Creative Technologies CEO Sim Wong Hoo is prepared for a "big fight" with Apple in the music player space, and is talking the talk.

Speaking to Newsweek, he dismissed the new iPod shuffle as "something like our first-generation product". Admitting his company had expected "something very cool, very sexy", he said: "I believe we had this kind of thing more than three years ago," adding, "you can say it's cool; I say it's plain-Jane".

Creative's leader does profess some respect for Apple CEO Steve Jobs, describing him as a "personality we all have to reckon with"; but despite Jobs' ability, Wong Hoo chose to stress Creative's strengths - it has been producing music players since 1999.

Microsoft is important to Creative's strategy, he confessed: "I'm betting on the Microsoft camp," he said. He expects the Redmond company's money to support its partners in the battle for digital music, as Microsoft attempts to extend its hegemony into new markets. "They want to win this whole MP3 player war".