To put things into perspective, perhaps the biggest complaint many critics level against Microsoft is the fact that most everything they build leans heavily on proprietary technologies. For other companies to use those technologies, such as being able to link with Exchange servers, a license must be obtained, and money must change hands. Yes, there are often open source alternatives, but they aren’t always reliable, nor do they fully support all the features.
Apple decided to take the official route, and that’s how they managed to add Exchange support for the iPhone and Snow Leopard. Sure, Microsoft didn’t do it just to be nice. They did it because of the great American dollar, and Apple was evidently happy to pay the piper to make their products more acceptable in the enterprise.
Perhaps this is the best form of business. A willing buyer purchases a product or service from a willing vendor for a fairly negotiated price. I’ll presume for the sake of argument that the price was indeed fair.
Over the years, though, Microsoft has gotten the well-deserved rap for wanting to own everything, or as close to everything as possible. They once even tried to corner the media player market, as most of you know, but we have iTunes and QuickTime, with probably more copies on Windows boxes than Macs. And we all know they both ship standard on the latter.