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What if Microsoft bought Apple?

— April 5, 2006 — Tech
While neither Apple nor Microsoft is in critical shape, it does appear that both firms need each other right now -- with an urgency that is unprecedented. It may be time to explore the notion that a little cooperation could reduce, or solve, both firms' "impossible" problems.

While it is easy to point to the acquisition of NeXT by Apple as an example of when a purchase fixed a problem like the one Microsoft had recently with Vista, Apple really isn't an OS company, and Microsoft's problem is vastly broader than just its OS.

Microsoft has lost the support of many of its critical employees, partners and customers, and even the U.S. government shows little interest in protecting the company from foreign threats. Microsoft has a major image problem and an apparent inability to either recognize or deal with it. In addition, Microsoft appears to have a leadership problem, one it likely shares with companies like GE, GM, and Ford these days, where the executives are isolated, regularly tricked into making bad decisions, and aren't taken very seriously.
Trend Themes
1. Collaborative Acquisition - Potential trend where companies collaborate through acquisition to strengthen their positions in the market.
2. Cross-industry Synergy - Trend towards industries collaborating to share resources and expertise for mutual benefit.
3. Leadership Reshuffle - Trend towards companies rethinking their leadership structures in response to shifting market conditions and challenges.
Industry Implications
1. Technology - Tech industry may see more collaborative acquisition deals between players to leverage synergies and create better outcomes.
2. Automotive - Automakers may collaborate more in the future to overcome shared challenges such as environmental regulations, shifting consumer preferences and rapid technological disruption.
3. Government - Governments may need to rethink leadership strategies and adopt more innovative and agile approaches to meet citizen needs and respond to evolving global threats.
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