Today in Apple history: Apple signs damaging deal with Microsoft

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Windows used a number of elements of the Mac UI
One of the most damaging deals in Apple history.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

November 21: Today in Apple history: Apple signs Microsoft deal licensing Mac look and feel November 21, 1985: Following Steve Jobs’ departure, Apple comes close to signing its own death warrant by licensing the Macintosh’s look and feel to Microsoft.

The deal, between Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Apple CEO John Sculley, comes hot on the heels of the Windows operating system’s release. The pact gives Microsoft a “non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, nontransferable license to use [parts of the Mac technology] in present and future software programs, and to license them to and through third parties for use in their software programs.”

Oh, boy!

Today in Apple history: Apple begins retail venture inside CompUSA

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Desiring more control over how Macs got sold, Apple turned to CompUSA.
Desiring more control over how Macs got sold, Apple turned to CompUSA.
Photo: Coolcaesar/Wikipedia CC

November 4: Today in Apple history: Apple CompUSA November 4, 1997: Apple unveils its plan to open small “store within a store” sections inside CompUSA outlets around the United States.

In a step toward the flagship Apple stores that would launch four years later, Cupertino-trained employees staff these mini-stores. The move gives Apple a bit more control over the way its products get displayed and demoed to consumers.

Today in Apple history: IBM and Apple shake and make up

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Steve Jobs and IBM
At one time, an Apple and IBM deal sounded impossible.
Photo: Andy Hertzfield

October 2: Today in Apple history: IBM and Apple shake and make up October 2, 1991: As the Cold War comes to an end, hell freezes over a second time as Apple and IBM agree to put aside their differences.

Having been bitter rivals for the past decade, the two tech giants host a press conference at the Fairmont hotel in San Francisco to unveil their new partnership. “We want to be a major player in the computer industry,” Apple CEO John Sculley says. “The only way to do that is to work with another major player.”

Today in Apple history: Microsoft throws Apple a $150 million lifeline

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Bill Gates
Bill Gates looking like the cat that got the cream.
Photo: Apple

August 6: Today in Apple history: Microsoft investment helps save Apple from doom August 6, 1997: In one of the most famous moments in Apple history, Steve Jobs reveals that Microsoft invested $150 million in its rival.

Although often presented as an inexplicable gesture of good faith on the part of Microsoft boss Bill Gates, the cash infusion into Apple actually benefits both companies.

Today in Apple history: Nike+iPod brings fitness tracking to your pocket

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The Nike+iPod Sports Kit was a nifty innovation.
The Nike+iPod Sport Kit was a nifty innovation.
Photo: Apple

July 13: Today in Apple history: Nike+iPod Sport Kit brings fitness tracking to your pocket July 13, 2006: Apple releases its first activity tracker, the Nike+iPod Sport Kit, which combines Cupertino’s popular music player with a smart pedometer.

The product marks Apple’s first step toward the kind of mobile health-tracking initiatives it will investigate in the following decade — most notably through its iOS Health app and the Apple Watch.

Apple should buy privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo, analyst says

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DuckDuckGo offers great image search, plus it doesn’t track you.
Great image search, plus it doesn’t track you.
Image: DuckDuckGo

Even though Google pays a hefty sum to stay the default iPhone search engine, an industry analyst suggests Apple should buy rival DuckDuckGo anyway.

That likely wouldn’t be the end of Google and Apple’s cooperation on search, according to AllianceBernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi. But it would strengthen Apple’s bargaining position.

Today in Apple history: Rumors fly that Canon might buy Apple

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Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
Apple was up for sale in the 1990s.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

April 21: Today in Apple history: Rumors fly that Canon might buy Apple April 21, 1995: Rumors swirl that Canon (yes, the Japanese camera company!) might take over Apple in either a partial or complete acquisition.

Speculation grows about a possible deal after Apple reveals its latest earnings, which show big improvement but still fall far short of Wall Street’s expectations.

Today in Apple history: Apple pays to use ‘iPad’ name

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The iPad delivered Apple's
Would an iPad by any other name smell as sweet?
Photo: Apple

March 26: Today in Apple history: Apple buys rights to use iPad name from Fujitsu March 26, 2010: Apple ends a trademark dispute with Japanese multinational Fujitsu over the name “iPad” in the United States.

It comes two months after Steve Jobs first showed off the iPad, and around a week before the tablet will land in stores. As it happens, it’s not the first time Apple battled over the name for one of its new products.

Today in Apple history: Apple outwits clone-makers with Mac OS 8

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Mac OS 8 gave Apple a much-needed revenue boost.
More than just a system update, Mac OS 8 was a nasty surprise for clone-makers.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

March 8: Today in Apple history: Apple outwits clone-makers with Mac OS 8 March 8, 1997: Apple renames the forthcoming Mac OS 7.7 update, calling it “Mac OS 8.” It’s more than just a name change, though: It’s a sneaky sucker punch that ultimately knocks out Mac clones.

Unfortunately for Mac users, the updated operating system does not deliver the total top-to-bottom rewrite promised by Apple’s Project Copland. However, the renaming strategy turns out to be a brilliant (if underhanded) way of getting Apple out of terrible licensing deals.

Today in Apple history: Apple and Cisco settle over ‘iPhone’ name

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The InfoGear iPhone was definitely a bit ... different from current models.
The first iPhone was definitely a bit ... different from current models.
Photo: Bob Ackerman/Wikipedia CC

February 21: Today in Apple history: Apple and Cisco settle over 'iPhone' name February 21, 2007: Apple comes to an agreement with Cisco over the iPhone trademark, which Cisco legally owns but Apple wants to use.

Under the agreement, both companies get to use the iPhone trademark on products throughout the world. The two businesses also dismiss outstanding lawsuits against one another, and agree to “explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, and consumer and enterprise communications.”

It’s a classic bit of Steve Jobs steamrolling the opposition.