Steve Jobs Criticizes Apple-Microsoft Pact

Reuters News

September 20, 1989

SAN FRANCISCO -- Next Inc founder Steve Jobs criticised a new agreement between Apple Computer Inc and Microsoft Corp as an alliance that offered nothing new to the desktop publishing industry.

Apple and Microsoft said Tuesday they were swapping technologies on outline fonts and page description languages, a move that would threaten Adobe System Inc's stranglehold on those key segments of the billion-dollar desktop publishing market.

"Before they ask us to change all our old technology, they should at least offer something new," Jobs told the Seybold computer publishing conference. "I don't see anything new in this technology. Instead, in two years they have something that may be almost as good as (Adobe's) PostScript is now."

It was Jobs's first public appearance since Next introduced a completed version of its operating system and announced plans to introduce a 32-bit color computer early in 1990.

But conference attendees were less interested in developments at Next than in Jobs's reaction to the Apple-Microsoft alliance.

Jobs echoed the belief of some computer experts that whatever Microsoft and Apple do, or however Adobe responds, the determining factor in the war over page description language standards will be decided by IBM Corp.

"It isn't going to be decided what (Microsoft Chairman) Bill Gates does or by what Adobe does, or by what I did. It's going to be decided by what IBM does. We can only hope IBM makes the right decision," he said, noting IBM's size and influence in the computer market.

In remarks to the conference, Jobs positioned his Next computer not in the workstation market as he had originally done, but as a personal computer competing directly against Apple and IBM PCs.

"That's where the sales are," he said, citing Next's agreements with retail computer chain Businessland Inc as proof of Next's intention to compete in the personal computer marketplace.

Businessland has exclusive rights to market the Unix-based computer in the United States.

Jobs characterized his Next computer as a more powerful, easier-to-use PC. "That's where our interests lie," he said.

(c) 1989 Reuters Limited