Yes, there are those out there who would like for you to believe that.
back in 1995 and upon Steve Jobs return to Apple's helm, M$ invested $150mil in NON-VOTING Apple stock. They also paid an undisclosed sum to settle out of court the long-running court battle alleging that MS stole Mac OS GUI elements. The thing that PC biased folks seem to overlook, however, is that back in those days Apple was hemorrhaging at least 30 to 50 MILLION DOLLARS A QUARTER. So, 150 mil was literally a drop in the bucket of red ink.
there were other agreements made, such as Internet Explorer gaining default browser status in the Mac OS installation, a sharing of some technologies between the two companies and a five year commitment from MS for Office/Mac support. This agreement expired a year ago last May (or thereabouts). To date, MS has not pulled back on ANY of their commitment, save Internet Explorer -- which has been eclipsed by Safari, anyway.
And Bill made a very tidy sum on tht 150 mill as Apple shares went up over the next few years.
Preserved a much needed "competitor".
Maintained a market - Mac users tend to spend on softwre out of all proportion to market share because the vast a majority of PCs go into "single use or limited use" situations such POS terminals.
When it comes to individual companies selling into the personal and professional computing market - NOT the single use market, Apple hangs in there in the top 5 always and the well heeled Mac lovers spend more than their share on Microsoft Products.
Many have a hard timeunderstanding that the MacPlus was very fundamental to MSes early success and Excel came out first on the Mac. They were joined at the hip for a long while and Apple fumbled the opportunity badly.
Catch the video "Pirates of Silicon Valley" for the story of Gates and Jobs who co-founded what we have today.