Monday, May 31

Stop the lies! The day that Microsoft saved Apple

Stop the lies! The day that Microsoft saved Apple | ZDNet.

An interesting article from ZDNet about the days when Microsoft bought 150M of non-voting stock shares and committed to producing MS Office for the next 5 years. A lot of people claim that Apple would have died if not for MS saving Apple back then. That may be partially true, but only because MSFT had to pay them a considerably large amount of cash for the patents.

Check out the article above.

8 comments:

Rick said...

I'd say that article makes exactly the opposite point of its title.

Joel Esler said...

The way I read it, Microsoft didn't give them 150M to "survive", Microsoft paid them 150M to license some of their patented software. As well as committing to develop office for 5 years. The only concession that I see Apple giving is making Internet Explorer the default browser.

Rick said...

I'm not even suggesting that Microsoft altruistically saved Apple, or that they deserve all the credit, but committing to develop office and IE for Mac convinced investors to stay in the game a little longer. If Microsoft wanted to strike a death blow to Apple, the could have drug them through another year of arguing over how they were going to pay the $150M and completely abandoned Office and IE on Mac. If the stock had stayed in the free fall it was in during Q2 1997, Steve Jobs might not have had the time to turn Apple around. Shareholders might have ended up with a nice anti-trust settlement.

Joel Esler said...

Fair enough. I can see your points there.

Ashimmy said...

Joel, if I remember correctly, at the time Microsoft was facing several anti-trust investigations. They needed a viable Apple to prove their was competition in the market (OS2 was dead, Linux wasn't a force yet). They wanted to keep Apple alive, but not too strong to have a "competitor" to show the Justice Dept

Joel Esler said...

1997 was a couple years into the beginning of the major antitrust stuff, but you are correct in some ways. The biggest problem with that whole scenario is that MSFT was facing suits from lots of directions (as any company is), some of the suits were from the Justice department. Some of the suits were from other companies. But the suits that were important were from Apple (Interface, feel and design, streaming media, etc)

facebook-593790311 said...

Joel, they could buy their way out of suits by Apple (which they did). If I remember correctly there was talk of the Justice department doing a "AT&T" like directive and splitting Microsoft up into separate companies. One for the OS and one for Office. That was a lot more scary to bill gates then a patent fight with apple

Joel Esler said...

I agree with that!