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Apple reported its results as Microsoft Corp. was set to launch Windows 8 on Friday, along with its first tablet computer, the Surface. Cook said that while he had not used the Surface himself, he gathered from reviews that it was a “fairly compromised, confusing product” that tries to do too many things. Part of Microsoft’s message is that the Surface will double as a laptop. It’s including a full version of its Office suite on the product and will be selling covers that act as keyboards.

“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,” Cook said.

A slowdown in the growth of iPad sales was a major contributor to earnings miss for the latest quarter. It wasn’t completely unexpected, as the rumor mill correctly predicted that Apple would launch the iPad Mini. Cook said there’s usually a slowdown in the September-ending quarter, and the 14 million iPads sold exceeded Apple’s forecast. Analysts, however, had been expecting 17 million to 18 million.

Sales were also hurt by slowing growth in China, after some blockbuster years. Apple’s sales in China more than doubled in fiscal 2010 and 2011, but in the latest quarter, the Asia-Pacific segment grew just 15 percent, year over year. Growth in the July-September quarter was also slow in economically troubled Europe.

Net income in the fiscal fourth quarter was $8.2 billion, or $8.67 per share. That was up 24 percent from $6.6 billion, or $7.05 per share, a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting earnings of $8.84 per share.

Revenue was $36 billion, up 27 percent from a year ago. Analysts were expecting $35.8 billion.

The Cupertino, Calif., company sold 26.9 million iPhones in the quarter, at the high end of expectations. The launch of iPhone 5 came late in the quarter and didn’t move the needle much.

For the full fiscal year, Apple’s net income was $41.7 billion, or $27.68 per share. That was up 61 percent from the year before. Revenue was $156.5 billion, up 46 percent.