IBM is holding talks with Apple to get access to the popular, user-friendly Macintosh operating system, company sources tell TIME. The deal is expected to cost Big Blue hundreds of millions of dollars. This new alliance supplements an existing arrangement in which both companies produced a fast, inexpensive chip -- the PowerPC -- to compete with Intel. Apple has already raced ahead of Big Blue to unveil a new line of PCs based on this chip, and IBM is waiting until 1995 to show off its PCs because of a dearth of application software.While the current negotiations are a significant victory for Apple, IBM's move "is more anti-Microsoft than pro-Apple," says TIME New York correspondent Thomas McCarroll. Before this, McCarroll explains, IBM's new PCs would have been dependent solely on Microsoft for operating systems. "Now they are not locked into it," says McCarroll. "This is part of an ongoing effort to stop being dependent on either Microsoft or Intel."