Microsoft’s Mac-loving employees have unique perspective on personal computer landscape

“People sometimes stare when Microsoft Corp. executive Tim McDonough opens his laptop in meetings. But that’s probably to be expected when someone uses a Mac PowerBook in the center of the Windows world. ‘I can get challenged to see my employee badge,’ he says,” Todd Bishop reports for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “McDonough works in Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit, one of the closest things to neutral ground in a computer world divided into technological factions. The Mac BU, as it’s known, makes Microsoft software for Apple computers, bridging the gulf between the companies’ operating systems and linking their respective followers in the process.”

“It may be the only place at Microsoft where someone can be spotted wearing an ‘I Don’t Do Windows’ shirt. And nowhere else would a Microsoft employee, recounting a speech where he captivated a crowd, liken himself to Apple’s Steve Jobs, rather than to Microsoft’s Bill Gates,” Bishop reports.

“…the Mac Business Unit’s position at a major convergence of the technology universe gives its employees a unique perspective on the Mac and Windows worlds. When McDonough visits Apple, for example, many of the initial questions about a product are about the user experience — how it looks and feels, why a certain color was chosen, or how a given button works. At Microsoft, conversations tend to start with the underlying technology, or what kinds of protocols were used,” Bishop reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple teaches computers about people. Microsoft teaches people about computers. Apple’s way is better for people.

Related MacDailyNews Article:
Mac users should not buy Microsoft software – May 16, 2003


  1. The bashing of MacBU employees by Mac users is really out of place and out of date. Sure, there’s bad blood because of the past, but that is water under the bridge. If it were not for the MacBU’s products there would be NO Macs anywhere in the business world to speak of. In fact, the lights might have went out in 1997.
    The people at MacBU are trying to give us great products that allow us to bridge the Mac to the larger Windows world. To do that in the very heart of darkness is amazing indeed. When OS X came out and many apps were still “Classic” only, MacBU delivered the Office suite to us. Without Office being ported, many developers would have sat on their hands and the launch of “X” might have failed. Like it or not, Microsoft has been a part of the Macintosh from the days of the original Macintosh. Get over it.

  2. i’ts a great article. too often we sit and bash Microsoft about this and that, and forget about the Mac BU. they are true Mac die-hards and love the platform. MS makes a nice profit making Mac software.

    Office for Mac is still not perfect and we still crave feature parity, but what we do have is excellent and more stable than the PC version. if we want better products from MS, we should buy more products from Microsoft for the Mac. Send in feedback and suggestions. Praise the Mac BU for the job they have done.

    Microsoft is still Microsoft, and i don’t like them, but they did give us the Mac BU, and the Mac BU does deserve our praise.

  3. The Mac BU is aweseom – they are the best among us, willing to work for MS, to insure we have an equal counterpart in the Mac-universe (and sometimes they make it BETTER than the windows versions!). They are the special forces of the Mac-Community, and should be treated as such.

  4. I agree. We should send the Mac BU a note of praise for their hard work. So what if they make a healthy profit on the software; why else would they do it? We would be in big trouble without Office for Macintosh.

  5. Why is it that the MacBU folks seem unable to “go down the hall” and get the .PST file format code from the PC Outlook team for incorporation into Entourage?

    I was amazed that Mac version of Outlook would not deal with PST files, given that they are from the same company and should have access to the codebase.

    Microsoft always wants to spread FUD about other systems and “lack of choice”, how about providing the ability to convert PST files to MBOX format then? Instead of locking people into their mail file format?

    And why no XML support in the upcoming Mac Office to have parity with the 03 version of PC Office?

    God only knows what limitations Virtual PC will now be saddled with now that there is FULL access to the MS codebase.

  6. roz still sucks

    Was it just me, or did Roz sound really drunk at MacWorld? I’ll grant you, if I led the Macintosh Business Unit at Microsoft and I was getting up in front of hundreds of Mac fans at MacWorld, I’d probably want a stiff drink before I went on stage, too.

  7. I think having M$ Office available on the Mac platform is key to extending Apple’s market share. It eliminates one reason not to switch and provides a way for current windoze business users to maintain a “comfort zone” on the Mac for the initial period after switching.

    I buy M$ software for the Mac and will continue to do so. In fact I hope that the Mac Business Unit grows and grows and eventually takes over the entire Microsoft company ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  8. Does anybody really think that MacBU people have that kind of authority? Decisions regarding formats and what to include are probably made by one of the higher ups. If one of those Windows overlord thinks that Windows should get an exclusive format, it will be done. Sometimes, I pity MacBU people. It must be frustating to have great ideas and not be able to do anything about it.

  9. I’ve always like the Microsoft Mac BU, if you took them out of Microsoft, you’d have one of the best and brightest Macintosh software companies around, behind FileMaker, of course (and excluding some utterly brilliant shareware/freeware authors).

    I do have fears that Microsoft will eventually drop the axe on them, or do something that reduces their effectiveness. But that doesn’t stop them from working hard and producing great products, even if they are tagged Microsoft. Plus I’ve gotten to visit the California offices, and these people love their Macs. Nothing wins me over like a Mac lover, except a Mac lover who also cares about the community, social justice, nonprofits, and other types of social issues–and this group (or at least the subset that I met) rocked.

    More props to them.

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