Apple and Microsoft really need each other -- at least if you ask a cross-section of people who use products from one or the other, or both.
Of the nearly 2,000 readers who took our Apr. 24 survey, "Should Apple and Microsoft Stay Hitched?" some 68% think that the two companies should extend for five more years a deal under which Microsoft has agreed to develop versions of key products such as Office and Internet Explorer for the Mac -- and to invest in Apple.
Some 50% of those who responded think that Apple relies more on Microsoft than vice versa, for its success in the PC market -- thanks mainly to the software development deal. But 46% think that Microsoft depends more Apple -- or that the two depend on each other equally, since the products Microsoft sells to Apple customers generate high margins.
What's more, those who responded to the survey don't see a huge risk that having a cooperative relationship with Microsoft will hurt Apple in a couple of key markets. For instance, nearly 70% think that Apple can hold its own in the education market, despite Microsoft's efforts to make inroads there. And 60% even predict that Apple can make more headway in corporations over the next five years -- though that could be wishful thinking, judging by Apple's inability to do so over the past decade.
Some 44% of the respondents to this unscientific survey identifed themselves as Mac users, 25% as non-Mac users -- and 30% said they use both a Mac and a regular PC.
Here are the complete details of the survey:
Should Apple and Microsoft extend for another five years a deal under which Microsoft will continue to develop its Office and Internet Explorer products for the Mac -- and to invest in Apple?
At this point, which company, Apple or Microsoft, relies more on the other for its success in the PC market?
Apple relies more on Microsoft
Microsoft relies more on Apple
The two rely about equally on each other
Apple and Microsoft cooperate in many areas, but they also compete in major market segments, especially education. What do you think will happen in this key Apple market over the next five years?
Apple will hold its own or expand its share
PCs that run on Microsoft software will eat into Apple's market share
Micosoft-run PCs will drive Apple from the market
Despite trying for years to break into Microsoft's stronghold, the corporate market, Apple has made real headway only in corporate graphics departments. How likely is it over the next five years for Apple to expand in Corporate America?
Not very likely
Do you primarily use a Mac or a non-Mac PC?