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Apple and Microsoft: the new tech coalition

David Price | July 3, 2013
Apple and Microsoft unite against all-conquering Google search juggernaut, as Bing powers Siri in iOS 7.

Boston Macworld 1997

Like our blessed coalition government, of course, these two great rivals will continue to pursue their own agendas, and don't expect things to get any cooler in the battle between iOS and Windows Phone. Apple has proved that it can continue to work with even its bitterest opponents if its interests are served - namely in the continued interactions with parts of Samsung even while other parts of the companies were taking Apple to court, or being taken there in turn.

BBM on iPhone, Office Mobile on iPhone Everyone wants to be on the iPhone
We're dwelling here on Bing's integration with Siri in iOS 7, but in fact there have been two major signs of co-operation between Apple and Microsoft in the past couple of weeks. Microsoft has also finally relented on a long-standing refusenik position and brought its Office Mobile software to the iPhone (for Office 365 subscribers only).

BlackBerry, too, seems to have decided that if you can't beat them you might has well join them, and its much-cherished BBM messaging service will appear on iOS (and Android) in the near future.

And the last of Apple's main rivals in the smartphone market, Google, has of course long been the most co-operative of the lot, eagerly putting its search, mapping and YouTube products on iPhone except for those times when they were booted off.

The rest of the smartphone world, then, seems to be catching up with Google's approach, and both Microsoft and BlackBerry now reason that their first priority should be to expose as many consumers as possible to their flagship products, rather than jealously hoarding exclusives like games console markers.

Of course, the one exception to that continues to be Apple — but Apple learning of the joys of open sharing would be the biggest surprise of the lot.


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