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.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs attempts a boardroom coup

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Jobs
Sadly for Steve, things didn't work in his favor.
Photo: Esther Dyson/Flickr CC

May 23: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs attempts a boardroom coup May 23, 1985: Bitter about being ousted from his position running the Macintosh division, Steve Jobs attempts to stage a coup to seize control of Apple from CEO John Sculley.

The 30-year-old Apple co-founder plans to overthrow Sculley while the CEO is away on a business trip in China. Unfortunately for Jobs, he makes a critical mistake when he tries to recruit the support of Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée, who informs Sculley of the plot.

It’s the beginning of the end for Jobs’ first tenure at Apple.

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: ‘The Diesel’ becomes Apple COO

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Apple CEO Michael Spindler headed the company during trying times in the 1990s.
Michael Spindler's COO promotion put him on the path to being named future chief executive.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

January 29: Today in Apple history: Michael H. Spindler, aka 'The Diesel,' is named new Apple COO January 29, 1990: Apple CEO John Sculley appoints Michael H. Spindler as the company’s new chief operating officer.

Nicknamed “The Diesel” on account of his work ethic, Spindler’s new job continues his upward trajectory at Apple. Three years later, he will become CEO.

Former Apple exec says mobile payments are all about selling hardware

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Apple profits
Jean-Louis Gassée thinks mobile payments are, first and foremost, a way to sell hardware.
Illustration: Cult of Mac

Former Apple exec Jean-Louis Gassée has posted a new edition of his always enjoyable Monday Note blog, arguing that Apple isn’t intending to disrupt banks and credit card companies with its entry into the mobile payments world.

It’s an interesting read, and makes a whole lot of sense: pointing out that Apple’s mobile payment drive is simply an extension of the company’s current strategy.

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iOS App Store.
iOS App Store.

What Microsoft’s new CEO could learn about writing from Steve Jobs

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Current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has a reputation as someone who cuts middle management.
Current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has a reputation as someone who cuts middle management.

Outspoken ex-Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée has never been afraid to speak his mind, even when contradicting the most powerful Silicon Valley executives.

But even by Gassée’s usual standard, he doesn’t have kind words for Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella. Having read his recent “3,100 plodding word” essay sent out to 127,000 Microsoft employees to describe the Windows-maker’s new vision, Gassée calls Nadella a “repeat befuddler” who could learn a thing or two from Steve Jobs on how to express himself.

Former Apple Ex Jean-Louis Gassée: To Survive, The iPad Will Have To Become More Mac-Like

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Wall Street consensus is that when Apple announces its Q2 2014 quarterly earnings on Wednesday, Apple’s year-over-year iPad numbers won’t look good. On the low end, at least one Wall Street analyst says that Apple will have sold 23% fewer iPads this year than last year in the same quarter; on average, Wall Street expects Apple’s iPad sales to have declined 0.7% year-over-year.

How can this be? This is the year that Apple unveiled the Retina iPad mini and the beautifully redesigned iPad Air, after all. How is it possible that these iPads can be selling worse than the inferior iPads a year ago?

Ex-Apple exec Jean-Louie Gassée has a theory, and it’s not one that Apple fans are going to be happy to hear: the iPad is a big tease, and fundamentally less useful than both a smartphone or a laptop.

Still Dreaming About An Apple TV Set? Former Exec Says It’s Not Happening

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AppleTV_Mockup_cropped

Still fantasizing about replacing your aging plasma with a new Apple television? According to recent speculation, the Cupertino company is going to announce the revolutionary new set any day now. But according to former Apple executive and current Apple watcher Jean-Louis Gassee, we’re kidding ourselves.

Gassee says that the rumors surrounding the device are nothing but an “enduring fantasy,” and that the only thing Apple will release that’s close to a television is a new Apple TV set-top box.

In 1985, Bill Gates Pitched Apple To Make The Mac Into Windows

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The fantastic Letters of Note blog has posted an amazing letter that a 30-year old Bill Gates sent to John Sculley and Jean Louis Gassée back in June of 1985.

In the letter, Gates argues that Apple should license their hardware and operating system out to other companies, making Macintosh a “standard.” If that pitch sounds familiar, it should: after being ignored by Apple for six months, Microsoft took the idea and ran with it, bringing Windows to the world.