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’s first hardware debuts … on the Apple II

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SoftCard
The original ad for the Z80 SoftCard.
Photo: Microsoft

April 2: Today in Apple history: Microsoft Z80 SoftCard, the company's first hardware, debuts on Apple II April 2, 1979: Microsoft releases its first hardware product, a microprocessor card that plugs into the Apple II computer.

Coming several years before the first version of Windows, the Z80 SoftCard becomes a big hit for Microsoft. It lets the Apple II run programs designed for the CP/M operating system, a popular OS for business software.

Microsoft Family Safety for iOS helps protect and monitor loved ones

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Microsoft-Family-Safety.gif
Share locations, track driving stats, and more.
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft on Tuesday revealed its brand-new Family Safety app designed to make it easier to protect and monitor your loved ones.

Family Safety will be part of the upcoming Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) overhaul, and will include features like location sharing, driver safety stats, activity reporting, and more.

Microsoft Build 2020 goes online-only amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Microsoft-Build-2020
Like WWDC and others, Build will go digital this year.
Photo: Microsoft/Cult of Mac

Microsoft is keen to go ahead with this year’s Build conference, but the event will now be online-only, the company confirmed on Friday. Build was scheduled to take place in Seattle from May 19 to May 21. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced Microsoft to go completely digital instead.

Microsoft’s announcement came just before Apple announced that WWDC 2020 will also go ahead with “an all-new online format.”

Today in Apple history: Intel and Microsoft face lawsuit for stealing Apple code

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Apple vs. Microsoft was one of the big tech battles of the 1990s.
Apple vs. Microsoft was one of the biggest tech battles of the 1990s.
Photo: Brian Turner/Flickr CC/Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

February 14: Today in Apple history: Intel and Microsoft face lawsuit for stealing Apple code February 14, 1995: Apple Computer extends a lawsuit against developer San Francisco Canyon Company to also include Microsoft and Intel. The lawsuit concerns code allegedly stolen from Apple and used to improve Microsoft’s Video for Windows technology.

The lawsuit comes to a head with Apple threatening a multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Microsoft. Meanwhile, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates threatens to cancel Office for Mac.

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.

Microsoft Outlook gets way more iPad-friendly

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Microsoft Outlook for iPad
Microsoft Outlook on iPad can at last show email next to a calendar.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Microsoft’s combined email and calendar application finally offers full support for iPad multitasking. Outlook now supports Split View, so users can have their mail and calendar open next to each other.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs considers buying Yahoo

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Yahoo
Apple could have made an offer with Disney.
Photo: Yahoo

February 4 Today in Apple historyFebruary 4, 2008: Steve Jobs reportedly considers buying the search engine Yahoo. Apple is one of several interested companies, following reports that Microsoft offered $44.6 billion for web portal the previous week.

Nothing ultimately comes of it, but Apple’s interest is later confirmed in an authorized biography of Apple’s CEO and co-founder.