The San Jose Mercury News has published a profile of Microsoft's Mac Business Unit, detailing the complex relationship between Apple and Microsoft.

The 160-strong Mac Business Unit is responsible for the production, testing and marketing of Microsoft's Macintosh applications, including Microsoft Office v.X, already available in the US.

Of Office, the report says: "The birth of Office v.X illustrates how complex the relationship between Microsoft and Apple has become."

It goes on to discusses how rivalry between the two companies remains.

War of wits "One moment, Apple runs ads that pit OS X against the latest version of Windows, under the heading: "The only thing we have a monopoloy of is commitment." Another moment, there's amorous talk of Microsoft."

The piece discusses the Mac-centric atmosphere of the unit. It also questions why the company lets the unit build features of Office that remain unavailable to its Windows customers. It claims Microsoft's intentions in publishing such software is to boost its bottom line.

Looking back, the piece looks at how Microsoft "coppied" then look-&-feel of Mac OS over ten years ago, using the results to "drive Apple to the brink of extinction".

It concludes: "It helps when the biggest software company in the world takes its most popular software suite, and rewrites it to work only on OS X. That, in a nutshell, is what Microsoft has done with Office v.X. It is the strongest vote of confidence Apple has received for its new OS."