SEATTLE — Microsoft Corp. and Apple Computer Inc. are expected to set aside a fierce legal skirmish today to unveil several technology-sharing accords that provide access to each others' standards, analysts said.
"It's strategically important for both companies," Dean Witter analyst Tim McCollum said. "Microsoft certainly sells a lot into the Apple (market), and Apple needs to be as conversant with Microsoft products as they can."
Officials at Microsoft and Apple stressed that the pacts had no bearing on a 4-year-old lawsuit brought by Apple.
Both Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Apple Chairman John Sculley are scheduled to attend a news briefing today at a hotel in San Jose, near Apple's headquarters.
Microsoft said the companies will announce new products and agreements involving technology relationships, but both companies declined to provide details.
Industry executives said they expected Microsoft to discuss its programs for Apple's Macintosh computers. The two companies are also expected to proceed with cross-license agreements on certain software standards.
Despite the bitter lawsuit, the two rivals continue to work together on several fronts. For example, Microsoft dominates the market for certain Macintosh applications, such as word processing and accounting.
Apple has taken steps to counter Microsoft's dominance in desktop software, teaming with International Business Machines Corp. to develop a new-generation operating system.