WASHINGTON, D.C. ( TheStreet) -- Microsoft ( MSFT - Get Report) is enjoying Apple's ( AAPL - Get Report) iPhone 4 travails.

Microsoft, no stranger to product criticism in its own right, took a big swipe at Apple during its Worldwide Partner Conference, which is taking place in Washington this week. Kevin Turner, the company's COO, used his Wednesday keynote for some gloating regarding Apple's new iPhone 4 reception problems, according to Computerworld.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm OK with that," Turner said, referring to Microsoft's widely criticized, difficult-to-deploy Vista operating system. Eventually replaced by Windows 7, Vista is regarded in some quarters as Microsoft's equivalent of Ford's ( F) disastrous Edsel car.
Kevin Turner
Kevin Turner, the Microsoft COO

Microsoft, of course, has an ax to grind here and is touting its own Windows Phone 7 operating system as a competitor to Apple's iOS 4, Google's ( GOOG) Android and Research In Motion's ( RIMM) BlackBerry OS.

"One of the things I want to make sure you know today is that you're going to be able to use a Windows Phone 7 and not have to worry about how you're holding it to make a phone call," said Turner.

Apple has called a press conference on Friday to discuss the iPhone 4's antenna issue. The conference comes hot on the heels of a damning Consumer Reports lab test earlier this week which caused a slight dip in Apple's stock.

Microsoft, however, is playing major catch-up to companies like Apple and Google in the smartphone space. Even with all the brouhaha over the new iPhone's antenna, Apple has already lauded the iPhone 4 as its most successful product launch ever and looks set to continue its phenomenal smartphone growth.

The Microsoft, COO, though, is having none of this, vowing that Windows Phone 7 will shake up the smartphone market. "We're back in the game," he said, during his keynote. "And this game is not over."

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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