Rivalry Had Cooled. Now it Back

Rivalry Had Cooled. Now it Back

Actor John Hodgman dressed in a geeky, ill-fitting suit in front of a white backdrop in a simulated product introduction for Apple’s Mac relaunch in November. Stop, wait, one more thing, hi, I’m a PC, he continued, referencing the old Mac versus. PC TV commercials that didn’t exactly hide the fact that Apple was hip and Microsoft was not.

A celebration was staged to inform Mac faithful that the latest models would feature a more powerful processor. However, the underlying message was clear: Apple Inc.’s long-standing battle with Microsoft Corp.

Rivalry Had Cooled. Now it Back

Product Launch By Apple

They had been able to work together successfully for several years. Some of Microsoft’s products, like Office, started showing up on the iPad and iPhone, and the company was even invited to a product launch by Apple.

Microsoft made its products compatible with the Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard, and Apple just made it easier to utilise Xbox game controllers on Apple devices. Apple even released its TV app for Xbox last October.

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Around the time when the PC character made a comeback, Microsoft started complaining to authorities that Apple’s App Store was anti-competitive. Microsoft has joined Epic Games in their lawsuit against Apple for removing their game Fornite from the App Store, which Epic Games said was due to Apple’s monopolistic business practises.

The trial is now in its second week, and a Microsoft executive has testified against Apple, claiming that Apple’s strict management of its App Store has harmed Microsoft’s own gaming ambitions.

Tensions are likely to remain high even after a judgement is handed down, as both Apple and Microsoft aim to be market leaders in the next big areas of technology, such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing, video games, tablets, custom processors, and mixed-reality headsets.

Apple and Microsoft’s rekindled animosity dates back about a year. Microsoft’s xCloud is a cloud-based gaming service optimised for iOS devices. Customers would pay Microsoft a monthly fee and use a single app to get dozens of games via cloud streaming.

The goal of the service was to transform Apple devices into a more potent gaming platform supported by Xbox, one of the most well-known names in the market, in the same way that Netflix did for film.

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Last Words

Simultaneously, Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, began calling for investigations into Apple’s business practises by antitrust authorities in the United States and Europe.

They increasingly argue there is only one way to get on our platform and that is to go through the gate that we ourselves have constructed,” Smith told a reporter from Politico. He went on to say that Apple’s behaviour was far worse than what got his company into trouble with antitrust regulators over 20 years ago.

Could the hostility grow much worse? Quite contentious if the past is any indication. Apple often made fun of Microsoft software and accused the firm of duplicating Apple’s designs, while Apple co-founder Steve Jobs famously compared the release of iTunes on Windows to giving someone in hell a glass of cool water.