PDA

View Full Version : The current and future state of the relationship between Apple & MS


vniow
Oct 22, 2002, 01:30 AM
Whew, that's a long title.

There's been a lot of talk here awhile ago about Apple cutting all ties to MS, no more IE, no more Office, nothing.
MS gave Apple a $150 million ca$h infusion in '97 I believe, in return for IE for the Mac and Office for the Mac also.
That deal ended in July and there have been rumors of an Apple browser and a port of Staroffice to the Mac, plus there is currently a beta version of OpenOffice for the Mac.

My questions are:
What is Apple's current relationship with MS?
What would happen if MS dropped all Mac support altogether?
What is your prediction for the future of this relationship?
How will any move made by either MS or Apple benefit one or the other?

madamimadam
Oct 22, 2002, 01:37 AM
NewsFactor had an interesting article about this today. Amazing that NewsFactor can have an article that has anything to do with Apple that you can read and not get pissed off with but here's the link. (http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/19730.html)

jefhatfield
Oct 23, 2002, 08:04 AM
like the article you linked said, economics will play a big part in this

microsoft is still under the magnifying glass of uncle sam so it can't do anything bad to apple

the two companies will work together, agreement or no agreement and both companies will make money off of their quiet or not so quiet relationship

and i heard a rumor somewhere that both companies making money is possibly related to both companies making more money which will make them last longer so they can make more money;)

gbojim
Oct 23, 2002, 09:58 AM
I also agree with the article in that MS will continue to make software for the Mac as long as it makes economic sense. I also agree that one of the biggest reasons for lower than expected Office sales is high prices as opposed to lack of interest.

However, there is something the article failed to mention about the original agreement, which is the fact that it was really a "bury the hatchet" type of thing. At the time, MS committed to IE and Office for the Mac plus $150M, Apple agreed to make IE the default browser plus drop all outstanding lawsuits. It suited both companies needs at the time.

Now, MS is simply an ISV and I doubt you will ever see another similar agreement between them.

At this time, I feel that the threat of losing IE is much more important than Office. Macs are not used much on the corporate desktop, and although the lack of Office would cost a few customers, I do not believe it would be drastic.

Also, from what I have been seeing over the last year, I believe there is going to be a very dramatic change on the corporate desktop over the next few years. Either MS is going to back off of this new licensing scheme, or they are going to loose a huge chunk of their office customer base. I was around for the shift from Word Perfect/Lotus 123 to Office. The biggest reason for the switch was MS convinced people an integrated suite was the way to go - believe me it did not have much to do with superior technology. And it happened in a heartbeat (ie. < 1 year). MS has really maintained its advantage because of a proprietary file format and "you need to be compatible". Well guess what, Word Perfect also had a proprietary format, MS simply did an import and game over. If the corporate folks can be convinced that free open source is the way to go, office could become as relevant as Word Perfect very quickly. BTW - think MS isn't scared to death of this? - just look at the negotiations they are in with governments that have declared open source must be used to fulfill x% of software requirements.

IE on the other hand is a different story. It is free and MS makes no money from it on the Mac side. But, there are a number of web sites that just don't work right if you don't use IE - especially some of the java stuff. And although there are other office suites that will serve most people just fine, there is no other browser that can substitute for IE right now in some cases. So unless some of these rumored browsers start making an appearance with a lot better IE compatibility, I believe IE is a far bigger problem right now.

vniow
Oct 23, 2002, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by gbojim


IE on the other hand is a different story. It is free and MS makes no money from it on the Mac side. But, there are a number of web sites that just don't work right if you don't use IE - especially some of the java stuff. And although there are other office suites that will serve most people just fine, there is no other browser that can substitute for IE right now in some cases. So unless some of these rumored browsers start making an appearance with a lot better IE compatibility, I believe IE is a far bigger problem right now.


A bit off topic, but I read somewhere that Netscape, Mozilla and the like work right with real Java while IE works with Java optimized for just IE, is that true?

medea
Oct 23, 2002, 11:08 AM
IE support is almost nonexistant as it is, when was the last time you had an update for internet explorer? It would be a bad move for microsoft to completely shut itself off from the mac community, many companies that are mac based use microsoft software such as Office etc. and thats were they make their money. It would be a good move for Apple though to break free from having Microsoft neccesities, if we have our own browser and office program that can compete with microsofts then we are much better off. But Apple did need a financial boost before so if they need another one Im not sure who it would come from.

jefhatfield
Oct 23, 2002, 05:50 PM
even though i have been a microsoft mcp and it has thrown money my way to my IT business, i still have to chuckle when i think that the company with the shottiest software i have ever seen rules the entire market...looking at it that way, it is kind of funny...really

in the oldest days, os/2 was better than ms-dos

mac os was better than windows

linux is better than windows

os x is better than xp

beOS is better than windows

solaris is better

everything is better

yet microsoft is the 900 pound gorilla in this tag team match:p