Microsoft's investment in Apple means Internet Explorer will be the default Web browser on Apple Mac computers.
This week Microsoft announced it was investing $150 million in Apple non-voting shares. Under the deal Microsoft will pay Apple another $100 million in return for a technology exchange.
Microsoft and Apple will cross-license all patents for five years, giving Microsoft access to the famous Mac user interface technology and ending the legal battle over patents that has rumbled on between the companies for years.
The deal will include Internet Explorer being integrated with the Mac operating system as the default browser - although Netscape will still be an option.
And Microsoft will make Office 98 available for Mac users, and release Mac versions of Office simultaneously with Windows ones for five years.
Microsoft also claimed it was shifting a large number of developers to work on the Mac platform, with ActiveX compatibility, which is so far confined to Windows machines, a priority. The joint teams will also collaborate on Java, with Apple expected to support Microsoft's Java extensions, which are incompatible with Sun's 100% Pure Java specification, until now fervently supported by Apple.
While the Mac browser market is relatively small, the IE deal is still another blow for Netscape. A Netscape spokesman admitted that IE4 would become the default Mac browser but said that Netscape's Navigator would still be an option for Mac users from the operating system.
"In the past they've given the browser away, now they are paying $150 million to get people to use it," he said.
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