From Mark Gurman’s “Apple and Microsoft’s Rivalry Had Cooled. Now It’s Back and Getting Testier” ($) posted Saturday on Bloomberg News:
[Last November] Microsoft began bad-mouthing Apple to regulators, saying the company’s App Store was anti-competitive. The Redmond, Washington, software giant had thrown in its lot with Epic Games Inc., which was suing Apple for booting its Fornite title from the App Store and accusing the iPhone maker of monopolistic behavior. A Microsoft executive has since testified against Apple at the trial, now in its second week, telling the court that Apple’s tight control of its App Store had hurt Microsoft’s own gaming efforts.
The tensions are unlikely to ease once a verdict comes down because Apple and Microsoft are both looking to dominate the next big things in tech—from artificial intelligence and cloud computing to gaming, tablets, custom processors and mixed-reality headsets.
The renewed antipathy between Apple and Microsoft started about a year ago. Microsoft had developed a cloud gaming service for iPhones and iPads called xCloud. One app would let users pay a monthly fee to Microsoft and stream dozens of different gaming titles from the cloud. The service was supposed to do for gaming what Netflix did for video, appease gamers and turn Apple devices into a more powerful gaming platform backed by Xbox, one of the hottest names in the industry.
But Microsoft never launched the service in its intended form, having failed to persuade Apple to loosen App Store rules forbidding all-in-one gaming services…
Around the same time, Microsoft President Brad Smith began urging U.S. and European antitrust regulators to examine Apple’s practices. “They impose requirements that increasingly say there is only one way to get on to our platform and that is to go through the gate that we ourselves have created,” Smith told a Politico reporter. He added that he considered Apple’s behavior worse than the actions that landed his company in the antitrust hot seat more than 20 years ago.
My take: Apple has certainly done its share of Microsoft bashing, but not much lately. The only quote Gurman offers — nearly 10 years old — is Steve Jobs likening iTunes on Windows to “giving a glass of ice water to somebody in hell.”