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!

Save money on awesome Mac and iPhone apps in our Labor Day sale

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Labor Day Apps and Software Main
Get more from your Apple gear with Labor Day sales on language apps, cloud storage and more.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

This year, fewer of us will spend Labor Day weekend at the beach or on a road trip. Luckily, it’s still a good time for retail therapy.

So, how about some instant gratification? We’ve got fantastic deals on great Mac and iPhone apps that will really make your day. Plus, that instant gratification will last forever: Our deep discounts apply to lifetime subscriptions on these life-changing apps.

Play classic 1990s games with a fully functional Mac OS 8 emulator

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Mac OS 8 emulator
Return to the thrilling days of yesteryear with a Mac OS 8 emulator loaded with games from the 1990s.
Photo: Felix Rieseberg

Anyone wanting a serious dose of nostalgia should install a just-released emulator of a classic Apple desktop computer running Mac OS 8, first released in 1997. There’s even a bunch of games and productivity applications from the same era.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs spells out a new strategy for Mac OS

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Why Salesforce chief gave up AppStore.com for Apple
Steve Jobs introduced the world to OS X.
Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

May 11: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs spells out a new strategy for Mac OS May 11, 1998: As part of his mission to turn Apple around, Steve Jobs spells out the company’s strategy for the Mac operating system going forward.

The company will ship Mac OS 8.5 and the first customer release of an OS called Rhapsody that fall, he says at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California. The big news, however, is that Apple is hard at work creating a major new operating system called OS X.

Today in Apple history: Apple’s first watch is a freebie for upgraders

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The first Apple watch was ... well, just a watch, actually.
Apple's first watch was ... well, just a watch, actually.
Photo: Jonathan Morrison

May 2: Today in Apple history: First Apple watch is a freebie for upgraders May 2, 1995: Apple enters the wearables space with its first watch, a timepiece with no fitness-tracking tech, no on-screen notifications and a whole lot of 1990s styling.

The (real) first Apple watch comes two decades before wearables will become a thing. A regular wristwatch, the freebie gadget is available as a special mail-in offer to System 7.5 upgraders.

Today in Apple history: A phone call sows the seeds of OS X

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Look familiar? NeXT's OpenStep operating system laid the groundwork for OS X.
Look familiar?
Photo: The Color Convergence

Nov 25: Today in Apple history: The seeds of OS X are sown with NeXT OpenStep November 25, 1996: A midlevel manager at NeXT contacts Apple about the possibility of Cupertino licensing NeXT’s OpenStep operating system.

Garrett L. Rice’s communication with Ellen Hancock, Apple’s chief technology officer, is the first formal step in a long process. It ultimately leads to Apple buying NeXT, the creation of OS X, and Steve Jobs returning home to the company he co-founded.

Here’s almost every wallpaper Apple has ever made for Mac and iOS

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Snow-Leopard
Did you have a favorite Apple wallpaper?
Photo: Apple

Do you want a blast of Apple nostalgia which takes you back to an earlier time in macOS or iOS history, but don’t want to go as far as actually using older hardware? If so, then you’re in for a treat, thanks to a new archive of classic Apple wallpapers which just popped up online.

Dating back to the classic Mac days of System 7 and the original iPhone OS (remember when it wasn’t yet called iOS?), the archive boasts full resolution copies of most of the vintage Apple background images.