Put Your Nose In The Corner: The Apple/Microsoft Conspiracy Theory


Am I the only blogger looking back on the last two months and thinking…

What the hell are Apple and Microsoft doing to each other?

I don’t care about who started it first, that can go all the way back to 1983 and there is still no answer. It has to stop, and Steve and Bill made up once before:

Now here we go again, and it seems someone out in this community of geeks has to call them out.

I can remember wanting to run Netscape on Windows 98 and having problems every time an Internet Explorer update came out (I try not to dwell on the past, so if no one else remembers the fued let me know). So this is small in comparison to what I’m about to reflect on. The so-called browser wars were a battle; Apple and Microsoft are eternally enemies that can paradigm shift a whole industry. Are you ready?

First, let’s talk about the MOAB project. The idea of the project, as disputed as it is, isn’t relevant really. Even more so, Apple responded as well as others in a very timely manner to the posts. So I tip my hat to the community for eyeing this project and taking care of business professionally. Is it just too strange that MOAB would run shortly before Macworld and end shortly after Vista’s release? Add fuel to the fire, Mr. Gates seems to have this in his warchest for the smear campaign on OS X. Sorry Bill if your top men are gooey eyed over Mac OS X, the iPod, and who knows what else hasn’t been released in Iowa. I seem to recall Gates talking a lot about the SCO-IBM case and smearing Linux then, and look what turned up there.

The most damaging of evidence is from Mr. Gates directly, where he demonstrates little confidence in his statements.

Not so fast there Macheads, Apple (And ultimately its board) are just as guilty of tossing sand in a sore eye. Frankly if you’re familiar with The Art of War then watching this saga is brilliant execution of marketing warfare. That doesn’t give Apple the green card to let PC users know how annoying Vista’s security system is to use. Bu bu but, it does say at the end that Macs are better because they aren’t annoying. Come on, we know that’s not true. No one will ever make a computer that isn’t annoying somehow. So Apple, while your ads are hilarious and it seems Microsoft is feeding you material, ever since kindergarten it wasn’t nice to point out others weaknesses.

iTunes users have to wait on upgrading, though it does seem suspiciously like we’re revisiting the Netscape problem again. Hmm, iTunes for Windows was released October 16, 2003, and a few months prior Microsoft announces major DRM features in “Longhorn” aka Vista. Would I dare suggest Microsoft managers were guided to utilize their plans for the ultimate Apple showdown?

Absolutely not, that would be anticompetitive. Yet, I look at all these events and I have to scold these companies before Macheads and Windows Users suffer a stalemate together. One piece of advice for these two schoolyard bullies battling for swing set supremacy. Get over it Microsoft, work together like you did in 1997 – like you promised the industry. Apple, you know you’re doing good right now and leading the way. Stop throwing it around because you’re not even close to being on top. This is why Apple can’t be a big company, arrogance knocked them down once before and history can repeat itself. This is very much the same reason we are seeing Microsoft stumble over themselves. Both companies have a lot to contribute; a pissing contest isn’t productive or a contribution. It’s just fun to watch.



I like Vista better than OSX but I’m still on a MacBookPro. I wish people would stop with the pissing contest. The personal attacks and resentment from the mac community look desperate and pathetic.


So much for “we should work together” when the Apple ads. now are bashing Vista: which is a good thing. Thank god now Apple is sustainable, I mean, I don’t use ANY Microsoft products.

Pete Mortensen

I wanted to address the earlier comment attacking the idea that Macs are Porsches and PCs are Fords by pointing to specs and performance. That’s actually a validation of Steve’s argument.

The defining characteristic of a Porsche is not its performance, it’s its handling. The Ford Mustang is probably a more powerful vehicle pound for pound than a Porsche 911, for a lot less money, but put them in a race on a winding mountain road, and my money is on the Porsche.

In the same way, Macs are focused on handling — interface and usability, while PCs are typically bought and sold based on performance metrics that don’t mean much in the real world, like gigahertz and disk drive size. That’s all Steve was saying. Not a power argument at all.


Your perception is off, which seems to be the case with so many these days. Everyone thinks Apple wants to BE Microsoft. The truth of the matter is they do not. They have an amazing niche in the market and enjoy it. They might aspire to 20-25% marketshare, but I doubt they want or will ever want more than that. There are too many issues with it comes to size. Apple does not want to be a monolith and I don’t feel it ever has (at least not with “The Steve” at the helm).

As a side note, Apple makes their commercials to entertain Mac users and keep us interested. They attempt to draw in “Switchers” as well, but I feel their main concern is keeping their current userbase interested.


I think apple would have the same amount of marketshare if they had their os preinstalled on every pc sold since whenever. Marketshare is nothing to gloat about when it was made through the lack of choice.


People that reject the group that rejected them comprise the Apple crowd. It extends into other areas beyond computers. As Steve Jobs said at the end, you have to be different, a genius for doing so. That’s pure propaganda meant to bolster these morons that confuse their identify with a fucking computer. This is why this whole Apple thing is stupid to those who don’t really give a shit.

Moving to Linux

“Microsoft + Apple = 100% of the Market”
Steven Paul Jobs.

I think it’s Linux time got to find a distro I like, I guess. I already had some hate for Microsoft and the “new” Vista DRM. I can see now that Apple will be no different with this statement from Jobs. What a huge mess, Applesoft No Thanks.


bearchow, I totally agree with you. There are damn good reasons to be Anti-Microsoft.

I really can’t agree with this whole kiss and make up sentiment. History has happened and the results of that history are still relevant today. I personally don’t respect Microsoft. And I really like Apple. Microsoft hasn’t given anyone a reason to forgive them.

When this generation of management are out and we have a whole new generation operating Microsoft, maybe then I think it makes sense to forgive them.


To be frank – I don’t think MS give a damn about Apple. In the late nineties MS considered Linux a genuine threat on the desktop, and it’s still a major threat for their server business.

But time waits for nobody and MS replaced crash-prone versions of Windows 95/98/ME with the very stable Windows 2000/XP. And with Vista they seem to have taken a hard stance on security, even if UAC is extremly irritating. At the same time the Linux community seems to stay happy with releasing more and more distros while their market-share stay the same.

What has this to do with Apple? A lot! During the last 10 years MS have reached a complete domination in sales both to consumers and corporations. Apple will never be able to compete for the corporate sector, they lack both confidence, support network, reputation and hardware/software to make any kind of impact on this part of the market. And the private sector is to large and to diverse for them to be able to capture more than a few percent points with their limited hardware and software offers.

So – Apple fights for 2-3 percent of the market and make a healthy profit at the moment – but unless they change their entire business strategy they will never be able to make any major dent i MS market-share. And so – if Apple ain’t a threat – why should MS give a damn?


Oh, I totally disagree … although Apple is still just another corporation doing what corporations usually do … MicroSoft is really harmful to the whole industry and beyond, in general … and I think other business partners, like IBM, Apple, Sun, etc etc and more importantly consumers should be bitter about MS … because we have seen for ourselves that MS is willing to poison the wells, if they don’t control it 100%! An example, paying Universal for every Zune sold … and that’s not just an independent example, I think it is their corporate culture, own or destory … considering whether MS has any contribution in general, I am not sure … I strongly believe this world could survive and probably be a better place if we wake up tomorrow and MS was gone, and I have considered the possible chaos if that happened …


At the same keynote where benevolent Bill Gates above appeared onscreen, Jobs said to the Mac faithful, “We have to get over the idea that in order for Apple to succeed, Microsoft has to fail.” That’s only partially true. Apple does need to seize more market share in order to attract more developers (and revenue). And because MS is a monopoly, it can only come from MS. Doesn’t mean MS has to suffer, it’s just that such an inordinant level of market control can’t last forever, and therefor Apple’s making the play it is. Then again, every Mac sale can mean MS Office for Mac, keyboards and mice, XBox360’s etc. And I believe there’s a stat out there that shows MS usually makes more $ from Mac users than Windows users. Bottom line, Apple has to be aggressive partially because of their own market position, but also they’re duking it out in the sandbox that MS defined, and MS has never played anything but hardball.

Apple and Microsoft are One in the Same

I’m so sick and tired of people who are fanatically obsessed with defending Apple or Microsoft, and refuse to see that both are companies with an agenda to make a profit. The two companies are almost exactly the same, only Apple makes products which are marketed in terms of Style and Design, whereas Microsoft has always aimed their marketing on promoting function. Both aspects are important, but it’s time for people to stop taking sides and to assess these companies based on the flaws and strengths of their programs – rather then on the flaws of their competition.

Animal Farm sums it up best:
“Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question,
now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside
looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again;
but already it was impossible to say which was which.”


I always am amazed how quickly people forgot (or overlook) that Steve Jobs became an arrogant prick; so he was booted. He comes back like a born-again-apple, which was great; ipod, imac, awesome awesome awesome…But then the lawsuits started, the company gets bigger, and then the last keynote (which was embarrassing). Jobs is a businessman, not a techy, and hes good. real good. the press allows for him to be cocky on stage, but that keynote was over-the-top; and he, at the very least, embellished every claim on the iphone. Its not a revolution, nothing near it. its not the first (for any of its features), and japan, south korea have been doing this for years, with much better products. I love apple, I love their computers, the ipod etc. But steve jobs seems like hes following the same plot line as before. Woz Forever!


#7 steve Apple=porsche/PC=ford? show me any spec apple machine and i could find a PC that would beat the pants off it performance wise for half the cost.
Dont get me wrong, i like macs, i run ubuntu on a g4 at home for web serving my mp3 collection and its great! But performance wise value for $ you cant beat a PC.

Oliver Tani

It seems like the 2 companies goals are becoming aligned. With Apple moving to x86 hardware, I think it will only be a short time before the difference is merely the OS.


I also had never seen it before (been a Mac user only for 18 months now) and I think looking back that maybe the deal with MS did its bit for Apple, but if that sort of thing happened now, IMO it would be a disaster for Apple. Frankly that video scared me.


Just remember Microsoft HAD to buy 150 million shares of NON-voting shares of stocks and promise to support the Mac Version of Office for the upcoming years. The Apple would not Sue Mircosoft for stealing Quicktime Code and using it in there products..
Bill had no option but to do it.


I have been talking about this same thing the last couple of days. I agree with you completely. I am not a MAC guy, but I do know there are things that could be done better by Microsoft along with PC manufacturer’s. I agree that this “pissing” contest needs to be put to a stop. I also believe that Apple has crossed the line with there commercials, and that Bill Gates went way overboard in his interview the other day. What do you say let’s stop worrying about who’s better and figure out how we can get the two too work together.

Great read thanks for being the first one to say it.



I remember when I started to test Linux back in 96 (I think) and through the years up to around 2004 people kept telling me that Linux was bad for the PC and it didn’t work like Windows etc etc.
Oh and one PC store where I live, the owner said that Linux could and would damage my harddrive… hmm yeah right.

Now that I mention I’m using a Mac, Windows and Linux people look at me in a funny way not sure what to say more then “oh mac looks nice, linux seems to hard, I know windows!!” and yet they don’t _know_ windows. They game on windows, nothing else.

I will probably never leave any of these systems, but if I do it will probably be Windows. The costs are getting too high and I always want the best of the product I buy (Vista Ultimate edition this time).

When I’ll buy Leopard its almost 1/5th of the price of Vista Ultimate and yet I get a “better” system.

Oh and yeah, when I just mention that I use a mac the most common thing to say is “it doesn’t work like windows” and “you can’t play that many games on it”. Rant over…


I’m curious what innovations has Microsoft contributed to computing?

I know there are things claimed to have been invented here (@MS) but when I look into them, they have all turned out to have been done before by others. Some have been popular products many have been ideas but not yet commercially successful and a few just patented or applications that we used. I also understand some are ideas submitted and apparently rejected by us but later used.

The culture is one of saying we are the innovators but knowing we are following and hoping our customers don’t figure it out.


Stop throwing it around because you’re not even close to being on top. This is why Apple can’t be a big company…

You want them to become a big company and be on top? You want crappy customer service and Dell-quality hardware? I’m completely comfortable with Apple right where they’ve always been, making the best hardware and software around. It’s used to often, but they are the Porsche of computer companies, and I sure as hell don’t want to drive a Ford.


It was great to see that video again. And how timely it is as well.

Listening to Steve, at what was probably one of his most defining moments of true leadership, completely wraps in a nutshell why Mac users are so passionate. He is one of us. We are him.

The only speech I have ever seen or heard him make that is as equally powerful is the one he made at Stanford graduation a short while back after his illness.

Not to throw out the wet rag, but when has anyone from Microsoft delivered this strong of a message. Heck, how many companies period can do this?


IMHO: The difference between Gates going on a news interview and slandering the competition and Apple making a commercial poking fun at the competition is humor. Apple’s commercials are entertaining and meant to be humorous. Apple is giving you a choice to laugh with them or not and even if you chuckle it doesn’t mean you are sold. Gates presents his ideas as fact in a medium we are all supposed to take seriously. So you tell me, which is worse? Someone saying something embarrassingly true about you in a joking way or someone lying about you in complete seriousness?

Besides I never liked that kid in kindergarten who couldn’t laugh at himself, even once in a while.


Very good point todd. We are all so tired of the seemingly silly fights.

No one is winning and we are paying.

I don’t care. In the end I switched to Mac because it made sense. When and if, Apple get too big, guess where I’ll end up? Linux with probably Unbuntu.

So get over it. We all know the best OS was BeOS and neither Apple nor, don’t laugh now, Windows came close.

But indeed, it is very tiresome…


Apple is indeed the little guy — which is *why* it can still take jabs at Microsoft. If they were indeed the market leader, and not just the idea-leader, then there would be no real rivalry to speak of.

Windows, owning 85%+ of the marketshare (or whatever it is) should just brush it off, and ignore it completely. The defensiveness of Windows people nowadays is what makes poking at them so fun.


The conflict between Windows and Apple is pretty amazing to watch. I switched about 18 months ago with only 5 years on PC before then (slow to get on the computer boat).

The tension that began between me and Windows users was strange. Nothing harmful, but it’s funny. Is there some sort of inferiority/superiority complex that is born when different OS users occupy the same space & time? Even my dad, a PC consultant for 25 years, exhibited some defensiveness when I mentioned being interested in consulting Mac users.

This attitude naturally exists between Mac and Microsoft. It’s like the Autobots and Decepticons, Seinfeld and Norman, and whatever other arch-nemesi (plural for nemesis?) you can think of. We should just make our best of it, have a good laugh, stop a few punches, and have fun with it all.


What a great video, I’d never seen that before. I’ve only been part of the Mac community for just over a year now, so I am still amazed by the level of deep resentment that lies with Microsoft. I spent about 15 years using Windows before jumping ship, so I can dislike with knowledge of what the system is like- but I wouldn’t boo the name whenever it was mentioned.

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