Economist.com | Apple Computer "One of the people who might beg to differ is, of course, Mr Gates. Fatefully, in the 1980s he chose to license Microsoft’s operating system to many hardware-makers, thus making it a standard and consigning Apple, which insisted on bundling its superior software and hardware together, to the margins. The company only revived when Mr Jobs, who was ousted from Apple in 1985, returned in 1996. It is possible to hear echoes today. Apple leads the market for online music with iTunes, its music store and jukebox software, which works only with the iPod, whereas Microsoft is pushing a rival software format, Windows Media, to several online music stores and hardware-makers in an attempt to make it the industry standard.
So Mr Gates could come from behind yet again. On the other hand, Mr Jobs has been more circumspect this time around—making iTunes work with Windows, doing marketing deals for the iPod with Hewlett-Packard and Motorola, and, with this week’s announcements, fending off competition from lower-cost rivals. It is too early to tell which of these two generals, this time, is still fighting the last war."