Today in Apple history: Bill Gates urges Apple to license Mac OS

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Bill Gates
Bill Gates took this strategy and made himself a multibillionaire.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

June 25: Today in Apple history: Bill Gates urges Apple to license Mac OS June 25, 1985: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates sends a memo to Apple execs suggesting that Cupertino should license its Mac operating system and additional technology to other companies

Apple CEO John Sculley and Macintosh boss Jean Louis Gassée ignore the advice of the 30-year-old Gates, who at the time is best known as a Mac developer. Five months later, Microsoft releases Windows 1.0.

Gates Foundation buys more than half a million Apple shares

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Bill Gates
Picture this guy investing in Apple. Stranger things have happened!
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

The Gates Foundation, the charitable organization belonging to Bill and Melinda Gates, snapped up more than half a million Apple shares during the first three months of 2020, a new report claims.

According to an SEC filing, reported by Smarter Analyst, the largest private foundation in the world purchased some 501,044 Apple shares in the first quarter of 2020. At present, AAPL is trading at $320.40, having made back the value it lost during the coronavirus pandemic.

Today in Apple history: Apple becomes world’s most valuable tech company

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Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
It was a big day for Apple!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac/401Calculator

May 26: Today in Apple history: Apple worth more than Microsoft for first time May 26, 2010: In a massive milestone, Apple passes Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable technology company.

The changing of the guard proves particularly amazing given that, just 15 years earlier, Apple looked close to dead, while Microsoft dominated the tech world thanks to Windows.

Today in Apple history: Bill Gates predicts doom for Apple’s biggest product

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Bill-Gates-60-Minutes
Unfortunately for Gates, Steve Jobs was one step ahead.
Photo: 60 Minutes

May 12: Today in Apple history: Bill Gates predicts doom for iPod, Apple's biggest product May 12, 2005: Longtime Apple frenemy Bill Gates tells a German newspaper that Apple may have hit it big with the iPod, but that its success isn’t going to last forever.

The reason? Mobile phones are going to steal the iPod’s market share. The good news for Gates is that he was right on the money. The bad news for Microsoft is that Apple cannibalized itself by making the iPhone. And Apple’s smartphone became even more successful than the iPod.

Today in Apple history: Apple frenemy Microsoft is born

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Bill Gates
Apple and Microsoft had a long and storied history together.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

April 4: Today in Apple history: Microsoft founded April 4, 1975: Childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Microsoft Corporation, a software company destined to become a tech behemoth — and a major Apple frenemy.

A few years later, Microsoft will break through to the mainstream with Excel and Word, becoming a key developer of Macintosh software. Then comes the Windows operating system, looking suspiciously Apple-like. After that, Microsoft and Apple embark upon a long-running feud.

Today in Apple history: Microsoft gets sued for ripping off Mac OS

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Windows used a number of elements of the Mac UI
Windows 2.0 borrowed several elements from the Mac user interface.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

March 17: Today in Apple history: Apple sues Microsoft for ripping off Mac OS March 17, 1988: Apple sues Microsoft for allegedly stealing 189 different elements of its Macintosh operating system to create Windows 2.0.

The incident, which causes a deep rift between Apple and one of its top developers, paves the way for an epic battle between the two companies that will rage for years.

Today in Apple history: iPad fails to impress Bill Gates

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Bill Gates Fox News
The iPad is nothing Gates wishes Microsoft had invented.
Photo: Fox News

February 11: Today in Apple history: iPad fails to impress Bill Gates February 11, 2010: With iPad excitement reaching a fever pitch, Steve Jobs’ old frenemy Bill Gates wades in with his own opinion of Apple’s tablet.

His view? It’s kinda meh.

“There’s nothing on the iPad I look at and say, ‘Oh, I wish Microsoft had done it,'” he tells one interviewer.

Today in Apple history: Bill Gates quits as Microsoft CEO

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Bill Gates
Bill Gates' rivalry with Steve Jobs was legendary.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

January 13: Today in Apple history: Bill Gates quits as Microsoft CEO January 13, 2000: Steve Jobs’ longtime frenemy Bill Gates steps down from his role as Microsoft CEO, a month after his company’s stock hit its all-time high.

The news coincides with a turning point in the long-running battle between the two tech powerhouses. Microsoft begins a long decline from its previous dominance, while Apple continues its rise to the top.

Today in Apple history: Microsoft hits the height of its power

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December 1999 was a turning point for Microsoft.
December 1999 proved to be a turning point for Microsoft.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

December 30: Today in Apple history: Microsoft hits the height of its power December 30, 1999: Microsoft hits the height of its 1990s dominance and begins its early-2000s decline, clearing a gap at the top for Apple.

After hitting its all-time high of $53.60, Microsoft stock starts to fall. Less than a year later, Microsoft shares fall more than 60 percent in value to $20.

Today in Apple History: Bill Gates hails Mac as the future of computing

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Bill Gates
Bill Gates offered high praise for the Mac in 1984.
Image: Fulvio Obregon

November 26: Today in Apple history: Bill Gates praises Macintosh November 26, 1984: “The next generation of interesting software will be done on the Macintosh, not the IBM PC,” claims Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in a BusinessWeek cover story.

The claim would seem almost unthinkable coming out of Gates’ mouth just a few years later. But it comes at a time when Microsoft is best known as one of the biggest Mac developers.