The era of Microsoft/Apple glasnost expanded further this week when the two companies announced that they are now collaborating on Microsoft products for the Macintosh. This comes less than a year after Microsoft's $150 million investment in Apple--a deal that caused collective shivers down the spines of most Mac faithful. In their latest team effort, Apple and Microsoft will create a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) for the Macintosh and work jointly on future Macintosh versions of Office, Internet Explorer, and unspecified development tools. Furthermore, Microsoft will help Apple develop future versions of the Mac OS, beginning with the next release, which will be version 8.2 or 8.5.

In the past year, Microsoft has created an Apple development house in the San Francisco Bay Area dubbed "MS-Bay" that is in constant contact with Apple's own developers. In addition to the 70+ Macintosh developers at MS-Bay, Microsoft also has over 100 developers dedicated to Mac Office in Redmond, Washington.

"We want to show our customers that the companies are working together," said Rick Holzli, Apple's manager of worldwide developer relations. "This partnership is positive, and it is creating great solutions for the Mac.