April 18, 1985: Court Says Apple Gave Permission for Copying

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. macrumors bot

  2. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    John Scully later said that this contract (literally, one page) was the stupidest decision he'd made at Apple. The untold part of this story was that Microsoft had Apple over a barrel. Allegedly, Bill Gates threatened to stop development of Microsoft software for the Mac unless Apple licensed elements of the Mac OS to them.
  3. macrumors 65816


    that sucks
  4. macrumors 604


    Another one of those gr8 "what ifs...."

    What if Microsoft never was allowed to make "Windows".
  5. macrumors 65832

    It wasn't just any Microsoft software... we are talking about Excel and the fact that Microsoft released the Mac version before the PC version. Apple wanted Excel because it made the Mac seem more like a business computer and had hoped for the same type of effect that VisiCalc had on the Apple II.
  6. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    They'd already done Multiplan for the Mac, which was more-or-less the grandfather of Excel. I believe Word was also in development. The bottom line was that Apple didn't have a lot of developers for the Mac at the time, so they really needed Microsoft, and Microsoft knew it. Possibly if Apple had known how big PageMaker was going to be for them, Scully might have told Bill Gates to take a flying you-know-what at a rolling doughnut. When we think on what could have been...
  7. macrumors 6502

    The real screw up in the deal was that there wasn't a sunset provision, or some type of renewal mechanism, some type of escape hatch. I know second guessing is a fools game, but when you have a good product you don't give it away.
  8. macrumors 68020


    Welcome to the world of business. While I consider myself a apple fan boy I still have respect for M$ - Bill Gates didn't build it to the empire it is with pure luck.

    I do feel that Apple would have turned out differently (for better or worse) if Steve wasn't forced out in the 80's. For one I don't think Apple would have taken such a huge down turn it did in the late 80's/early 90's. However I don't think we would have OS X (Since Steve went on to found NeXT which as most of us know is the base for X)
  9. macrumors 601



    All problems seem more easily avoided in hindsight - who would have thought back then that MS would have taken blatant pirating to that level? BG did attempt to convince Steve early on to license the Mac OS for PCs, which indeed may have competed well with Win '95. Steve, however, was not interested in allowing the user experience to be watered down by substandard hardware configurations, hence the seamless and superior integration of the Mac and Mac OS. Things now are beginning to evolve nicely for the Mac, in a gradual and steady sort of way, and the timing seems to be ideal. Copying an OS poorly and forcing it upon consumers does not appear to have the same cache as innovation and refinement do, especially in this decade.
  10. macrumors regular

    Bill who?
  11. macrumors 601



    Then it would have been LINUX for the rest of us.......... or DOS pre-installed, for those who prefer dirty.
  12. Moderator emeritus


    BG is a poker player who hates to loose. :)

    This was competition. And he won big time. Apple needed Microsoft to develop software for the Mac. If memory serves, Apple even gave Microsoft Mac prototypes to help them develop the software.

    As for JS, he was out of his depth and hurt Apple in many ways IMHO. This is but one example. The Newton comes to mind. Released before it was prime time by someone who did not truly understand the world of technology that was running a leading edge technology company. What a shame.

    On a side note, he did fire SJ which was good in many ways and is probably why Apple is where it as today.
  13. macrumors 601



    True that - if it weren't for NeXt, there would be no OS X, and no cutting edge OS to bring the Mac into the future.
  14. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Apple was actually going great guns during the late '80s and early '90s. That's the period when they built the largest Mac market share, over 10%. It was during the mid-90s when things began to go sour. Apple was experiencing its most profitable period to that time under John Scully.

    As for luck, Bill Gates had plenty. It's true he never missed an opportunity to screw a rival or a partner, but it's also true that his company would not be where it is today without some very fortuitous events over which Microsoft had no control. Clones, for example.

    Apple worked quite closely with Microsoft during the Mac prototype years. As the story goes, when Gates saw the earliest Macs he became very excited and convinced that this was the future, and that's approximately when he started the development of Windows.

    I'm not a John Scully fan, but as I said above, I think he's underrated as a manager. When Jobs recruited him, he recognized that Scully had the ability to trim the ship, which was very much needed at Apple. I think Jobs put it that Apple needed "adult supervision." They really did get that from Scully, and Apple became very profitable during this period.

    As a technologist though, you are right, he was over his head. This was the downside of John Scully. Of course, when we think about the dunderheads who followed him...

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