Apple’s Deal With The M$ Devil

This iBrotha article was originally published at by Rodney O. Lain. In honor of Rodney’s death, a good friend and contributor, we are reposting here with the permission of MacAddict. We would like to thank them for their generosity in allowing us to remember Rodney by keeping this archive of his work.


Apple’s Deal With The M$ Devil

fri apr.28.2000

No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

— H. L. Mencken, my idol

(SOMEWHERE IN CUPERTINO) — It’s not unusual to see celebrities showing up at Apple’s campus, since many of them are unabashed Mac addicts. 

What is unusual is to see His iNess Steven P. Jobs walking the grounds with said celebrities. Even more unusual is to see the Apple visionary traipsing around with Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who is not only the most famous Mac user alive, but also the richest — Larry Ellison notwithstanding.

Today was one of those unusual days-

“So, how’re you holding up, Bill? ”

“Oh, I’m great, Steve! Why do you ask?”

“Well, I thought, with the government’s anti-trust thing and all-”

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: [eff] the government! They can’t touch me. I’ve got more money than God! Hell, I-”

“‘- you ARE God,” Steve finishes Gates’ oft-repeated rant. Quickly changing the subject, he says, “Hey, Bill, I went and did what you suggested.”

“You’re jerking me,” Gates says, unconvinced. “Show me.”

Steve holds out his right hand to show Gates his pinky ring. “All of the guys think it’s a hoot. Of course, Larry [Ellison] had to go and get one, too.”

“Why do you put up with him, Steve?”

“Aw, you’re just upset that he publicly rags you and Microsoft every chance he gets.”

“So have you gotten Larry to kiss your pinky ring yet,” Gates snorts. “which is no big deal, since he’s always kissing your ass.

Jobs can’t help but to laugh at that one. “But you must admit, Ellison has always played a good ‘bad cop’ to my ‘good cop.’.”

“Look, Steve, I’d love to stay and jaw with you, but I’ve got a company to run.”

“Thought that was Ballmer’s job nowaways-”

Gates feigns ignorance. “Oh, yea-” They both laugh at that one. “But, you’re avoiding the issue. Why did you whisk me down here?”

“As if you were in Redmond when I called. C’mon, Bill! I know you’ve been in Mountain View for the last few days working on Office 2001 for the Mac.” [Mountain View, California, is where part of Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit is housed — a proverbial hop, skip and a jump from Cupertino- Ed.].

“Then why didn’t you just call me? We could have talked via phone, as we always do.”

Steve Jobs falls into a more business-like demeanor. “I wanted you here in person so I can have your undivided attention.”

“What do you mean? You always have my undivided attention.”

Ignoring him, Jobs continues. “Look, you bastards almost let the cat out of the bag with IE 5.”

“What do you mean?” Gates’ ignorance isn’t feigned this time. “What in the world do you mean?”

“Look at this.” Jobs snaps his fingers and his flunky, who has been following at a respectful distance, brings his attachè. The flunky hands Jobs the attachè. In mid-stride, Steve pauses, his mercurial mood shifting to anger. “You little bitch! I told you to bring my tan attachè, not the black one!”

He raises his hand to slap the flunky, but the boyish-looking lad ducks and falls backward, landing on his rump. Steve, in a conciliatory gesture, reaches out to the lad to help him up. Clasping his hand, Steve pulls the boy up and, seeing that his grip is firm, he raises his free hand and smacks the kid across the mouth. “That’s for not doing what I told you, l’il bitch!”

Gates looks at the flunky sympathetically and does a double take. “Steve, isn’t that-?”

“Yep, that’s Ryan Meader, Mr. Mac OS Rumors himself. I tricked him into coming out here, a few weeks ago, making him think I sought his advice. Little did he know-”

“That’s sick,” Gates says, and then mutters to himself, “not to mention illegal.”

“Anyway,” Jobs resume. “Look at this.” He flips open the attachè, and pulls out a black iBook. He opens it and launches IE 5. He deftly configures the screen so that he hides the toolbar. “Now, observe.”

Jobs hits the Command-L keystroke to open a new URL and begins typing in a URL. He types only a few characters then stops when the auto-fill feature kicks in. He turns the computer around so that Gates can see the screen.


“Look at the drop-down menu. It has the same ‘see-through’ effect that Aqua does.” Jobs sits on a nearby bench, crosses his arms and leans back. Gates looks at the screen, looks a Jobs and looks at the screen again.

“This is why you dragged me away from Mountain View?”

“You don’t get it, do you?” Steve says. “Let me refresh your memory: at MacWorld San Francisco, I told the audience that the product that I wanted to show them a newly ‘carbonized product’ unseen even by the product’s developers. Now a few weeks later, Microsoft releases IE 5, with an apparent Aqua-like feature. This contradicts my comments.”

“Steve, I’m leaving,” Gates declares. “You’re too paranoid even for me.”

“You don’t get it, do you? People, if they’re smart enough, can extrapolate that you guys knew about Aqua well before the Expo.”

Gates: “I fail to see any value in this except for the info you’ve given mel

Jobs: “You have issues. How can someone be so paranoid? If I were that paranoid, I’d commit myself to an institution.”

Steve points behind Gates. “Hey, Bill. Isn’t that Janet Reno? What’s she doing in this neighborhood.”

“Dammit, you gotta hide me, Steve!” Gates cries in terror. “Hurry!”

Jobs retorts: Shall I get you a jacket — your straight jacket?”

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