“Everything at Apple is as much about perception as about reality,” the company’s former C.E.O. John Sculley said to me a few days after his old partner and rival, Steve Jobs, unveiled the alliance he had engineered with Microsoft. Since Sculley was deposed, in 1993, after running Apple for ten years, he has rarely spoken about the firm or about Jobs, and his tone was one of cynicism tinged with grudging respect. “The deal is good for Apple,” he said. “But it has nothing to do with technology or business and everything to do with what Steve is a master of—perception.