microsoft

Bill Gates offered high praise for the Mac in 1984. Image: Fulvio Obregon

November 26, 1984: “The next generation of interesting software will be done on the Macintosh, not the IBM PC,” claims Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in a BusinessWeek cover story.

The claim would seem almost unthinkable coming out of Gates’ mouth just a few years later. But it lands at a time when Microsoft is best known as one of the biggest Mac developers.

Apple aims for the business market

The BusinessWeek article was all about Apple’s plan to unseat IBM. It came during an interesting period in Apple history. In August 1981, the IBM Personal Computer arrived on the scene. It quickly gained ground on Apple’s machines, due to IBM’s reputation as a business computer giant.

A few years later, in early 1984, Apple launched the first-generation Macintosh, which met with critical success and impressive early sales. Notably, it was accompanied by Ridley Scott’s iconic “1984” ad, in which the sinister Big Brother figure represented IBM.

By late 1984, however, Mac sales started to stall. Inside Apple, the decision was made to focus more on business customers. (Apple previously tried — and failed — to crack the biz market with the Apple III.)

To do this, Apple CEO John Sculley dreamed up the “Test Drive a Macintosh” campaign. The goal? Encourage average customers to give Apple’s revolutionary new computer a chance.

The real rival was Microsoft

While Bill Gates’ quote about the Macintosh’s superiority was only a small part of the BusinessWeek article, it’s fascinating as a snapshot of his time as a Mac developer. It also reveals a massive blind spot on Apple’s part.

To keep Gates happy, the following year (after Steve Jobs left Apple), Sculley struck a damaging deal with Gates that let Microsoft use “worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual” elements of the Mac operating system in its Windows operating system. Before long, the two companies became archrivals.

Meanwhile, hostilities cooled between IBM and Apple. By 1991, the two rivals agreed to work together in partnership.

Funny how these things work out, isn’t it?

TECH NEWS RELATED

Today in Apple history: Sequel to ‘1984’ Mac ad bombs hard

The “Lemmings” ad became a massive disaster for Apple. Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac January 20, 1985: Apple attempts to build on the triumph of the previous year’s “1984” Macintosh commercial with another Super Bowl ad. Called “Lemmings,” the ad for a new business platform called Macintosh Office ...

View more: Today in Apple history: Sequel to ‘1984’ Mac ad bombs hard

Apple Just Released Code for Its 40-Year-Old “Lisa” Computer

John Couch / Computer History Museum The Lisa was Apple’s first computer with a graphical desktop interface, predating the Macintosh by a year. Now, 40 years later, you can see exactly how the computer worked. Apple released the Lisa computer on January 19, 1983, as a high-end workstation computer ...

View more: Apple Just Released Code for Its 40-Year-Old “Lisa” Computer

Saddle up for some solitaire with Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On!

Play Solitatire to win horse races in an interesting mashup game that debuted in Apple Arcade on Friday. Screenshot: Game Freak A classic Nintendo 3DS game trotted over to Apple Arcade. Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! merges Solitaire and horse racing into a unique combination. It launched January 20 ...

View more: Saddle up for some solitaire with Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On!

Apple appeals to UK competition watchdog investigation about mobile browser dominance

Apple has filed an appeal against the UK’s competition watchdog regarding its dominance of mobile browsers in the cloud gaming market, reports Reuters. The Competition and Markets Authority started investigating this dominance by the Cupertino firm and Google. Lawyers representing Apple believe the investigation should be reviewed as CMA ...

View more: Apple appeals to UK competition watchdog investigation about mobile browser dominance

Amazon Prime Music Unlimited changes streaming prices, now matches Apple Music

Prices for subscription services have been going up in the past few months, and Amazon Music Unlimited is the latest service to see a hike. Amazon increased the costs for its Music Unlimited tiers in the US and UK, matching Apple’s similar price hike for Apple Music from a ...

View more: Amazon Prime Music Unlimited changes streaming prices, now matches Apple Music

Shape Island squares the circle: It’s stop-motion perfection for kids and parents [Apple TV+ review]

★★★★★ Minor problems deliver major entertainment in excellent new stop-motion animation series Shape Island. on Apple TV+. Image: Apple TV+ Shape Island arrives on Apple TV+ today to teach kids about social interactions and to help them ward off the anxiety inherent in such things. Based on the critically acclaimed ...

View more: Shape Island squares the circle: It’s stop-motion perfection for kids and parents [Apple TV+ review]

HomePod 2 praised in exclusive hands-on before launch

This week, Apple announced HomePod 2. After discontinuing the original version in 2021 due to poor sales, the company bet on its mini model to lure new customers. Although the smaller version of the company’s smart speakers does have a “surprising sound” for its size, it’s not quite as ...

View more: HomePod 2 praised in exclusive hands-on before launch

M2 Pro MacBook Pro Amazon preorder deal gives you $50 off

Apple unveiled the 2023 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models earlier this week. The laptops feature the expected M2 Pro and M2 Max chip upgrades. The notebooks are available for preorder from Apple and other retailers before their January 24th release date. But there’s already a great preorder deal for ...

View more: M2 Pro MacBook Pro Amazon preorder deal gives you $50 off

Apple offers discounts on iPhone 14 Series, MacBooks, Watch Ultra & more via its official website in India

Samsung is reportedly making OLED displays for iPad Pro, MacBook Pro

Apple needs to fold the iPhone and forget about Glasses

Apple TV outage means no stream for you!

Newest Android version installed on a mere 5% of devices

Apple's Black History Month plans may tip an earlier than expected iOS 16.3 launch

Why Apple’s 14-inch M2 Pro MacBook Pro is worth the upgrade

Dump your bulky wallet for this slim MagSafe alternative [Review]

Apple’s Next iPad Could Double as a Smart Display

HomePod head-to-head: How Apple’s new smart speaker compares to original

Rumor says another Apple TV 4K upgrade is coming; we say 'why?'

Apple’s Biggest Computer Failure Turns 40 Years Old Today

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News