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Microsoft and Apple are no longer the fierce rivals they used to be and, in fact, the two companies are now even collaborating on a series of projects supposed to make their products work better one with another.

But there was a time when many considered Microsoft and Apple the biggest enemies in the tech industry, not only because of the history between the two, but also as a result of the competing products they launched.

  • Question: Q: Internet Explorer for MAC OSX Yosemite More Less Apple Footer This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only.
  • Internet Explorer 4.0 for Macintosh. At the 1997 Macworld Expo in Boston, on August 6, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates announced a partnership between Microsoft and Apple. Amongst other things, Apple agreed to make Internet Explorer the default browser instead of Netscape Navigator.

And yet, Microsoft somehow managed to expand in Apple’s walled garden, making its software available for Mac OS X users at a time when pretty much every fanboy of the Cupertino-based tech giant hated the software firm with all their guts.

It all started in 1997 at Apple’s MacWorld conference in Boston when Steve Jobs made a surprise announcement and Bill Gates himself took the stage to discuss Microsoft’s plans for Mac OS X.

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It was something nobody would have ever imagined happening, but which Apple really needed due to its financial trouble. With a low stock price and struggling financially, Apple appointed Steve Jobs as an interim CEO in an attempt to save the company.

And the solution he found, and which he announced at MacWorld, was a partnership with Microsoft that allowed the software firm to expand in the world on Mac OS X quite substantially.

First of all, according to the partnership between the two, Internet Explorer became the default browser on the Macintosh.

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“We have taken a look at browsers out there and Apple has decided to make Internet Explorer its default browser on the Macintosh. Since we believe in choice, we’re going to be shipping other Internet browsers, as well, on the Macintosh, and the user can, of course, change their default should they choose to. We believe that Internet Explorer is a really good browser, and we think it’s going to make a fine default browser,” Steve Jobs told the audience in this surprise announcement.

Then, a dedicated version of Microsoft Office for Mac OS X was also offered to Apple users as part of a five-year collaboration.

What Microsoft had to do in return was make a $150 million investment in Apple, which essentially allowed the company to avoid the financial collapse.

“Microsoft is making an investment in Apple. Microsoft is buying $150 million worth of Apple stock at market price. It is non-voting shares. And they’ve agreed not to sell them for at least three years. So what this means is that Microsoft is going to be part of the game with us as we restore this company back to health, have a vested interest in that stock price going up,” Jobs told the audience.

Microsoft and Apple also settled their patent dispute and received a full cross-license for all patents.

Using Internet Explorer On Mac

It goes without saying that Microsoft was the big winner of the deal, especially as it was the world’s largest software company that also wanted a piece of Apple’s pie.

Internet Explorer landed on Macintosh computers in 1996 with version 2 of the browser. However, Microsoft’s browser became the default option as part of Mac OS 8.1 announced at MacWorld in 1998 – the operating system, however, shipped with Internet Explorer 3.01, despite version 4.0 already available at that time; this was necessary because the latest IE version wasn’t finalized when Apple signed off Mac OS 8.1.

Since then, Microsoft pushed harder and harder for its software on Mac OS X, and new versions of Internet Explorer were released regularly. Internet Explorer 5 landed in January 2020, followed by Internet Explorer 5.1 in September 2001.

The browser partnership between the two came to an end in 2003 when Apple released Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, which shipped with the company’s very own Safari browser. Microsoft eventually abandoned Internet Explorer for Mac in late 2005, while next year it also pulled download links once and for all.

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Users who tried to download Internet Explorer after this date were told to try out Apple’s Safari.

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