Photos: Microsoft-Apple collaboration, the 10 greatest moments

Photos: Microsoft-Apple collaboration, the 10 greatest moments

Summary: Microsoft versus Apple has long been the marquee rivalry of the technology industry, but the two companies also have a long history as frenemies. Here are their 10 greatest collaborations.


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  • When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1996 and soon became the interim CEO, one of the things he emphasized to Apple employees was to stop thinking about the past and Apple's old rivalry with Microsoft and start thinking about the future and how Apple could move forward in bold new ways. At Macworld 1997 in Boston, he sent the same message to Apple fans when he announced a deal with Microsoft that would bring a close to Apple's legal action against Microsoft over Windows, provide a $150 million Microsoft investment in Apple, and bring a multi-year guarantee that Microsoft would continue to develop software for the then-ailing Macintosh platform. To the Apple fans who booed Jobs when he brought in Microsoft chairman Bill Gates via video conference to announce the Microsoft deal, Jobs said, "We have to let go of the notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose."

    Photo credit: CNET

    If you'd prefer to view this as a text-based list, see the companion blog post.

  • As part of that 1997 deal, Apple agreed to make Microsoft's Internet Explorer the default web browser for Mac. At the time, Microsoft was in a pitched battle with Netscape for web browser supremacy. It's easy to forget that Internet Explorer 3.0 for Mac was a decent piece of software at the time, because Microsoft had a lot of engineers working on IE. Later, IE would get a well-earned reputation for being slow, bloated, and buggy, after Microsoft won the browser war and lost interest in it. But, in 1997, having two great web browsers available for Mac (three if you count Mosaic) was a very good thing, especially on the eve of the iMac and lots of new consumers buying computers to connect to the Internet.

    Photo credit: Microsoft

    If you'd prefer to view this as a text-based list, see the companion blog post.

  • A year after Apple debuted the iPod in 2001 as an accessory that it had hoped would buoy Mac sales, the company realized the iPod had much greater mass market potential and decided to make it compatible with Windows computers as well. That development combined with the 2003 opening of the iTunes Music Store selling songs for 99 cents set the iPod on a course to become one of the best-selling consumer electronics products of all time.

    Photo credit: Apple

    If you'd prefer to view this as a text-based list, see the companion blog post.

Topics: Microsoft, Apple, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Software

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  • Word & Excel

    I used an early Mac at a company in the 80s - not only Word, but also Excel. That combination, tied to a central laser printer, was magic in those days.
    • True, there was magic.

      @Ken_z ... even in today's developed market, Apple has been able to keep alive a sense of magic, while Windows & Office and the machines they run on have become another gray and somewhat miserable feature of the cube.
    • It was magic

      @Ken_z ...and I used MS Multiplan before Excel on my 1984 Mac, both at work and at home. However, there are days when I wish I had access to the simple but powerful MacWrite and MacPaint programs today--they are all I really need for many situations. Young coders: Apple had the Mac OS and both programs, plus room for files, all on a 400 KB diskette. Yes, KB.
  • TRUTH!

    Ballmer actually considers all these to be low points!
    • RE: Photos: Microsoft-Apple collaboration, the 10 greatest moments


      Grow up.
    • NZ says "TRUTH!"

      @NonZeal0t ...and then posts a FakeSteveBallmer blogspot--but look, it's a FakeNonZealot, too! Who thinks we won't notice, or distinguish between 0 and O! But lots of us work with details and notice this crap! Just go away, please.
  • RE: Photos: Microsoft-Apple collaboration, the 10 greatest moments
  • RE: Photos: Microsoft-Apple collaboration, the 10 greatest moments

    Now I guess all the fanbois will run out an file a law suit, now that the found out that Iphone could not work correctly without the help of, you guessed it, Microsoft. I wonder if they have dranked so much koolaid until they cant see this?? By the way, wonder where they are at?? Maybe they already and decided the could not bash Microsoft?? Come y'all, tell us how bad Microsoft is!
  • RE: Photos: Microsoft-Apple collaboration, the 10 greatest moments

    In what way, exactly, was the PowerPC "proprietary"? In fact, as it had more than one manufacturer, as opposed to the x86 line, if anything, the situation was reversed.<br><br>And @windozefreak, nowhere does it say that the iPhone could not "work correctly" without the help of microsoft. Talk about drinking Kool-Aid.<br><br>BTW, I certainly HOPE your first language is not English, because if it is, you don't have a first language.
  • An Apple a day keeps......

    An Apple a day keeps Android and all the other bugs away!