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!

Will M1 Macs ever run Windows? It’s up to Microsoft.

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Apple MacBook Pro with Apple Silicon running Windows
Macs with Apple Silicon could run Windows for Arm. Potentially.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, says Macs with the new M1 processor could run the version of Windows Microsoft created to run on similar chips. Apple did nothing to make that impossible. So whether Apple Silicon Macs ever run Windows depends on Microsoft.

Today in Apple history: Microsoft reveals its plans for Windows 1.0

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This is how Windows 1.0 looked when it shipped.
This is how Windows 1.0 looked when it shipped.
Screenshot: Microsoft

November 10: Today in Apple history: Microsoft Windows 1.0 November 10, 1983: Microsoft tells the world about an upcoming product called Windows, which will bring the graphical user interface to IBM PCs. Although Microsoft’s announcement about the new operating system comes before Apple launches the Mac in 1984, Windows 1.0 won’t actually ship until November 1985, earning it a reputation as “vaporware.”

At the time, Apple doesn’t view Windows as much of a threat. That doesn’t take long to change, however.

Today in Apple history: iTunes sales hit astonishing new heights

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iTunespic
iTunes coming to Windows proved a smart move for Apple.
Photo: Apple

November 6: Today in Apple history: After porting iTunes to Windows, iTunes sales hit 1.5 million downloads in one week November 6, 2003: After porting iTunes to Windows, Apple sets a new record for digital music sales: a massive 1.5 million downloads in one week.

Bringing iTunes to PC users opens up a new, lucrative market for Apple. The record-breaking sales clock in at five times more than the 300,000 downloads Napster (remember it?) achieved in its debut week. And 1.5 million is double the 600,000 iTunes downloads per week Apple reported selling to Mac users prior to the Windows release.

Today in Apple history: Apple offers ice water to Windows users in hell

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iTunes
On this day in 2003, Steve Jobs revealed his plan to bring iTunes to Windows.
Photo: Apple

October 16: Today in Apple history: iTunes Music Store comes to Windows October 16, 2003: Six months after opening the iTunes Music Store for Mac owners, Apple expands the service to cover Windows PCs as well.

Steve Jobs later quips that making iTunes available to Windows owners is akin to “giving a glass of ice water to somebody in hell.”

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.

Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac takes Windows to macOS Big Sur

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Running Windows on a Mac with Parallels Desktop just got better. Again.
Running Windows on a Mac just got better. Again.
Image: Parallels

Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac launched Tuesday, bringing new features and performance enhancements that mean the virtualization software delivers the “ultimate Windows-on-Mac experience,” the company said.

The update also preps the popular software for the upcoming release of macOS Big Sur. That required a major effort from Parallels’ engineers.

“We had to re-engineer all of the (kernel extensions) that we would need from scratch to work with the new macOS kext that’s integrated into the product,” said John Uppendahl, Parallels’ VP of global communications, during an online briefing about the software. “And to give you context, that alone took 25 man-years of engineering work.”

Today in Apple history: Safari lands on Windows with a ‘meh’

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Safari on Windows
Safari on Windows wasn't quite the smash hit Apple hoped for.
Photo: Apple

June 11: Today in Apple history: Safari lands on Windows with a meh June 11, 2007: At WWDC, Steve Jobs unveils Safari 3 for Windows, bringing its web browser to non-Apple computers for the first time.

Apple advertises Safari as the world’s fastest and easiest-to-use web browser, capable of rendering web pages up to twice as fast as Internet Explorer and 1.6 times faster than Firefox. It lasts until 2012, but never becomes a major player on Windows.