Enderle Proposes Microsoft/Apple Merger

Technology columnist Rob Enderle recently took a look at some of the problems Microsoft and Apple are having and proposed a unique solution: Have Microsoft buy Apple. His thought is that both companies have skills that could benefit the other. His argument to support this idea, however, is a little flawed.

Mr. Enderle is correct when he states ideas that seemed impossible in the technology industry have happened, like Apple switching to Intel processors for the Mac. Heis also correct when he mentions that Apple has some PR issues when dealing with the media.

There are, however, some glaring errors in the facts he cites to support the idea of a merger. Microsoft did at one time invest US$150 million in Apple, but not, as he says "when it was about to go under," and "so that the firm could come out with new hardware and finish its new operating system."

At the time, Apple was far from bankrupt, and had at least $1 billion in the bank. Apple later returned the Microsoft "vote of confidence" money.

Despite Mr. Enderleis assertion, Mac OS X 10.5 will not be shipping after Microsoftis Windows Vista in 2007. Expect to get your hands on Leopard some time between Thanksgiving and Macworld San Francisco. Thatis a release window of the end of November 2006 to the beginning of January 2007.

Mr. Enderle also points to the licensing of the iPod interface as a driving factor in the MP3 playeris success. Actually, Apple guards the interface on the iPod very closely, and no one but Apple can use it on their digital music players. If he really means the dock connector, itis still not a licensed. Any one that wants to, however, is welcome to design peripherals that use the dock connector to enhance the iPodis functionality.

And what of the benefits to the companies? How about a Plays for Sure-compliant iPod. Or adding seamless integration between Apple products and Microsoft Windows.

Mr. Enderle does offer one point in his TechNewsWorld story that explains exactly why a merger between Microsoft and Apple would be a really bad thing: "Imagine what would result if a new Apple OS was based on the new Windows kernel rather than on Unix."