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.

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!

Bill Gates reveals what he envied most about Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, rivals and friends.
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, rivals and friends.
Photo: AllThingsD

Tim Cook isn’t the only tech icon with something big coming out on September 20.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is the subject of a new Netflix documentary series that premieres on iPhone 11 launch day. Inside Bill’s Brain connects chapters of Gates’ personal life with his philanthropic work. Gates does more than other tech luminaries to make the world a better place. Still, he says there’s one skill Steve Jobs possessed that would prove immensely helpful for his current work.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates talk ‘future of the PC’

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In a rare joint interview, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates trade barbs and debate the
In a rare joint interview from 1991, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates discuss the "future of the PC" in Forbes magazine.
Photo: Cult of Mac (stock image from Reviewsapex)

August 26: Today in Apple historyAugust 26, 1991: In their first joint interview, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates trade barbs and debate “the future of the PC” in Fortune magazine.

The spirited discussion marks 10 years since the first IBM PC shipped. The piece also looks at what the future holds for both men — described as the former “boy wonders of computing, now thirtysomething.”

Today in Apple history: Apple fan Jerry Seinfeld joins the dark side

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Microsoft ad
"What's the deal with bad advertising?"
Photo: Microsoft

August 21: Today in Apple history: Jerry Seinfeld appears in failed Microsoft ads August 21, 2008: Microsoft recruits comedian Jerry Seinfeld for a series of ads. It’s a naked attempt to shake the company’s reputation as a stodgy oldster (as opposed to Apple’s trendsetting hipster image).

Microsoft pays Seinfeld a reported $10 million for the ads. However, thanks to the Mac’s appearance in virtually every episode of Seinfeld over the years, the comedian remains the world’s most famous Apple fanboy.

Today in Apple history: Tide turns against Apple in war with Microsoft

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Mac vs. PC
A judge's decision proves very damaging to Apple.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

August 14: Today in Apple history: Tide turns against Apple in war with Microsoft August 14, 1991: As Apple and Microsoft head to court to battle each other, the tide begins to turn against Cupertino and its claims that Windows unlawfully copies the look and feel of Mac OS.

The case concerns whether key elements of Apple’s operating system are original enough for copyright protection. The decision turns out to be a major blow against Apple — and the start of the company’s 1990s decline.

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: Windows scores big victory over Mac

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Windows used a number of elements of the Mac UI
Windows used a number of elements of the Mac UI.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

July 25: Today in Apple history: Windows scores big legal victory over Mac when judge throws out Apple's copyright infringement claims July 25, 1989: Apple suffers a major setback in its copyright-infringement lawsuit against Microsoft for allegedly stealing the Mac’s “look and feel” to create Windows.

Apple sued Microsoft on 189 counts of copyright infringement relating to Windows 2.0.3. The judge overseeing the case throws out 179 of them. This paves the way for Microsoft’s dominance over Apple in the coming decade.