Apple and Microsoft are beefing (again)

Microsoft and Apple are fighting over the App Store, PC sales, AR glasses, and more.


May 17, 2021

Apple and Microsoft embody the PC era.

Both founded in the 1970s by iconic visionaries (Jobs and Gates), the 2 tech giants regularly fluctuate between cordial cooperation and hip-hop level beef.

In recent years, the relationship’s been pretty peachy

As reported by Bloomberg:

  • Microsoft Office apps appeared on the iPad and iPhone
  • Apple made the Xbox game controller easier to use on its devices
  • Microsoft made its products compatible with the Apple Pencil
  • Apple put Apple TV on the Xbox

But now, the good times are over.

Apple’s control over its App Store is a huge problem

Epic Games — the maker of Fortnite — is currently in an antitrust battle against Apple. Microsoft has joined the game maker in decrying Apple’s 30% take from its App Store.

Apple also irked Microsoft by forcing it to alter its cloud gaming service (xCloud) and abide by App Store policies.

For its part, the iPhone maker says Microsoft’s own Xbox store also takes a 30% cut and doesn’t allow 3rd party distribution.

However the App Store case shakes out…

… the 2 Big Tech behemoths will likely stay at odds. Per Bloomberg:

  • Apple’s Mac sales are growing 2x the pace of regular PCs (which mostly run on Microsoft’s Windows OS)
  • Apple is working on an augmented reality (AR) headset that could compete with Microsoft’s HoloLens
  • Microsoft is aggressively positioning its Surface devices as alternatives to the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro

Steve Jobs once said, “The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste.” Clearly, there is more than just that one problem.

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