New statements by Steve Ballmer suggests that Microsoft and Apple are on the way to bury the hatchet between the two companies… for now.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has previously made fun of Apple in general and the iPhone in particular. In front of a stunned audience at the University of Washington last week, Ballmer had only nice things to say about the arch rival.

Apple’s done a very nice job that allows people to monetize and commercialize their intellectual property , Ballmer said with regards to the App Store.

According to The Seattle Times Ballmers changed attitude can possibly come as a result of Microsoft’s attempt to persuade Apple to choose Bing as the default search engine in Safari.

Both firms to a certain extent feel like Google’s stealing from them; I think that’s driven the two firms closer together,” said Rob Enderle, a Silicon Valley consultant and analyst.

With Google as a common “enemy” it seems like the two rivals Apple and Microsoft is about to bury the hatchet again. The question is how long it takes before its picked up again this time.

Is there an “enemy of my enemy is my friend” thing going on between the two?