Apple Company History from 1997- 2000

By Glen Sanford

Steve Jobs in 2000

Jobs’ presence was known almost as quickly as NeXT was acquired. The degree of Jobs’ “expanded role” soon became quite clear. With no CEO and Apple Stock lower than it had been in 5 years, there were many decisions to be made, and not much time to make them. Jobs began to make striking changes in the structure of Apple, including the canceling of the Newton spin-off. (The Newton was discontinued several months later.) The time and place for the most ground breaking announcements, however, would be MacWorld Boston in August 1997.

Jobs, who by now was being referred to as “interim CEO,” made the keynote speech, and spoke of the company’s upcoming aggressive advertising campaign, upcoming new Macs, and Rhapsody. He also announced an almost entirely new Board of Directors, including Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle. But he saved the best for last. In a ground breaking decision, Jobs announced an alliance with Microsoft. In exchange for $150 million in Apple Stock, Microsoft and Apple would have a 5-year patent cross-license and, more importantly, a final settlement in the ongoing GUI argument. Microsoft agreed to pay an unreleased sum of additional funds to quiet the allegations that it had stolen Apple’s intellectual property in designing its Windows OS. Microsoft also announced that Office ’98, its popular office package, would be available for the Mac by years end.

These announcements gave Apple new life, but Jobs was not finished. There was one more big obstacle to tackle:

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