Six years ago today, Apple and Microsoft announced a broad agreement between the two companies that has resulted in urban myths as extreme as “Microsoft owns Apple” that persist to this day. Slated to last five years,the agreement lapsed one year ago.
In a keynote address delivered Aug. 6, 1997, at MacWorld Boston, Apple Computer Inc. director and co-founder Steve Jobs and Microsoft Corp. chairman and CEO Bill Gates announced a broad product and technology development agreement between Apple and Microsoft including the following:
– Microsoft will develop and ship future versions of its popular Microsoft Office productivity suite, Internet Explorer and other Microsoft tools for the Mac platform.
– Apple will bundle the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser with the Mac OS, making it the default browser in future operating system software releases.
– The companies agreed to a broad patent cross-licensing agreement. It paves the way for the two companies to work more closely on leading-edge technologies for the Mac platform.
– Apple and Microsoft plan to collaborate on technology to ensure compatibility between their respective Virtual Machines for Java and other programming languages.
– To further support its relationship with Apple, Microsoft will invest $150 million in non-voting Apple stock.
To put that $150 million in non-voting share purchase in perspective, on June 27, 1997 in their United States Securities and Exchange Commission 10-Q filing, Apple stated US$3.493 billion in total assets with over US$1 billion in cash and cash equivalents on hand.
Apple’s most-recent 10-Q, filed on 5/13/2003, states US$6.361 billion in total assets with US$3.41 billion in cash and cash equivalents on hand.