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Apple and Microsoft: The Odd Couple

Apple and Microsoft have a bizarre relationship.  They fight for market share of the personal computing market yet kind of really need each other.  Think about it:  Microsoft serves as a big easy target for Apple in their marketing efforts, and Microsoft’s products are forced to improve because of Apple.  Microsoft sells office software for the Mac, enabling use and compatibility with the platform.  The list goes on, and let’s not forget about M$’s 1997 $150 million investment in Apple.

The game is about to get more interesting.  The Mac Lawyer featured an interesting discussion about the news of Outlook availability on the Mac platform next year.  The question is, will people adopt or move to Outlook on Mac?  My take is that offering Outlook on the Mac, combined with Exchange Server integration, will enable businesses that were afraid of the OS X platform to finally take the plunge. For the Mac faithful, however, Mail, Address Book, and iCal are a beautiful combination and will probably be the standard apps.

In addition, the much awaited release of Windows 7 is right around the corner.  According to BusinessWeek, the launch of the new Windows OS is a boon for Apple.  Why?  Consumers who balked at Vista (or who got snarled in the Vista mess) will be faced with an upgrade decision.  And when a consumers stop and take a look around, they may be apt to move in any direction.

Especially if they can get Outlook, Word, and Excel on their Macs (as well as Rocket Matter to run their law firms).

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