Leadership

Photos: Microsoft-Apple collaboration, the 10 greatest moments

The symbol of the rivalry: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates

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.

Photo credit: Asa Mathat, AllThingsD

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

About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).

42 comments
COBeals2
COBeals2

I can only yell KUDOs to both of these men (and throw in a few others) - I do not want them to be the same.

dukethepcdr
dukethepcdr

I think this is a really good article. One of the better ones on TR in a while. People need to be reminded of how Microsoft and Apple have collaborated in the past to come up with some good stuff and how they should continue to do so in the future. People tend to forget that Microsoft is first and foremost a software company so it should be no real surprise to them to see Microsoft making software for Apple products. If I was the chair of Microsoft, I'd be looking for ways to make software for every CE device on the planet regardless of brand. Apple on the other hand, is the one who tries to tie its own software more tightly to hardware. You'll notice in the article that the examples of Apple software working with non-Apple hardware are very few. It's not because the authors forgot too many other examples either. There simply aren't many to start with. Apple gets away with being more of a monopolizer than Microsoft because their leaders are more liberal-leaning and have more liberal fans than Microsoft does. So Apple gets more favorable press and gets picked on by the government less. As long as the majority of Apple software is only available for Apple hardware, Apple fans have no right to brand Microsoft as the monopolizers. The examples of Boot Camp and Intel Processors for Mac suggest that Apple may never gain the majority of the market share. At least not in "serious" computing. Apple's edge seems to be more in entertainment CE like music players. However, there is a strong third party contingent in the portable entertainment CE market which Apple has to keep an eye on.

stefan1002
stefan1002

Part of the $150 million inverstment of Microsoft into Apple seamingly was Apples guaratee, that Apply will retire the famous Newton Messagepad Plattform, which was the main competitor and a real showstopper for Microsofts WindowsMobile Plattform. That wasn't a great Moment!!

rgoodrich
rgoodrich

I don't remember exactly where I heard or read this, but in some interview with Melinda Gates, she said that iPods were not allowed in their household. Note that she did *not* say that the only MP3 players allowed were Microsoft's Zune. It was, specifically, a highly popular Apple product that was singled out. The seems consistent with some kind of unreasonable fear of Apple, kind of like the photo of Steve and Bill shown might be interpreted; Bill cringing in fear from Steve. Anyway, I agree with "roebling"; they have both contributed much, and we should be thankful for them both.

matrixportal
matrixportal

Asa Mathat is who took the photos I thought originally it said Asshat at first glance LOL

Dierbaar
Dierbaar

Another area of collaboration was the printer font war in the late 1980s. Microsoft, Apple and HP ganged up on Adobe to cut fees for PostScript fonts included with their products. However, what resulted was a joint development of TrueType fonts, which are still used today. As a side note, Steve Jobs left Apple and created the Next computer, which was totally based on PostScript for display & print fonts. Next computers never took off, and Steve Jobs later would return to Apple. The Next computer was the true innovation that could have really changed what computers look like today. In my opinion, PostScript is the best solution for display & printing, and on many different devices. Look at where Adobe has taken the PDF format, which is based on PostScript. Now I'm just waiting for my new Windows 7 Mobile smartphone...

jonf
jonf

Safari has been nothing but a headache for our users that insist on using it. It seems to cause many issues on Windows computers and crashes frequently.

GibsonCRG
GibsonCRG

Many people also don't recall that version 1.0 of Excel was a Macintosh program, replacing the then-aging Multiplan spreadsheet. Excel, of course, then owned the world - but it started on the Mac!

roebling
roebling

No two men in our lifetimes have done more to enrich the country. "Live long and Prosper!"

bschroed
bschroed

leaning away, legs crossed away, arms in defensive posture. Sure, they're friends.

Zwort
Zwort

>Apple fans have no right to brand Microsoft >as the monopolizers. Too damn right, especially since their monopolistic position was saved by a massive Microsoft investment.

WebCzar
WebCzar

"Safari... it seems to cause many issues on Windows computers and crashes frequently." The irony of your statement eludes you? LOL Since OSX is based on Unix, my guess is Windows may be the 'root' of the problem.

cbellur
cbellur

...and it ran on Apple II. Apple was also the first personal computer to deliver a Unix operating system to average Joe consumers. Yep -- under that slick desktop software lurks Darwin -- a POSIX compliant unix operating system. Some people are upset that Apple is ditching support for java. One nice thing about Macs is that they had java installed out of the box, and the server vesion of OS X even came with JBoss pre-installed. Now these are gone, but as a java ee developer, it's actually the unix-ness of the Mac that's still a draw. I don't think I'll have trouble installing the java runtime and SDK (and I'm sure Oracle will make these for the Mac now). The most important thing is the Mac is pretty much like the Linux machine I would deploy to on production... but it actually runs commercial software like Photoshop and whatnot. That said, I use GIMP on my Mac... Too cheap to shell out for Photoshop, and too ethical to install a cracked version.

Zwort
Zwort

Ah, but 1-2-3 is the original, forget the Apple-MS stuff. Although I have difficulty with the way that Lotus hoovered up a number of applications and was then sucked in itself, I have only ever consistently and seriously used the core applications in Smart Suite for 2 decades. I also used stuff like MultiMate, Word Perfect, Harvard graphics (truly grim if you ask me, but it was at the time the only package that worked with SPSS PC+ DOS) and the like, but Lotus has always been the consistent, core theme for me. Quite why people like Excel and co is beyond me.

richie3po
richie3po

The world, these two have forever changed the face of the world with their work.

Montgomery Gator
Montgomery Gator

To me, Steve Jobs is looking like a conceited smug a$$, while Bill Gates is making a "Dr. Evil" pose. Or is that how they seem all the time? ;-)

whitnte
whitnte

Jobs must need a shower....

WebCzar
WebCzar

Yeah, Gates' body language seems to say: "Crap, what's the next great innovation this guy is going to create? ...I'm still working on the 'look and feel' of his old Mac system."

gatorgal615
gatorgal615

Without Gates, Apple would have gone under big time many many years ago - remember? Without Microsoft, it would have happened. And, didn't Apple get its reputation from Photoshop, etc??

JayInJersey
JayInJersey

like he has this relaxed look of "I can buy and sell you 20 times over"

zwiggin
zwiggin

Kind of funny that it's the Windows faithful that're doing all the finger-pointing about which is better. I use both for different reasons, and with 7, the Windows OS is finally becoming a more intuitive environment in which to compute for me. As stated in a previous post and inferred to in the article, Apple isn't trying to take over the world. They are intent upon making a fully-integrated hardware/software solution for those of us seeking an elegant, high-performance technology experience. Instead of thinking, Ford vs Chevy, think Saturn(PC) vs Cadillac (Mac). You get what you pay for.

nwallette
nwallette

Several years back, Konqueror was my favorite web browser, because KHTML was a great rendering engine and development platform. KHTML, being an open-source engine, was further developed and refined by Apple, and re-released as WebKit. It has gotten leaps and bounds better, pushing IE, Mozilla, and Opera to keep up. As a result, JavaScript performance is just incredible compared to circa-2005, HTML and CSS are finally supported to a degree where you can count on the "basic" features being available to the masses, and innovative (now essential) features like tabbed browsing, download management, and process partitioning are pretty much de facto. If you're a web developer, you know the WebKit development tools are truly outstanding. So, I was beyond thrilled back when Safari was released for Windows. I waited impatiently for it to be publicly available for download. Then, I used it for a couple years because it was faster than Firefox, stable (well, for a new product), and looked (both the GUI and rendering) soooo much better than IE. But over time, the codebase got horribly bloated. For some reason, fresh installs on multiple PCs would grind the disk for about a full minute after launch. Memory usage would spiral out of control if left open. After several updates, each time hoping these bugs would get squashed, I gave up and went to Opera for a while. When Chrome became usable, I switched again. Now I get the features and performance of WebKit, and solid stability again. On Mac, Safari is really great. I haven't even bothered to try the Windows version in the last year or so. Unfortunately, the same story applies to iTunes and QuickTime as well. Using QT on the Mac is eye-opening. It's so fluid and responsive. Try renting a (SD) movie on iTunes and playing it back on a PC. Last time I did this, it was almost unwatchable at about 15fps. Even self-encoded video pegs the CPU on QuickTime, but other (software-decoded) players like VLC have no trouble at all. Apple's Windows software is poorly written. Maybe they just get used to the OS-X libs and frameworks and do a terrible job finding suitable replacements on Windows. The user experience is nothing alike.

camainc
camainc

There is no irony in his statement. If the problem with with the Windows operating system, then every program written for it would crash and burn, and that is obviously not happening. What causes a program to crash is not the Operating System - it is the quality (or lack thereof) of the program code. If Safari crashes a lot, don't blame the OS. Do you blame the Mac OS every time a Mac program crashes or locks up? I didn't think so.

fremonty
fremonty

Computers exist to run applications. They don't exist to enjoy an OS. If a droid app doesn't work on the iPhone, do you blame the iPhone?

rrdepew
rrdepew

Ah, but VisiCalc was THE original spreadsheet application. In fact, for many people, VisiCalc was the reason they went out and bought the original IBM PC. Lotus 1-2-3 was one of several "me too" products that tried to capitalize on VisiCalc's success, and eventually 1-2-3 became king of the hill -- until Microsoft's might pushed 1-2-3 off the hill and put Excel up there instead.

tb5118
tb5118

Yeah, but if it wasn't for Microsoft ripping off Apple's OS, we'd all be using Apples instead of Windows at work now. And yes......we all know it was originally based on Xerox's GUI :P The only difference is that Apple didn't steal Xerox's OS, they came to an arrangement.

JamesRL
JamesRL

Microsoft's first graphical word process was Word 1.0 for the Mac. Microsoft's first graphical spreadsheet was Excel 1.0 for the Mac. Both were out before Windows versions existed. Apple really gained ground during the desktop publishing revolution, which was Pagemaker and later Quark Express, both started on the Mac. Adobe Illustator was also key. Photoshop was later.

Zwort
Zwort

Non sequitur, namely it does not follow from my comments on monopolies; finger pointing about which is better has no bearing on the status, monopoly. I can see that you are probably a fan boi, and indeed I used to cohabit with a fan gurl, but you will get used to it, overcome the illicit techniques in argument (a hindrance for anyone working in logic, including programming and computing of any kind) one day. Or maybe not. After all, that leetle Mac thayng sure is a purty toi. ;-) As to Mac taking over the world, remind me on Wednesday when I return to my SOHO and I will find you links in which Jobs states wurld dominaytion is his aim, and that the day of the PC is over. Oh, and please let's remember that the WIMP invention and specification came from Zerox, that MS helped Apple develop software/their OS, and that MS went on to outclass the Apple, in spite of serious hardware limitations. I am sure that you have lots to say on the matter. Remember I am OTR until Mittwoch, and will take all of your calls then.

Zwort
Zwort

True, but you will remember that I was attacking the Excel first notion. Actually my first spreadsheet was on another, older OS which I am too embarrassed to mention here. So I won't! :-)

ps.techrep
ps.techrep

I don't know why anyone wuld think that Apple and Microsoft were anything except the best of friends. They've systematically divied up the PC marketplace in such a way that there is are few areas in which they directly compete. Microsoft has always focused on the making the big business IT marketplace its cash cow, the home market is just a place to sell stripped down versions of its developed products and get additional revenue. It develops for an open hardware platform working with hardware vendors to maintain the illusion of a competitive PC market. Apple has always focused on the individual or "creative" user. It packages IT components into Apple branded appliances. In the PC market its OS graphic shell is all that remains of it's once unique OS. Apple has little interest in working with outside IT hardware companies, because it's biggest potential rival in this area would be someone using a Linux distribution. Apples' relative indifference to the needs of business helps to keep its penetration to a minimum, and marketing focused on "creative" users helps Apple to avoid suits for collusion. As long as Apple exists and thrives in a narrow niche within the business PC marketplace, Microsoft doesn't have to worry about antitrust suits there. Both Microsoft and Apple are too late in trying to wean themselves from dependence on the PC marketplace. Because of the movement to Linux for dedicated small appliances, it's likely that both of them will fail and eventually fade away.

Andrzej_Ladosz
Andrzej_Ladosz

They were called "Double Sided". Single sided had half of that capacity. Only much later we got 1.2Mb (High Density)floppies - 5.25" Later we got 720kb "Stifies", and then 1.44Mb. They were 3.5" in diameter. Fiddling with number of sectors and tracks you could format 3.5" disks to max 1.78Mb. That was so much on original DOS installation disks.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Lets say snowmobiles for example. In 1980 they cost about 4-8k. Now they cost 10-15k And some as high as 20k. The original estimate doesn't seem that far off.

jstevens
jstevens

what are you referencing back on your server mate

j-mccurdy
j-mccurdy

You're so full of it, we wouldn't be paying 10,000 dollars for a computer, that's ludicrous. We would only be paying about 3,000 to 4,500 if it was only Apple, well maybe 5,250 or something. But 10,000 sounds a little high. I think.

j-mccurdy
j-mccurdy

I got the same pop up, looks like somebody's trying some crap.

netride01
netride01

Right, if everyone could afford $10,000.00 because if it wasn't for Microsoft most people would'nt be able to afford one and there would be no such thing as the personal PC if it were up to "Steve"!!!

colecrew
colecrew

Thank GOD that didn't happen. No one would have been able to afford them and we would be behind the times in the computer market by about 5 - 10 years. Apple is a rip-off for what you get. The only reason that Apple has a name in the consumer market is because of the iPod and iPhone. Whithout those their PCs would still be sitting on the shelves and the company would be broke...AGAIN...

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

I tried 123 but couldn't catch it worth beans but one day I was sat down in front of a 80386 using Excel - IV on win3.10 - I picked it up rather quickly and was soon making all sorts of worksheets / workbooks including invoicing & balance sheets and yes databases the one thing I did do, and still do is switch Excel to 123 navigation because that navigation made more sense to me: home = the beginning of the sheet "page" not the row ctrl,home = the beginning of the row etc.

dkidd23
dkidd23

They mentioned word in the photo/article but not Excel. Excel 1.0 and 2.0 were made only for the Mac. It wasn't until 3.0 that the PC version came out as Microsoft prepared to take on Lotus123. I was supporting Excel for both mac and pc when I worked at Microsoft product support in 94/95. Excel 5.0 had just come out. I still miss the easter egg form Excel 3.0. If you clicked on the windows flag as that version was loading, a small 123 came out on the screen with a big hammer labeled Excel smashing it.