They say that the wife is always the last to know about her husband sleeping with someone else. Well, it seems that the wife and the whole world were the last to know that Microsoft and Apple were having an affair.
To say that the news last week about Microsoft investing $250 million in the troubled manufacturer was met with surprise and astonishment would be an understatement. While it was inevitable that Apple had to look to someone for a cash injection to completely turnaround its fortunes, the last person everyone thought it would be was Microsoft CEO Bill Gates.
When the announcement of both companies? cross-fertilisation was announced at Mac World last week, it was met with boos and hisses from the audience. And I don?t blame them. Apple is selling its soul to the devil. How can Apple think of selling part of itself to its arch-rival? For years the two have been fighting over whether Mac OS or Windows is best, so how can Apple justify to its developers the decision to jump into bed with Microsoft? Most developers have chosen to work with either one or the other. And that is the way it should stay. As a football fan you don?t support both Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham ? a choice has to be made.
Apple?s technology and its products have always stood for innovation. This won?t be the case the case any more because Microsoft will know exactly what Apple is up to and copy it.
Surely the move by Microsoft should be interpreted simply as a way for it to get the US government off its back over unfair competitive advantages. By making this investment, Microsoft ensures that there is some choice in the market for operating systems. Coupled with the cross-licensing deal that means the software giant has to continue developing Macintosh applications for the next five years, it should be enough to satisfy officials that the Chinese walls within Microsoft are strong enough. But how long will it be before we see Microsoft Windows for the Mac?
It seems ironic that a few years ago Apple accused Microsoft of nicking its look-and-feel technology. But, 10 years on, Apple?s operating system still works better than Windows. And that is the way it should stay.
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