“In 1999, Compaq was going through a management crisis. The board appointed me Acting CEO in April. Midway through my four-month tenure I received a call from Steve requesting that we get together to discuss an ‘important matter,” Benjamin Rosen recounts on his blog.

“Steve wanted Compaq to offer the Apple operating system on its PC line, adding to the Microsoft OS that had always been our sole OS. At the time, Compaq was the world’s largest manufacturer of PCs. Our adopting the Apple OS would be seen as a feather in Apple’s cap (and a pretty visible slap at Microsoft)… The OS idea never gained traction. Upon further analysis, it didn’t make sense for either Compaq or Apple,” Rosen writes. “Compaq wasn’t about to declare war on Microsoft, our partner from our birth in 1982, and Steve had second thoughts about licensing their crown jewels.”

Rosen writes, “The year is 2007. Steve Jobs is now on the top of the world. He had created or transformed at least five fields — computers, music, animated film-making, telephony, and industrial design. In June 2007, I decided to email him after having had no contact for eight years. I just wanted him to know that I had happily returned to the Apple fold after two decades in the desert… It gives me a great deal of pleasure to think that on August 1, 2007, I made Steve Jobs’ day.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: In the full article, Rosen also writes:

By the way, Nora Ephron had a funny piece about Apple in The New York Times on Oct. 15 in which she expressed the wish that she ‘had thought of that thing where you connect the ‘i’ to the next word.’ It turns out that Compaq Computer, not Apple, had thought of it first. In the year 2000, Compaq introduced the iPaq, a year before Apple’s iPod introduction.

iMac, Ben. iMac. It debuted in 1998. Compaq never led Apple in anything.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]