Apple-Microsoft Deal: Saving Apple From Bankruptcy


Among Steve Jobs's keynote presentation in the 1997 Macworld Expo, not long after his come back to Apple, he announced that Apple would be entering into a partnership with Microsoft.

The partnership included a five-year commitment from Microsoft to release Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer for Macintosh as well as a $150 million investment in Apple, and an agreement to settle disputes claiming Microsoft Windows' infringed Apple's patents.

This was when Microsoft rescued its future nemesis, breathing new life into the struggling Silicon Alley icon. As Jobs got the cash, in return, Microsoft received non-voting shares on Apple.

Bill Gates appeared on screen using a satellite communication and further explained Microsoft's plans in developing software for Mac.

"Bill, thank you. The world’s a better place," said Jobs after Gates agreed to invest.

With the money in hand, Apple quickly streamlined its operation, narrowing its product lines from 15 to 4. Licensing deals that enabled other manufacturers to undercut Apple with Mac clones were terminated, and operating costs were cut to nearly a half.

Sales were unified, and marketing was focused on a single message - the "Think Different" campaign.

Within months, Apple was back on track.

This started a saying that said Apple needed Steve Jobs, more than he needed Apple.

In an interview in later years when both companies have heightened to their peak, Jobs once attempted to soothe fans, saying that "We have to let go of a few notions here. We have to let go of the notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft needs to lose."