Battle between Apple and Microsoft is over

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Apple and Microsoft cooperate
Office running on a Mac shows that the long fight between Apple and Microsoft has been over for years.
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft’s head of marketing says his company is no longer interested in battling with Apple. This is surely a shocking statement to anyone who remembers the days when these two brawled relentlessly. But those days are over.

The change was brought about by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who accepted the need to bring his company’s products to whatever devices could run them, not just Windows.

AI boosts Microsoft Translator for iPhone

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Microsoft Translator
Need to talk to the waiter in a French restaurant? Microsoft Translator wants to help, even if you're offline.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Microsoft Translator has been around for a while, but this app is getting a huge improvement: artificial intelligence-powered translations even when the iPhone is offline.

Using translation apps in a foreign country can be nerve wracking.  Such software almost always depends on remote servers to do the hard work. Microsoft, however, has squeezed the necessary AI into a mobile app.

Chrome adds Windows Defender to protect your Mac

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Windows Defender Google Chrome
Windows Defender is now available inside Google Chrome.
Photo: Microsoft

Windows Defender, which protects Windows 10 PCs from malware, can now keep your Mac safe from inside Google Chrome.

Microsoft has turned its antivirus app into a Chrome extension that promises to detect phishing links in your emails and dodgy sites that distribute malicious software. It’s 99 percent effective, according to Microsoft, which makes Windows Defender better than rival browser protections.

Apple doubles down on AI in Seattle

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Siri
Siri needs all the AI talent it can get.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s is slowly invading the home turf of some of its biggest rivals in Seattle.

The iPhone-maker has reportedly secured more office space in one of the biggest skyscrapers in Seattle, where Amazon, Microsft and Facebook all fight for top tech talent.

Intel speeds up chips by offloading virus scans

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Intel-Kaby-Lake
Intel will task GPUs with antivirus scanning.
Photo: Intel

Intel plans to offload virus scanning to improve the performance of its processors.

It will allow antivirus programs to use its integrated graphics chipsets when scanning for attacks, which will reduce processor and power consumption on some machines. It could mean that you’ll get more use out of your MacBook in between charges.

Today in Apple history: Cupertino disputes so-called ‘Apple tax’

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Microsoft Windows
Microsoft ads take issue with Apple's premium prices.
Photo: Microsoft

April 16 Today in Apple historyApril 16, 2009: Apple hits back at Microsoft following an advertisement that criticizes Cupertino for failing to sell decent laptops for less than $1,000.

“A PC is no bargain when it doesn’t do what you want,” Apple’s Mac PR director Bill Evans tells Bloomberg. “The one thing that both Apple and Microsoft can agree on is that everyone thinks the Mac is cool. With its great designs and advanced software, nothing matches it at any price.”

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: Microsoft’s first hardware debuts … on the Apple II

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SoftCard
Microsoft's original ad for the 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.