to: Louis Gerstner, CEO of IBM; Michael Spindler, CEO of Apple

Excerpts: An open letter to Louis Gerstner, CEO of IBM; Michael Spindler, CEO of Apple

  • We thought you guys had a deal. How come you’re blowing it? Four years ago, your two companies signed an historic agreement that could have already reshaped the computer industry. Instead, you’ve squandered your assets by letting your corporate egos stand in the way of reaping the enormous potential rewards that a real partnership between IBM and Apple could bring.
  • And Mike, you need to do your part by cutting Lou a deal he can’t refuse. The future of the company is in software, not hardware. If you can swallow this, why not spin off your hardware division and create a giant Mac clone company in one fell swoop? You could take the money from the spinoff–and maybe Lou could kick in a few bucks–to go out and buy Novell. This way you’d not only have the best client software operating system–the Macintosh–you’d also have the best server operating system as well. And in the client/server future, you’re going to need that to hold your own against Microsoft.
  • As we said at the beginning, guys, the industry and customers are suffering because of your lack of cooperation. Consumers across the country are being unnecessarily punished by the complexities of DOS, Windows, and multimedia on the PC when they could have been having a much more satisfying experience running a Mac. But, Lou, until you get behind Apple and aggressively bless it as an alternative standard, most consumers will be too afraid to believe in the Mac. And Mike, you know what that means.