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A new clash of tech titans is taking shape as Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. reignite a feud that dates back to the formative days of the personal computer era.
The companies’ co-founders, Apple’s Steve Jobs and Bill Gates at Microsoft, battled early in their history before largely burying the hatchet. In recent months, both companies have taken up arms again in a skirmish that is roiling other tech companies and their customers.
Apple, in its legal fight with Epic Games Inc., accused Microsoft of being the puppet master behind the game maker’s case. Epic Games has accused the iPhone maker of anticompetitive practices, while Microsoft has blamed Apple for restricting its ability to reach users with its own videogame service.
On Thursday, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella launched Windows 11 with what was widely seen as a swipe at Apple and the controls it wields over its iPhone App Store, but without mentioning the rival directly. Both companies are positioning themselves for an impending battle over the augmented and virtual reality market that is seen as the next major frontier in computing.
“The world needs a more open platform—one that allows apps to become platforms in their own right,” Mr. Nadella said Thursday during a virtual event.