Mainstream Opinions Lean Towards The Idea That Apple Is Directly Challenging Microsoft

While it is no surprise to many in the tech world that Microsoft and Apple have not always been the best of friends, some are beginning to sit up and take notice that the rivalry is starting to heat up again. In an article on Yahoo! Finance, the author expresses that Apple may be preparing to go on with or without Microsoftis help, after a five year deal where Microsoft agreed to provide Mac software ended in 2002.

The source of this discussion was the release of Keynote and Safari at last weekis Macworld Expo. In defense of both the Safari browser and the Keynote presentation software, Apple product marketing director Peter Lowe claims that Apple is not going after Microsoft, but simply targeting areas where Apple has the potential to grow. From Yahoo! Finance:

Appleis latest software releases could ratchet up the tension. Appleis new Keynote presentation program competes with Microsoftis PowerPoint. And a new Web browser called Safari competes with Internet Explorer.

Apple claims it simply wanted to offer something superior to what was available, its executives say. Safari loads Web pages three times as fast as Internet Explorer, they say. And it provides new ways to store Web addresses. Keynote, meanwhile, offers more graphics features than current presentation programs.

Apple also wants to tap into the capabilities of its new operating system - Mac OS 10.2, better known as Jaguar. Safari does that better than Internet Explorer, and thatis one of the reasons itis faster. "We designed it to take full advantage of Jaguar," said Brian Croll, Appleis senior director of software product marketing.

Itis not as if Apple is snubbing Internet Explorer. Both programs appear on the Apple desktop. Users can opt to make either one their "default" browser. "Weire being extremely fair-minded here," Croll said.

But Safari and Keynote could make Apple less dependent on Microsoft. If Microsoft cuts back on software development for the Mac, Apple wonit be as vulnerable. And thereis another side effect to Appleis efforts. It could make the Mac more of a unique entity, rather than just another platform for Microsoft products.

The article goes on to quote Microsoft and Apple representatives who say that relations between the two companies are solid. The article also Apple still relies on some of Microsoftis products being released for the Mac, and that Microsoft still makes a nice profit off of said software. You can read the entire article at Yahoo! Finance.

Articles such as a recent column by Robert X. Cringely suggest more strongly that Apple is specifically targeting Microsoft, as have other mainstream articles.

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