppy disk when that was popular with many users. Instead of doing things in the more traditional way of diversifying and minimizing risk, we took out the optical drive, which some people loved. We changed our connector, even though many people loved the 30-pin connector. Some of these things were not popular for quite a while. But you have to be willing to lose sight of the shore and go. We still do that.

So no, I donít accept your comparison to Microsoft. I think itís totally different. Yes, things are more complex. When youíre doing a Mac, thatís one thing. But if you do a phone, and you want to optimize so that you have the fewest dropped calls of anyone, and youíre working with 300 or 400 carriers around the world, each with slightly different things in their networkóyes, thatís more complex.

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