New Apple Strategy: Partner with Microsoft For Future Battles

The battlefield amongst the tech giants is constantly shifting. Each is innovating while looking for weaknesses in the competitors and seizing new ground. A formal Apple partnership with Microsoft would change the balance of power.

Nadella introduced as new CEO, February 2014.
Satya Nadella introduced as new Microsoft CEO, February 2014. Image credit: Hit Refresh

Several articles this week suggest that the atmosphere and leadership at Microsoft is ripe for an Apple business opportunity.

The immediate take on these articles is that Microsoft’s vision, driven by CEO Satya Nadella, is now much broader than mere Windows. From the third article:

…of course Windows isn’t going away — but he [Nadella] also wanted to explain his latest buzzwordy vision for the future of the Microsoft: AI, Intelligent Cloud, and Intelligent Edge.

That’s because, of course, the OS in front of us has always been the customary interface to the world. Today, internet speeds, mobility, the cloud, and AI technology, have become dominant factors. It makes sense to think more broadly about how a local OS interfaces outside itself. That’s why we’ve seen Microsoft lean more towards interoperability and away from Windows-first, Windows-only.

Remember, one of the first things Sata Nadella did was to release Microsoft Office for iPad. That was something Steve Ballmer held back.

Similar Visions: Apple & Microsoft

More broadly, Apple and Microsoft complement each other. The pre-iPhone PC wars are over. Apple and Microsoft are like-minded when it comes to the privacy and security of their customers. Each has a common heritage in the PC/Mac world. Microsoft’s Windows phone failed, but the company can benefit by making its pervasive Windows OS work better with other company’s smartphones.

Amazon’s Alexa is poised to seize control of the home automation and AI market, something that could hasten the obsolescence of the traditional OSes. Family service robots are on Amazon’s (and probably Google’s) radar.

Apple could use help with Siri, robotics and business cloud expertise. Microsoft could use help with the adoption of a more pervasive, widely accepted, encrypted communication service like Apple’s Messages. And mobility in general.

While Apple and Microsoft will never merge, working more closely together on certain new projects could shift the balance of power in the high tech world in their favor. This never could have happened under Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer. The current Microsoft CEO is smart, self-confident and open to new ideas that go beyond the old, limited Windows-centric vision.

The first article above goes into some detail about the new overture Microsoft has made to Apple. Sooner or later, one of these companies, Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft is going to figure out how to join forces with a competitor with whom they have a lot in common and, then, better secure the battlefield. It’s only a matter of time. Apple and Microsoft, working together, in new, smart ways would be a force to be reckoned with.

Next Page: The News Debris for the week of May 7th. Getting very creeped out.

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W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

Great story, geoduck. 🙏

Knowledge, married to the will to good, is transformative.

W. Abdullah Brooks, MD


W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

John: Great themes for thought and discussion this week. Let me address two of them, an Apple/MS alliance, and AI/emotions. A collaboration between Apple and MS has greater potential relevance than mere product development. Apple and MS were born of a common era, grew first as partners then as rivals together, and survived an era that saw the birth of modern personal computing. Importantly, they are both not merely survivors, but architects and moulders of a storied and pivotal period of personal computing culture that has transitioned from its infancy of situational use case (office or home and almost nothing… Read more »


What you said about the corrosive effects of abuse reminded me of an article I read a long time ago. A meat company in the midwest decided to remodel their abbatours. They had been dark, noisy, horror shows, where the killing floors were covered with blood and such, where terrified cows watched it all while awaiting until being forcibly drug to their fate. After remodelling they were clean, well lit, the animals were held gently and moved along comfortably. The killing was done in one space out of sight, and smell, from the other animals. Overall it was a lot… Read more »


I would love to see Apple and Microsoft team up and work together. If they do, in regards to google duplex, I would like to see that the 2 companies make a better, smarter system that includes verification, because it won’t be long before we see appointments scheduled days before they were supposed to be or events conflicting with each other when someone doesn’t enter the be in a calendar. My version of verification would be that Siri sends you a list of available dates in the call so all you have to do is tap/click or even say a… Read more »


Should robots/androids have emotions? I read the cited article and felt so strongly about it, I had to comment, which for convenience I’m copying below. Sorry if it’s a little long: The qualia problem. Qualia is conscious subjective ability to feel sensation, to feel ‘what it’s like’ to experience something. I think emotion is ultimately based on feeling pain and pleasure both of the psychic and physical (physiological?) varieties. Can machines ever have qualia? Can they ever feel pain and pleasure? Maybe once emotion detection is perfected, robots can be programmed to relate and communicate more ‘authentically’ to humans. But… Read more »


Ha ha, that last line above. Let me rephrase:

Just because scientists and engineers in the future are able to build machines that simulate emotions and consciousness, that doesn’t raise those machines to the same moral plane as humans, or animals even.

Although the original wording also is something worth thinking about, eh?


FWIW my dad was a mechanic. We were taught to not abuse machines. That it was ethically wrong to deliberately inflict harm, be it on another person, or an animal, or the engine in your car. Slamming the door was wrong not because of the noise but because it was hard on the door and the house. So to me at least I have trouble with the “no different than your toaster” part. I would no more abuse a toaster than I would my cat. I saw an interesting experiment on the web. It was a box on the beach.… Read more »


Please don’t jump to the conclusion that when I say machines lie on a lower moral plane than humans or animals, that means I’m declaring open season for abusing and destroying machines. There is no argument there. To me destroying or even abusing a machine that is perfectly useful and beneficial (not just operational, but useful) is unethical. Destroying it is a waste of resources and abusing it is an affront to the people who worked hard to design and build the machine. And even with non-serviceable machines any person who derives pleasure from bashing it to bits is a… Read more »


In the (now long forgotten) series seaQuest DSV I remember a line about how “Apple buys Microsoft and…” It was a throwaway line they writers included because this was the bad old days of Apple at $12/share, and declining sales. The Pippen years. I’d find a good deal of satisfaction in Microsoft and Apple teaming up. The Google AI that sounds so human is interesting. In the BBC article ( “The demo was called “horrifying” by Zeynep Tufekci, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina who regularly comments on the ways technology and society impact on each other.… Read more »


I agree that you cannot un-know what is already known, so no point in complaining that Google developed this technology. But what really is the point of a machine that simulates the conversational style of a real human being other than to deceive people, perhaps not overtly if people are informed that they are talking to a machine, but subliminally through subconscious emotional manipulation? I shudder to think about the number of people who will be scammed using this technology. Is the landscape of the future one that requires hyper-vigilance against fake human voices, fake photos, fake video, and all… Read more »


But take this technology out of the world of robocalls. This technology would go a long way toward making androids that could interact with humans conversationally. Even before a Commander Data, it would be nice if Siri or Alexa were something you could chat with. Hold a conversation with. There would be no deceit. You’d know you were talking to Siri, but Siri could interact more ‘normally’ than it does now. I’m very impressed with the technology. As Werner von Braun said “Science is like a knife. Give it to a surgeon or a murderer and each will use it… Read more »