It’s hard to realize that, at one time, Apple and Microsoft, in the person of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, were close friends. The very first versions of Word and Excel appeared on the Mac platform before Microsoft moved the lion’s share of development resources to Windows, in effect double-crossing Apple.
In the 1990s, when Apple was really down in the dumps business wise, Jobs crafted a deal with Gates in which Microsoft would continue to build Office for the Mac and, in turn, invested to the tune of $150 million. Now that money didn’t save Apple, but it certainly helped at a time when the financial situation was difficult.
In an unexpected turn of events, Apple beat Microsoft down with the iPod, the iPhone and, it appears, the iPad. Microsoft does well with its traditional office, PC operating system and server products, but consumer offerings haven’t fared well. That is, except perhaps for the Xbox gaming console.
Despite still pushing Silverlight as a viable alternative to Flash for Web-based multimedia content, it does appear that the stars are actually aligned between Apple and Microsoft when it comes to the end game. You see, both are now dedicated to advancing HTML5 as a standard for both traditional PCs and mobile devices.
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