I find the rumors of a potential Apple/IBM union hard to believe.
I do think that IBM has been trying to distance itself from Microsoft with their major push into Linux. Apple’s OS X runs on IBM’s PowerPC chips. Despite how far-fetched it all sounds, I guess I could see the synergy of putting OS X on to IBM boxes with very little effort. How things have changed. 10+ years ago IBM and Apple were arch enemies.
During my tour of duty doing IBM branding at O&M, creatives were never allowed to let the client know we used Macs. All presentations— and work done in front of the client— had to be on Thinkpads. By the time Clement Mok Design took on the IBM online brand, I think Big Blue had warmed up to Macs as their agency’s tool.
When I developed the first IBM online store, I designed half of it in the CKS|Partners New York office— and the other half at IBM’s Research Triangle Park in Raleigh, North Carolina. We spent a month at IBM putting the final touches on the templates that would drive the 80k pages of the site. I had my Apple G3 shipped to IBM as my design tool, and I set it up in an office deep in the heart of the IBM PSG (Personal Systems Group). My design assistant and faithful quit-your-day-job-programmer also setup Mac workstations. The rest of the team, CKS Enterprise and our own CKS NY Information Architect had PCs.
Working onsite for over a month, we had daily visitors of IBM developers to our tiny office to see the wonderful and mysterious “Apple Macintoshes” that the “designers” had brought deep into enemy territory. All of them seemed truly amazed at Apple’s hardware and OS9. Mixing Apples and oranges. It was an experience— and a project— I’ll never forget.