Posts tagged ‘bill gates’

Microsoft Invested in Apple in 1997

By Chad Upton | Editor

Microsoft and Apple are mortal enemies, at least, that’s what their TV commercials will have you believe.

They’ve always been competitors, originally trying to dominate our preference in computers, and now music players and mobile phones. Apple has a strong lead in music player and mobile phone segments, but Microsoft has a big lead as the dominant operating system. That said, Apple has become much more competitive in that space, especially in the past few years.

Their competition is most visible during commercial breaks, when they take jabs at each others potential flaws. Forget on court trash talk, when you’ve got as much money as these guys, you can trash talk in the form of multi-year, multi-million dollar ad campaigns — it’s so much more fun.

You see, Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Microsoft founder Bill Gates have a long history as friends. In the early days, they used to take their girlfriends on double dates with each other. They didn’t see a lot of each other after Bill moved to Washington State, but they’ve remained friends.

In fact, when Steve Jobs came back to Apple in 1996, the company needed help. To be a serious player, Apple also needed competitive office software.

Mac fans and developers were shocked on August 6th, 1997 when Bill Gates appeared via teleconference during Steve Job’s presentation at Macworld.

Steve and Bill announced that Microsoft would invest $150 million in Apple. Today, it sounds crazy, and at the time it sounded pretty crazy too. Jobs was booed when he announced the partnership and Bill was booed when he appeared on screen. But, it actually made a lot of sense for both companies. Steve said it best, “We have to let go of a few notions here. We have to let go of the notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft needs to lose.” (more…)

August 30, 2010 at 5:00 am 5 comments


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