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Apple Productivity Experience Group

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(Redirected from Macintosh Business Unit)
Apple Productivity Experience Group
Company typeOperating unit of Microsoft
IndustryComputer software
FoundedJanuary 7, 1997 (1997-01-07)
HeadquartersRedmond, Washington, United States
ProductsMicrosoft Office
Microsoft Messenger
Remote Desktop Client
Revenue$350 million (2008)[1]
Number of employees
180 (2008)[1]

Apple Productivity Experience Group (known as APEX)[2] is an operating unit of Microsoft that, as of 2009, is the largest software developer outside of Apple Inc. for the macOS and iOS operating systems.[3] Formed as Macintosh Business Unit on January 7, 1997,[4] it was initially composed of over 100 individuals from the existing cross platform Word, Excel, and PowerPoint teams in Microsoft's Office Division, and grew to 180 people the next year, with the addition of the Internet Explorer for Mac and Outlook Express for Mac teams. In 2000, it moved from the Office Division to the Specialized Devices and Applications Group inside the Entertainment and Devices Division,[3][5] and is now back inside the Microsoft Office division.


Prior to the creation of the Mac BU, Microsoft had developed Macintosh software, starting in 1984 with Word 1.0 for Macintosh. During the early and mid 1990s, Microsoft's Word, Excel, and Powerpoint teams simultaneously developed Windows and Macintosh versions of these applications, but after releasing Office 97 for Windows, Microsoft decided, in January 1997, to form a separate Macintosh Business Unit to focus on creating applications optimized for the Macintosh platform. In August 1997, as part of a broader partnership agreement with Apple, Microsoft committed to continue developing and supporting Macintosh software for at least 5 more years, renewing this pledge on January 10, 2006 at the Macworld Conference & Expo.[6] Ben Waldman was the Mac BU's founder and first General Manager (GM),[4] serving from its inception in January 1997 through January 2000, when he was succeeded by Kevin Browne, who served through December 18, 2002, and Roz Ho, who served from December 18, 2002 to June 8, 2007; after that, Craig Eisler became the GM.[7][8] In October 2008, Eisler was tapped by Robbie Bach to lead all Entertainment Client efforts,[9] and Eric Wilfred became the GM of MacBU.[10]


APEX develops macOS and iOS versions of Microsoft Office and OneNote. Previously developed software by the Mac BU include Internet Explorer (development ceased in 2003),[11] Virtual PC,[12] and the MSN for Mac OS X browser (cancelled May 31, 2005).[13]


  1. ^ a b Jon Fortt (March 25, 2008). "Microsoft looks to cash in on the iPhone". Fortune: Big Tech Blog. Archived from the original on March 27, 2012. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
  2. ^ "Explore our teams". Careers.microsoft.com. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b Oliver, Sam (April 2, 2009). "Microsoft optimistic about Office making its way to iPhone". AppleInsider. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
  4. ^ a b Microsoft (January 7, 1997). "Microsoft Announces New Macintosh Product Unit". Microsoft press release. Retrieved 2007-02-09.
  5. ^ "Microsoft 2010 form 10-K". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. 2010-07-30. p. 8. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
  6. ^ Dalrymple, Jim (10 January 2006). "MWSF: Microsoft, Apple ink new agreement". Macworld.com. Archived from the original on 2014-10-03.
  7. ^ Microsoft (December 18, 2002). "Microsoft Appoints Seasoned Leader as Macintosh Business Unit General Manager". Microsoft press release. Retrieved 2007-02-09.
  8. ^ Craig Eisler (June 8, 2007). "Hello from the new General Manager of the Macintosh Business Unit - Craig Eisler". Blogs.msdn.com. Retrieved 2007-06-10.
  9. ^ Foley, Mary Jo. "Former Microsoft MacBU chief now running entertainment client software". ZDNet. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  10. ^ "Microsoft replaces Mac GM with 12-year veteran". Macworld. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  11. ^ Microsoft (October 2006). "Internet Explorer for Mac no longer available for download". Microsoft.com. Archived from the original on 2007-03-03. Retrieved 2007-03-04.
  12. ^ Peter Cohen (August 7, 2006). "WWDC: Microsoft kills Virtual PC for Mac". Macworld. Archived from the original on 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2007-03-04.
  13. ^ Fried, Ina (March 11, 2005). "Microsoft to kill MSN for the Mac". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2010-08-30.

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