6 April 2013, 2305hrs
So a few weeks ago, Brent Simmons wrote an article for Macworld.com with the most unneeded title in many years: "Apple fans: Microsoft is no longer the enemy". Honestly, the entire article is puzzling, because other than for a vanishingly small number of people, the "Microsoft is the Enemy" thing died some time ago. In the opening paragraph, Brent says:
While I was visiting the Microsoft campus a few weeks ago—in suburban Redmond, just across Lake Washington from my beloved Seattle—I kept thinking of the old Vulcan proverb: “Only Nixon can go to China.”
If Microsoft is China, then that makes me Nixon in this story, I realize.
No Brent, you weren't. But before we get to that, let's look at the history behind that statement. For the folks for whom "The Cold War" is something relegated to history books, it seems odd, but at one point, China was evil. Like, they were going to blow up the world evil. Literally. I remember having this odd feeling in the back of my head all the time that I was never going to really grow old, because someone would fuck something up, and we'd get the fuck nuked out of us. "The Day After" was honestly fucking frightening when it came out, because it was the embodiment of so many fears.
So in 1972, Nixon goes to China. The President, and not one given to being particularly tolerant of Communism went to China to help prevent "The Day After" from happening, and gain an advantage over the USSR. This was momentous. Huge.
However, even if we do try to reduce that to the minutiae of Nixon going to China to computer platform wars, Brent still isn't Nixon. That event happened years before, in 1997, and was announced at the Macworld Expo of that year, complete with the giant head of Mao, er, Bill Gates on screen.
Almost twenty years later, Brent going to Microsoft is about as important as me going to Microsoft. Not even a little.
The entire article, to be honest, is a rehashing of a conflict that's almost decades done, and good riddance to it. In fact, the reason he was there shows it...to talk about iOS support in Windows Azure Mobile Services. I'm unsure how this is noteworthy beyond "oh, that's kind of cool". It gives both Microsoft and Apple devs more options and tools for serving their customers.
If Tim Cook goes to Google, and has Larry Page on stage at an event or the WWDC keynote, that will be "Nixon going to China". Brent going to Microsoft is over a decade too late for that.
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