There was a clear underlying current throughout the various presentations during today’s keynote at Microsoft’s Build conference: “We’re cool with Apple now.”
Most of that had to do with the tools that Microsoft is giving to developers to build apps for Windows platforms and then port to iOS or Android.
But some of it felt like Microsoft was trying to say that it wasn’t just an option, that they are happy to help developers be successful on other platforms.
The one shout-out to the Apple crowd that drew everyone’s attention came during a series of video presentations by developers who have used Azure to make beautiful, well-designed apps on other platforms.
The first video featured John Gruber, a noted independent Apple blogger — of Daring Fireball fame — touting the benefits Azure offered for the development of the syncing features in Gruber’s note-taking app, Vesper.
His appearance caught a number of people in the audience (both in person and online) off guard:
This isn’t public collaboration between Gruber and Microsoft, however. He has a strong following among Apple developers, which is why Microsoft occasionally sponsors his site (with its 4 million to 5 million monthly page views) with a weeklong ad for Microsoft Azure, its cloud service.
The going rate for sponsorships on his site is $US9,250 per week, though Microsoft might be able to negotiate that number down.
Gruber is known for writing smart, concise posts about Apple’s past and future, but occasionally looks at other companies as well. Back in February, he concluded a post on Microsoft by suggesting that services like Azure could be what keeps the company relevant in the post-PC era: “The next ubiquity isn’t running on every device, it’s talking to every device.”