Secrets in Seattle: Apple opening base on Microsoft's doorstep

Tim Cook muscling in on 'enemy territory'

Apple is hatching plans to open a mysterious engineering facility in Seattle, the home of its sworn blood-rival Microsoft.

The fruity firm has posted a number of job adverts looking for software engineers in the city.

An Apple apparatchik confirmed the presence of the new office, but declined to say how many people worked there or even hint at its location.

There are already 30 Apple engineers working in Seattle, at least according to a LinkedIn search, many of whom appeared to once work at cloudy services firm Union Bay Networks.

The LinkedIn page of Benn Bollay, Union Bay co-founder, now includes the job title of Apple manager and what appears to be a job advert for the fruity firm.

“Ever wanted to work at Apple, but didn’t want to live in Cupertino?” a headline on Bollay's LinkedIn page read – although later it was reportedly changed.

Although the Seattle base is Apple's first, the fruity firm is following in the footsteps of Facebook, Google, Twitter, Salesforce, eBay and HP, which have all established boltholes in this emerging tech hub.

It has been suggested that Apple has bought up this cloudy biz, but all Cupertino has said is that it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans".

Apple has not faced the most enthusiastic of welcomes, with the Seattle Times warning Tim Cook and his chums that the city is "enemy territory".

Seattle is famous as the birthplace of Microsoft and grunge music, making the city something of a Mecca for badly dressed, socially awkward, but often quite wealthy men.

It is also notorious for being dull enough to put a man to sleep, yet stimulating enough to prevent Tom Hanks from getting 40 winks.

Which is a bit like Apple itself. Fanbois must be tired of seeing the same stuff released over and over again, but that doesn't mean they won't wait all night to buy an iThing, which is only slightly better than the last iThingy.

Now that really is romantic. ®

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