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Bill Gates makes Apple an offer they can't refuse

Category:Apple Category:Microsoft Date: June 1996


An infamous deal from Microsoft's eyes.


From: Joachim Kempin Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 1996; 6:43 PM To: Bill Gates Subject: RE: Apple meeting

thank you. this would be a huge win for both of us and it would spill over to their OS licensees. Over time that would be able to sell NT to corporate. I would not be surprised If they would want a MAC UI on their version- if feasible. We will go ahead and ask them again for their stand on an NT license.

From: Bill Gates Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 1996 4:33 PM To: Joachim Kempin Subject: FW: Apple meeting

Last Tuesday night I went down to address the top Apple executives. I explained our strategy, discussed our applications work with Apple. discussed how they should work with us on Browser and Windows NT and took questions.


Apple is trying to decide whether they should work with us or not on platform software. Their instincts tell them it might be a mistake. However they are tempted to get involved with Windows NT server and how it integrates with Macintosh. They would be tempted to be able to focus their R&D efforts.

My proposition to them was that once they decide the areas they want to be different and better than Windows then we will know all of the other areas and those are places where we can cooperate.


I explained to Ike that his R&D costs to keep up with us in areas that aren't points of differentiation will exceed his budget by a lot and that he will always be perceived as incompatible. I tried to make the point on the browser but we kept getting hung upon opendoc so I made the point by using our security software work- That example got him agreeing that he would love to have that work and be able to incorporate it into the Mac Os.

I proposed that we swap technology including source code with no restrictions. The deal would look like this:

Apple gets:

Internet explorer source code including updates

Security software and other definable places we can turn over to them [I need more ideas for this category - things that are seperable enough we can turn them over to Apple to save them R&D and get our approach endorsed)

Blessing by us of Quicktime as a cool cross platform thing where apple looks good and we align our strategies

[this wouldn't have to mean much in practice We are already planning to read Quicktime formats]



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