There is little linking between Microsoft, Apple and healthy collaboration practices. In fact, the two companies have stopped at nothing in taking swings at one another. However, while Apple has been upfront about Microsoft, the Redmond Company has considered more subversive tactics. All is fair in love and war, and the constant face-off between the Redmond and the Cupertino companies has pushed Microsoft to implement disputable business practices.
In this regard, all the way back in 1997, Microsoft considered delivering a great deal of harm to Apple by canceling the Mac Office 97 suite. "The pace of our discussions with Apple as well as their recent unsatisfactory response have certainly frustrated a lot of people at Microsoft. The threat of cancelling Mac Office 97 is certainly the strongest bargaining point we have, as doing so will do a great deal of harm to Apple immediately. I also believe that Apple is taking this threat pretty seriously, and at least someone there seems to want to move forward," stated Mac Business Unit Chief Ben Waldman in an email addressed to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.
Although it is clear that Microsoft did in fact deliver Office for Mac, this email shows the true face of Microsoft when it comes to dealing with its competitors. Gates' reply proposes two questions. On the background of considering canceling Mac Office 97, Gates asked about a realistic date for shipping the product and about the chances that Apple could be kept in the dark for a month on Microsoft's plans on the matter.
"Regardless of the outcome of these discussions, though, I believe we should ship Mac Office 97. Furthermore, I believe we need to decide this immediately - our indecision so far has caused quite a bit of harm, and this will become far worse very shortly, as we are not only close to shipping code externally, but need to finally start press and customer communications," Waldman added.