Reality Checkout

Overheard near a display of iPods at the Apple Store, approximately two hours ago:

Well, Microsoft owns Apple… so I’m sure it has to work.

You learn something new every day.


  1. eric says:

    That’s awesome.

  2. Scott says:

    I’m sure I’ve met that person before and wanted to smack them upside the head!

  3. Flo says:

    That’s priceless !

  4. Sean Devine says:

    They’re wicked integrated.

  5. Rob Cameron says:

    Do you think he meant “owns” as in “is the parent company of” or “owns” as in “|\/|1cr050ft 0wnz j00!”?

  6. Keith says:

    Maybe they meant it like if I were to say, “The Yankees own the Red Socks.”
    Ziiing! Sorry, I had to.

  7. Mike Mariano says:

    Since when has Microsoft owned anything that we could be sure would work?

  8. Rob Mientjes says:

    *still stunned*
    What the…
    How come people don’t understand this?

  9. Geoff says:

    Doesn’t MS have $150 million in Apple stock? Not the same as owning but…

  10. Heh heh. It was certainly “owns” as in the parent company. It was a middle-aged woman proclaiming this to the rest of her family. I did a double take — started to say something, then just turned around and chuckled.
    Keith – you devil. :-)

  11. Oh yeah, ya’ll didn’t know that? MS also owns Nintendo.

  12. Tom says:

    Rob has it right!

  13. Cory M. says:

    Er… okay.
    Some people…

  14. Stephan says:

    Hm… okay, so MS owns Apple… Okay, here I come now: I will register a patent with the US Patent Office. This patent will make me the owner of the intellectual property of using WORDS in order to COMMUNICATE. Hm. Okay. Next I will sue Microsoft for using words to screw people’s minds and will get a lot of money ot of them… with which I’ll first buy myself an iPod… – hey, wait a minute, before you think I am totally out of my mind, isn’t just this practice becomming nowadays new New Economy? Awesome!

  15. Factory Joe says:

    Wait… you mean Microsoft doesn’t own Apple?

  16. Matt Raoul says:

    If it’s true they don’t, I’ll eat my hat! :)

  17. Matthom says:

    They maybe meant, “Microsoft is clearly better than Apple.”
    Although, I would never agree with that.
    I have to say, though. All I hear in Apple stores are questions about how PCs aren’t working with iPods, or iTunes. It’s kind of funny.
    I think Apple employees get more PC questions, than Mac.

  18. Kev Place says:

    I was in an Apple Store recently and overheard a lady talking to a salesman. She’d been told by someone in PC World that PowerBooks couldn’t be used to access email using Bluetooth and a mobile phone.
    She’d gone to the Apple store to verify the information. Incredibly, the Apple Salesman wasn’t sure either…
    I took my laptop and mobile phone out of my rucksack and gave them *both* an on-the-spot demo!

  19. Scott says:

    Very cool Kev. I am sorry to say I am on a Windows machine but I still love it. I recently visited some common blogs on safari and man was it a difference.

  20. Adrian says:

    Uggghhh… Hearing that makes me feel sick already…

  21. Egor Kloos says:

    Kev, ever think of running for President? Slightly special forces tactics there but that’ll teach em! And yes, very strange that the sales drone didn’t have a clue. Bluetooth + Mac + Mobile phone is a mix I couldn’t live without.
    Sallinger Clicker doesn’t only make Bluetooth really cool but very actually very cool!

  22. Lachlan Hunt says:

    I’ve heard this before, but I found out from someone a bit more knowledgable about the issue, that it’s just that Microsoft invested something like $200,000,000 in Apple to help keep competition in the Market, so they wouldn’t become a complete monopoly. I don’t know how accurate that is either, but it sounds more believable than Microsoft actually owning Apple.

  23. Yannick L. says:

    I can’t believe someone actually said that. LOL, good stuff.

  24. Jason Berry says:

    Lachlan, what you said is 100% correct. Apple were going under and Microsoft gave them a little helping hand so they wouldn’t have a complete monopoly, which means more court cases, etc.
    Microsoft don’t outright own Apple, but own a significant portion of it, enough to say that if you’re buying Apple stuff, feeding a fair chunk of that direct to Billy =)

  25. jason and Lachlan, you are totally incorrect. MS purchased $150 million in NON VOTING stock. Apple, at the time had over $5 BILLION dollars cash in the bank.
    The money was a “goodwill gesture” to close the lid on the “look and feel” lawsuits Apple kept hammering MS with.
    MS has long since sold the NON VOTING stock (about 2 years ago, it was totally gone)
    Don’t perpetuate non-truths, learn the truth.

  26. Stephane says:

    I can count the numbers of time I’ve heard that or something similar from my friends, I’m getting tired of correcting people.

  27. new 40GB apple iPod = $399
    learning that microsoft owns apple = $priceless

  28. Brett Epps says:

    And you can’t forget classic response when you ask what kind of computer someone has: “Oh, I think its a Microsoft 96.”

  29. Olly Hodgson says:

    LOL! Thats fantastic :-)

  30. zedzdead says:

    Old news.
    I heard that M$ now owns Linux, Mozilla and Apache.

  31. Chris says:

    Everyone is owned by Microsoft somewhere down the line, it’s just the sad fact of life… Money is Power and Microsoft have both.

  32. Darren says:

    I get customers telling me that Microsoft Exchange is an “industry standard”.
    By the way Chris, I own an acre of the Moon. Are you saying I was duped? ;o) Now, buying an acre of Venus, that IS dumb. As soon as you step foot on it the atmospheric pressure you squash you and then you’ll be cooked. Wanna know how a hamburger feels?

  33. Small Paul says:

    All this is just guff to distract you from the truth that Microsoft owns…
    No, really! Look at the logo. Add another cube. The imagine you’re looking at these 4 cubes from above, so you just see 4 squares. Colour 3 of the cubes with colours from Dan’s very own multiple colour schemes, and make the 4th one red. Now imagine them a bit wibbly, and with black lines in the gaps. Then with little square trail-y bits going off to the left.
    Do you see? Do you seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee? Run, run for your lives!

  34. Chris says:

    This is what drugs do to you kids…

  35. Dan Martin says:

    When I worked at a newspaper in 2001 I had several customers tell me that they believed we were owned by Microsoft.
    I’m not a big fan of MS but I think a lot of people fall prey to severe media bashing on Microsoft. The un-informed believe that everything on the computer is owned by microsoft. It is an assumption that has run rampant in the last 5 years or so.

  36. Todd says:

    LOL @ this thread & comments. Funny stuff, even if you mac users are misguided. ;) (just kidding)

  37. Chris says:

    Dan Martin: it’s “run rampant” because to most people it’s true.
    I went to a job interview once and they asked what web browsers i used, i said IE, Netscape… etc but when i said Mozilla and FireFox they had no idea. They called me back but i’m not working with MS junkies.

  38. Phil Sherry says:

    A classic example of why Windows users are Windows users. :)

  39. Jim says:

    Sorry, but I own both micro$oft and apple…
    …and I have the licences to proove it.

  40. Chris Gwynne says:

    I just don’t see it somehow, although I did hear a similar rumour a few months back so who knows.

  41. Jon Soini says:

    That reminds me of my time in Best Buy when I purchased an iPod and the salesman tried to sell me napster prepaid cards so I could “load up my iPod with music.”
    Uhhh, no thanks.
    I feel sorry for the uninformed masses falling victim to Best Buy’s sales practices.

  42. chuck says:

    reminds me of the misguided ignorant moron staff member that told me that PCs were for the more advanced, computer literate types and macs were for the people that wanted just a basic functionality in a computer, like an elementary student, etc.
    that was only one of his many idiotic comments

  43. Erin says:

    :: sigh ::
    And these people probably think Saddam Hussein attacked the WTC and Pentagon.
    It’s sad how people don’t make the effort to learn if what they are saying is actually true.

  44. Jeff says:

    I remember hearing that the isight had speakers in it, I learned new stuff then to :D
    but that definately beats mine :O

  45. gary says:

    WOAH! I didn’t know that CompUSA salesmen went into apple stores.

  46. Jökull Sólberg Auðunsson says:

    Microsoft has for many years been keeping businesses that build competing products afloat so that they don’t own the market. It allows them to stay just below that line that says “immoral monopoly”.

  47. Lachlan Hunt says:

    Darren Said:
    > I get customers telling me that
    > Microsoft Exchange is an “industry
    > standard

  48. Darren says:

    Someone I had dinner with recently (though not because I wanted to) rubbished the idea of Firefox because his company used Microsoft products and he’d “never heard of it”. I liked him even less after that. Still, if he wants to carry out his financial transactions on the web using IE, that’s his funeral.

  49. Jonas Rabbe says:

    My Crapple
    My Crap


  50. Chris says:

    My Crapple
    ** must buy domain **

  51. Darrel says:

    “Don’t perpetuate non-truths, learn the truth.”
    There are no truths anymore. As long as you say something enough times, the general public will eat it up.
    To make it even MORE believeable, just CC: 50 people in an email. Presto…INSTANT new ‘facts’ at the click of a button!

  52. Zach Hale says:

    That is so great! I love it! Haha, thanks for that!

  53. Jonas Rabbe says:

    \Crap”ple\ (kr?p”p’l), n. [See Graple.] A claw. [Obs.]

  54. Vaughn Taylor says:

    Take a look at this list: Current Institutional Ownership of Apple
    Private Capital Management owns 6.280% of the shares of Apple. Now, look at Private Capital Management’s holdings. Notice that Microsoft is part of PCM, but then again so are 40+ other companies. From PCM, McClatchy Co. is the majority shareholder with 34.675%. Microsoft owns a mere 0.074% of the PCM holdings, while Apple owns 6.280% of these holdings.
    Simple equations (I hope I calculated these correctly):
    // PCM’s holdings in Apple
    p = 6.280%
    // Microsoft’s holdings in PCM
    m = 0.074%
    // Apple’s holdings in PCM
    a = 6.280%
    Microsoft’s holdings in Apple:
    p * m = 0.0046472%
    Apple’s holdings in Apple:
    p * a = 0.394384%
    Hey – and you gotta love this:
    Stock quotes on August 12, 2004
    Microsoft (MSFT) – 26.88
    Apple (AAPL) – 30.37
    If the person meant that Microsoft owns Apple in the most literal sense – I guess you can’t argue with the facts. But Apple has always, and will always produce superior products – this is coming from a PC user.

  55. Denis says:

    Woa that was a deep stock market back-up ! And yes VIVE APPLE products!!!!!

  56. Mark says:

    haha, was it one of these bored couples you overheard?

  57. Joe Clay says:

    There’s no wonder I want to kill stupid people. These kind of ignorant comments make me want to gouge out my eyes and ears. The only solution is to do the same to them, only first so I get the rage out of my system (This is the only proper time to use the clichéd “out of [someone's] system”). And that is exactly what you should’ve done. At the very least you should have shown her the error in her ways and make her look the like idiot she is in front of her family.

    What’s really, really annoying is when you’re in a conversation with said idiots and they talk to you like you have no idea what you’re talking about. One day at work a lady asked me if a phone was the same as another phone so she could get a power cord for it. Her exact words were something like “This is a model m56 and I’m wondering if this cord will work with it since it says it’s for an a56i.” And I said that I didn’t know since it’s a different model (keep in mind she distracted me from helping someone else). She then said that we had the phone and when I looked at it I told her that it was a different phone due to it’s button layout and size being completely different. She then said that it was the exact same phone and the same size — even as I held her phone next to our phone — and acted like she knew what she was talking about and that I’m just an idiot salesperson (I thought to myself, if you know so much why are you asking me this then you moron). I was in disbelief. By this time I was already extremely livid and I said, restraining myself, “It’s a different phone, the size and button layout are different and I can’t guarantee that that will work with your phone.” She then gave me the most dismissive “Thank you,” you know the one women give when they’re angry with you as if you did something wrong but didn’t? I was sooooo pissed! I swear that lady is lucky that I held my tongue because I’m quitting soon and I really don’t give a damn anymore. Next person that does anything similar is getting it!

  58. Brett Epps says:

    Vaughn Taylor:
    Great post, but your bit about Apple’s stock price really doesn’t count for anything. Apple has a market capitalization of 11.64 billion (as of 8/13/2004) while Microsoft sits at a lofty 293.6 billion. I’m not trying to defend Microsoft; in fact I hate the company just as much as most people, but using stock price to compare two companies is like saying that Pepsi is better than Coke just because it costs more at the grocery store.

  59. praetorian says:

    i think this clearly ends the debate over which platform claims more intelligent minds… no doubt, mac users are smart, witty, and charming; pc users are complete idiots

  60. Vaughn says:

    Brett Epps,
    You said: “…your bit about Apple’s stock price really doesn’t count for anything. Apple has a market capitalization of 11.64 billion (as of 8/13/2004) while Microsoft sits at a lofty 293.6 billion.”
    I realize this – I just thought it was somewhat interesting. I actually thought about editing that part out because I was concerned that someone may make the comment you made. I didn’t intend on giving the impression that stock price is any indication of company worth or health.

  61. Anonymous says:

    In some way Microsoft really owns Apple. Imagine Microsoft stopping to distribute the MS Office Suite for Apple… The majority of users would quit and with the remaining Apple-Enthusiasts no company can stand in this harsh business since prices are falling and quantity owns quality.
    But to chill it up: You ever wondered why always the good guys in the movies use Apple and the bad guys go with Windows? ;)

  62. Guilherme Seljuk says:

    M$ owns Apple? Aargh!
    This worls is ruled by fools!
    *run away*
    Now, seriously. Last month people told me Coca-Cola owns Pepsi and Nintendo owns Playstation (which would put Sony in a very odd place).
    What’s happening with the world? Suddently people started actually BELIEVING in the theory of conspiracy?

  63. Michael Switzer says:

    “In some way Microsoft really owns Apple. Imagine Microsoft stopping to distribute the MS Office Suite for Apple…”
    Ummm… I don’t have MS Office Suite on my Mc G5, I ahve no need for it, OpenOffice does a great job with all Microsoft created documents… in fact it runs better than MS Office Suite, probably because it wasn’t coded by Microsoft…
    BTW, I own a Mac G5 and a Laptop running XP… and an old box running 98…. Macs are FAR superior

  64. Vaughn Taylor says:

    “In some way Microsoft really owns Apple. Imagine Microsoft stopping to distribute the MS Office Suite for Apple”
    I don’t like to be contradictory, however, it’s not appropriate to assume that the primary reason people own computers is to do word processing and spreadsheets. I spend about 1% of my time creating these types of documents. Really, how many of you sit down on a daily basis to produce a nice spreadsheet or a word document? If Adobe, Macromedia, or compliant browser producers decided to stop supporting Apple … that would be a huge problem!

  65. Taco says:

    MS does indeed “owns” Apple as Apple needs MS to survive. Steven den Beste makes the case splendidly in The Devils Deal.

  66. Vaughn Taylor says:

    “MS does indeed “owns” Apple as Apple needs MS to survive. Steven den Beste makes the case splendidly in The Devils Deal.”
    Taco, you didn’t really make your case when you pointed to this one source as the reason why Apple needs MS to survive. In his blog, Mr. den Beste constantly links to his own blog as his source of information.

  67. Taco says:

    Vaughn Taylor:
    There are plenty of external links in the article that I linked to and there are even more in the “second tier”. But why don’t you argue with the substance? What do you want? A link to an official document that states beyond dispute that MS indeed owns Apple?
    SDB makes a good case for his *theory*. One that *you* can’t prove wrong.
    PS to other posters on this board: ‘proving wrong’ is not the same as ‘ridicule’

  68. Zach Stepek says:

    Michael Switzer Said…
    Umm... I don't have MS Office Suite on my Mc G5
    Just more proof that McDonald’s really owns everything. A McG5? :)

  69. Vaughn Taylor says:

    You are right. MS does own Apple. MS owns everything. Thank god for MS. I don’t know how I would get anything done if it weren’t for MS.
    PS. Just because a theory cannot be proven wrong does not mean it’s right.

  70. Joe Clay says:

    Technically Adobe, Macromedia, and Microsoft stopping support doesn’t matter much at all. We all have these applications already if we need them. So really we don’t get updates to things, big deal. When I had a PC I didn’t really care whether I had Office 97, 2000, or XP, except that newer versions had some new features (and sometimes dropped needed ones, like certain timing settings in Powerpoint that I spent several unsuccessful days looking for!). Photoshop CS is indeed different from 7 but can you really argue that our industry couldn’t survive without CS? Besides there’s always the Gimp, Open Office, BBEdit, etc. We’d never be in a difficult situation like that.
    I’m not saying it’d be great, but we’d survive. Besides Apple would probably fill the gap.

  71. Anonymous says:

    Pirates of Silicon Valley – bgrade movie of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs – doesn’t it mention that Microsoft bought huge amounts of Apple Stock? Perhaps that is source of information.

  72. Mahalis says:

    “no doubt, mac users are smart, witty, and charming; pc users are complete idiots”; blacks are thugs; asians are workaholics; indians are restaurant owners..
    Do you really -believe- your own generalizations or are you just trolling?

  73. Taramon says:

    ACtually we will all be owned by WalMart in the end….

  74. John Macías says:

    From Apple’s 2003 SEC filing:
    “In August 1997, the Company and Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) entered into patent cross license and technology agreements. In addition, Microsoft purchased 150,000 shares of Apple Series A nonvoting convertible preferred stock (“preferred stock”) for $150 million. These shares were convertible by Microsoft after August 5, 2000, into shares of the Company’s common stock at a conversion price of $8.25 per share. During 2000, 74,250 shares of preferred stock were converted to 9 million shares of the Company’s common stock. During 2001, the remaining 75,750 preferred shares were converted into 9.2 million shares of the Company’s common stock.”
    In other words, Microsoft owns 18.2 million shares of VOTING common stock in Apple Computer

  75. Max says:

    “In other words, Microsoft owns 18.2 million shares”
    Funny, Microsoft is not even on the radar of largest stock holders.
    What you miss in your report is that Microsoft converted the preferred stocks AND SOLD THEM at a big profit.
    The original agreement was that MS could not convert the preferred stocks and sell for 3 years, a deal which expired in 2000. In 2000 they converted AND SOLD.

  76. Mark says:

    As far as I understand it Microsoft had to put some money into Apple to keep Apple alive. Otherwise Microsoft would have been in trouble for having too much of the market.
    Apple has now bought out Bill Gates I think.

  77. Geir Werner says:

    Mark ; you´re right. Theonly reason Microsoft HAD to support Apple was to avoid Apples bankrupcy. That would be a big problrm for M$. Gates is a briliant chessplayer, but a visionary he has never been.Remember his book “The road ahead” published in 1997 ? It didn´t mention the internet as an importarnt area in the futuretechnoly landscape !! Of course in the next editiions they put more and more in. Thats the difference between a visionary and a revisionary. Gates and Jobs – who is who ?

  78. Str33tplayer says:

    at the end of “Pirates Of Silicon Valley” movie on Steve and Bill it does say:
    “Microsoft now owns part of Apple”

  79. 16 says:

    Would be dangerous to rely on the credits to a movie for current information.
    MS owns zero percent of Apple

  80. Sido says:

    15 reasons why MS owns apple: