The Microsoft Pact
The climax of Jobs's August 1997 Macworld appearance was a bombshell announcement,
one that made the cover of both Time and Newsweek.
Near the end of his speech, he paused for a sip of water and began to talk in more subdued tones.
"Apple lives in an ecosystem," he said. "It needs help from other partners.
Relationships that are destructive don't help anybody in this industry."
For dramatic effect, he paused again, and then explained:
"I'd like to announce one of our first new partnerships today, a very meaningful one, and that is one with Microsoft."
The Microsoft and Apple logos appeared together on the screen as people gasped.
Apple and Microsoft had been at war for a decade over a variety of copyright and patent issues,
most notably whether Microsoft had stolen the look and feel of Apple's graphical user interface.
Just as Jobs was being eased out of Apple in 1985, John Sculley had struck a surrender deal:
Microsoft could license the Apple GUI for Windows 1.0, and in return it would make Excel exclusive to the Mac for up to two years.
In 1988, after Microsoft came out with Windows 2.0, Apple sued.
Sculley contended that the 1985 deal did not apply to Windows 2.0 and that further refinements to Windows
such as copying Bill Atkinson's trick of "clipping" overlapping windows -- had made the infringement more blatant.
By 1997 Apple had lost the case and various appeals, but remnants of the litigation and threats of new suits lingered.
In addition, President Clinton's Justice Department was preparing a massive antitrust case against Microsoft.
Jobs invited the lead prosecutor, Joel Klein, to Palo Alto.
Don't worry about extracting a huge remedy against Microsoft, Jobs told him over coffee.
Instead simply keep them tied up in litigation.
That would allow Apple the opportunity, Jobs explained, to "make an end run" around Microsoft and start offering competing products.