On Aug. 5, 1997, Microsoft Corp. invested $150 million in Apple Computer Inc.  "Experts see Gates' investment as antitrust insurance policy" - (CNNfn) - Microsoft Corp.'s $150 million investment Tuesday in Apple Computer Inc. has given Apple stock a boost, but it also has left Silicon Valley watchers with several questions.  It's clear that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs did the deal because the company desperately needs the cash infusion. However, Microsoft is such a tough competitor, a lot of people wonder why the company is now bailing out Apple.  Rick Sherlund, technology analyst at Goldman Sachs, said the short answer to that question is why not? Sherlund said $150 million is a lot to Apple, but no big deal to the software behemoth. "$150 million to Microsoft is not material to their balance sheet. They have $9 billion in cash and no debt. They generate $150 million in cash about every 15 days," he said. 

The Baltimore Business Journal (BBJ) wrote a piece as follow-up to this news.  Metro Data, Inc. President, Robert "Bert" Orlitzky was quoted in the BBJ article:

Aug 18, 1997
Microsoft alliance raises hopes
By Craig S. Ey, Business Journal Staff Writer

Like many technology executives, Richard Diehl doesn't know quite what to make of Microsoft Corp.'s surprise $150 million investment in Apple Computer.

But the president and chief executive officer of Columbia-based Diehl Graphsoft Inc., which makes computer-aided design products that run on Apple's Macintosh operating system, knows this: His company's value has been affected by Apple's problems -- both real and perceived.  That's a boat many companies that make or sell Apple-related products or services have found themselves in over the past several years. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company's losses and executive shakeups have long been a popular topic in the mainstream press, which has questioned Apple's viability in a Microsoft-dominated world.

"It's had a tremendous effect on our stock price," said Diehl, whose company is now also making products that run on Microsoft Windows.  The question of the day is whether or not Microsoft's relatively small cash infusion and its agreement with Apple to share patented technology will help stabilize the smaller company. Some say it can only help; others say it's all smoke and mirrors.

After the deal was announced last week, Apple's stock shot up 52 percent to $30 a share. Diehl Graphsoft stock, which had been trading as low as $3, went up to $4.25.

"It's a good PR move for Microsoft," said Diehl. "But a year from now, it could be looked upon as Microsoft taking advantage of Apple. I don't think this is necessarily all good news."  Robert Orlitzky, president of privately held Metro Data Inc. in Timonium, agreed: "This is Microsoft flexing its muscles and trying to take control over the one last thing that it didn't," he said.

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