Microsoft CMO Says Rivalry With Apple Is a Thing of the Past

April 25, 2018

By Alisha Haridasani

The eternal rivalry between Microsoft and Apple may actually be over, said Microsoft’s chief marketing officer Chris Capossela.

“We’ve moved away from that competitive focus that I think we’ve had in the past,” said Capossela. “We need to bring our products on the platforms that our customers are using. So Office on the iPad or iPhone, Minecraft on every platform, that’s just a natural thing for us to do.”

In an interview Wednesday with Cheddar, Capossela said the traditional tech rivalries don't make much sense any more, and he cited the example of another competitor, Google, which uses Microsoft’s VS code developer tool. “The high tech industry is full of these paradoxes,” he said.

Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder, and Microsoft's longtime leader Bill Gates had a love-hate relationship for years during which they sometimes helped each other while also trying to outdo the other. In 1994, Apple sued Microsoft for copyright infringement, putting the two companies at loggerheads. Three years later, Gates stepped in to help save Apple from the brink of bankruptcy.

Caposella said that Microsoft's current CEO, Satya Nadella, has presided over a cultural shift that reflects a more self-aware approach, focusing on what Microsoft does for "our own fans," not obsessively trying to best Apple or others by competing for the same users.

The company differentiates itself from competitors by marketing itself as the company for professionals.

“Millennials tell us that when they think of ‘adulting,’ they think of Microsoft and we love that,” said Capossela. The approach has helped Miscrosoft grow after years of stagnation, he said.

Microsoft was scheduled to release its earnings report on Thursday, and Wall Street was expecting continued revenue growth driven mostly by software, including Office 365 and Azure.

For full interview, click here.