Apple CEO Steve Jobs is looking to drag software house Intuit into talks to persuade it to reverse its pull back from the Mac market.
Personal finance applications maker Intuit said this week it would stop making its Quicken product for the Mac, leading to dismay among investors and Mac users, fearing a loss of faith in the Apple platform.
Aware of the psychological damage of such a move at a time when Apple is back in profit, but with a question mark still over its future, Jobs made a strong statement at the annual shareholders' meeting. 'We didn't get in Intuit's face and tell them how we plan to re-enter the consumer market,' he said.
He said he will hold talks with Bill Campbell, Intuit chief executive - a friend of Jobs who is also on the Apple board - and told shareholders to 'expect a joint press release next week'.
Even if Intuit does a U-turn on its Mac plans, Apple is likely to become a less important part of its strategy. Intuit's main focus is on Web-based finance applications that allow users to do personal banking and accounting online from any PC or even a television equipped with a browser. The company already has a deal to develop such software for set-top boxes made by cable giant TCI.
Despite Jobs' statements, it cannot change the fact that even software companies that have made their business on the Mac platform are seeing their Windows versions leaping ahead.
Last year, Mac stalwarts Macromedia and Adobe saw their Wintel products outselling their Apple versions and one of Jobs' key tasks is to make positive moves to entice the developer community back to the Mac platform.
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