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

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money
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 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, which became even more successful than the iPod.

Bill Gates admits ‘Apple’s an amazing company’

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Bill Gates praises Apple
Bill Gates, who once headed Apple's arch rival, now has nothing but positive things to say about the company.
Screencap: CNBC

The co-founder of Microsoft joined the chorus of voices speaking positively about Apple today. Bill Gates’ relationship with Apple goes back to the very dawn of the company, and he and Steve Jobs were the best of frenemies.

Now that he’s a philanthropist rather the CEO of Microsoft he can speak openly about a former rival.

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, with the company 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: 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 historyFebruary 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

Jan13 January 13, 2000: Steve Jobs’ longtime frenemy Bill Gates steps down from his role as Microsoft CEO, one month after his company hit its all-time share price high.

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

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 MacintoshNovember 26, 1984: “The next generation of interesting software will be done on the Macintosh, not the IBM PC,” claims 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.

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 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!