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

26 Comments

  1. I agree with many of you: bashing Mac BU is simply childish. They deserve our praise for their stellar work, and it’s ridiculous to assume that they have any authority in determining what formats they can incorporate in their products. I have always believed that Microsoft maintains the MBU as a fig leaf for the DOJ trustbusters (“See? We do support other plaforms!”), and I’ve always admired their moxy in turning out excellent products with the constraints under which they no doubt operate (from the very “heart of darkness” as David so eloquently puts it.)

  2. I’ve always thought MS keeps the MacBU going so they get intimate knowledge of the APIs on Apple’s OS. Whilst the MacBU does produce some fantastic software, the amount of knowledge that they can pass to the Windows programmers about how Apple overcomes a particular problem is invaluable.

  3. Hey, can we get some love?!? There’s a bunch of Macheads that work at Intel too. LOL! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  4. What about Open Office? It doesn’t seem like MS is needed anymore. I don’t use Office anyway, so I don’t care. All of the corporate Windows users I’ve talked to haven’t even known there was a version of Office for Mac. I’m sure their ITs didn’t mention it.

  5. Well, I am not sure why they don’t get the code for the *.PST file format, but at least MacBU has made sure that *their* products don’t lock you in. Even MSN for Mac OS X (because it uses some Entourage and Office components) will easily allow users to drag-and-drop email into an *.mbox formatted file for archival or transfer. So to some extent, the question should be why does Outlook lack standards support and force lock-in? Because the MacBU isn’t doing so; at least to the extent practicable.

  6. Look at it from the other side; someone over there thinks that if you use VPC, you may be tempted to just drop the ‘V’ someday. Or how about… if Apple has to do their own business software, what are the risks that they might come up with a hit and release a Windows version?

    Now if I were the Steve, I’d make sure I had some people working on an Office Killer — not for release, mind you, but just in case it was needed. In fact, they would have been doing it for so long now that the apps would now be as magnificent as iTunes was during its initial launch. Of course, no one else would know about it.

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