Real Artists Ship
The high point of the October 1983 Apple sales conference in Hawaii was a skit based on a TV show called The Dating Game.
Jobs played emcee, and his three contestants, whom he had convinced to fly to Hawaii,
were Bill Gates and two other software executives, Mitch Kapor and Fred Gibbons.
As the show's jingly theme song played, the three took their stools.
Gates, looking like a high school sophomore, got wild applause from the 750 Apple salesmen when he said,
"During 1984, Microsoft expects to get half of its revenues from software for the Macintosh."
Jobs, clean-shaven and bouncy, gave a toothy smile
and asked if he thought that the Macintosh's new operating system would become one of the industry's new standards.
Gates answered, "To create a new standard takes not just making something that's a little bit different,
it takes something that's really new and captures people's imagination.
And the Macintosh, of all the machines I've ever seen, is the only one that meets that standard."
But even as Gates was speaking, Microsoft was edging away from being primarily a collaborator with Apple to being more of a competitor.
It would continue to make application software, like Microsoft Word, for Apple,
but a rapidly increasing share of its revenue would come from the operating system it had written for the IBM personal computer.
The year before, 279,000 Apple IIs were sold, compared to 240,000 IBM PCs and its clones.
But the figures for 1983 were coming in starkly different: 420,000 Apple IIs versus 1.3 million IBMs and its clones.
And both the Apple III and the Lisa were dead in the water.
Just when the Apple sales force was arriving in Hawaii, this shift was hammered home on the cover of Business Week.
Its headline: "Personal Computers: And the Winner Is...IBM."
The story inside detailed the rise of the IBM PC.
"The battle for market supremacy is already over," the magazine declared.
"In a stunning blitz, IBM has taken more than 26% of the market in two years,
and is expected to account for half the world market by 1985.
An additional 25% of the market will be turning out IBM-compatible machines."