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Google's Growing Love For the Mac 222

Posted by Hemos
from the the-multi-color-apple dept.
An anonymous reader writes "While browsing the 2007 Macworld speaker bios, I found an interesting Google+Mac piece of news. Looks like Google has appointed the famous Amit Singh in charge of their Mac Engineering (also confirmed on Singh's website). While Google generally seems to lag behind in Safari compatibility they have been offering some native Mac software. We earlier heard Google CEO Eric Schmidt's joining Apple's board of directors. Then following Microsoft MacBU's lead, Google started their own Mac Blog a few weeks earlier. Google's jobs website also lists several Mac openings. If Singh's technical expertise and history of OS X wizardry any indication, we can hope for some cool Mac software from Google. Also wondering if all this is just Google's response to Apple's market growth or maybe a more serious partnership is coming? ;-)"
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Google's Growing Love For the Mac

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  • by Zarniwoop_Editor (791568) on Monday November 06, 2006 @10:30AM (#16735697) Homepage
    Anytime we get wider acceptance of platforms other than Microsoft it is a good thing. It's not that I'm anti-microsoft so much as I prefer to have choices when it comes to computing platforms. Any effort made by companies to support more than just microsoft properly is a good thing in my books.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jellomizer (103300)
      Indeed it is. But I think Google will do more to help this by making more tools Web Based then making Applicataions that run on different OS's While it is good that they are doing that. Making more Platform Independant Web Application Will do much more making all OS irelevlant and people can choose what platform and OS based on their personal needs and less of well this App only run on windows so I need windows.
      • by b0s0z0ku (752509) on Monday November 06, 2006 @10:51AM (#16735949)
        Web apps are a great thing - if you have reliable, very fast, Internet access 24/7. I suspect the killer app is some hybrid of web and client apps. The data would get still stored locally. Not everyone is comfortable with losing access to data whenever the net goes down, plus the privacy implications and the fact that local storage is faster. As far as the applications themselves, they'll be in Java or some other platform-independent language, but they'll be cached locally for the most part. Again, you wouldn't want to be stuck with a brick when the your net access breaks. Perhaps updates and seldom-used features would download on demand from the net, but things like MS Office more or less do that already.

        Going to all web apps would be going back to the mainframe/dumb terminal days of the 1970s. It would negate most of the advantages of owning a PC.

        -b.

        • by uncadonna (85026)
          I suspect the killer app is some hybrid of web and client apps.


          iTunes? Google Earth? the Flickr upload tool?

          I use at least three such (mass-market) applications regularly.

          • by MBGMorden (803437)
            iTunes is still very much like a traditional app with net access though. I'm sure iTunes wouldn't be nearly the sucess that it is if you had to stream all media from their site rather than downloading it, or (in a full web scenario), if it was just a website where you streamed stuff across.

            I think the internet is a wonderful thing, and we have only begun to tap it's potention. But IMHO, the most potential still lies in local applications that access the internet for external data, not in applications that
      • by hcdejong (561314)
        Web applications are useful for some situations, but I wouldn't want to run e.g. SketchUp inside a browser window. Like it or not, OSes aren't irrelevant now and won't be for years to come.

    • I'm thoroughly impressed with Google services. That being said, Google "software" sucks. Only Google Desktop and Google Earth stand out, and Google Earth was acquired from Keyhole. Furthermore, compared to X1 or spotlight or even good old slocate, Google Desktop sucks. It took up 2 gigabytes of hard drive space to index a 40 gig drive, that's really really bad.

      So I don't really care that Google would partner with any specific OS vendor, because their value is in their services which can be accessed with
      • I dislike Google Desktop - it's a resource hog - but do like Picasa, their image library software. (And Picasa was also an acquisititon.)

        I really want to like Google Apps more than I do, but they just don't quite cut it.
      • A new hope (Score:3, Interesting)

        by megaditto (982598)
        We have been looking at this all the wrong way. Microsoft is branded an Evil Empire while Google is exhaled, hence the hoopla about Google expansion (whoopie-doo, OSX can run Goog13). Perhaps it is time to consider the alternative?

        Consider that Bill Gates puts his money where his mouth is in terms of giving the largest private donations to fight AIDS and poverty, not buying up party planes and grabass photoshoots like certain individuals in charge of a certain search enGine.

        Secondly, Microsoft seems to be o
    • by iendedi (687301) on Monday November 06, 2006 @02:33PM (#16739353) Journal
      Apple's new iTV gizmo coming out in January will be able to feed google and youtube video to your television in a nice handy way. I think the idea is to bring a new age of video to the masses via google and Apple.

      This is the endgame that I think they are aiming for.
  • I would like to see two things from Google... firstly, some gee whizz apps appearing first for Linux, and secondly, them to come out with a Google branded Linux with full indemnity against any patent(s) that Microsoft may allege to be infringed by Linux...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jellomizer (103300)
      Linux is so Early Decade come on it is the End of the Decade get with the times OS X is the new champion.
    • them to come out with a Google branded Linux with full indemnity against any patent(s) that Microsoft may allege to be infringed by Linux...

      You mean you think Google should buy Suse?

      ba-da-ding
      ba-da-boom
      cha-cha-cha

      C//
    • Your munch more likely to see something for OS X before Linux. Regardless of superiority its simple economics... there are more OS X users than Linux users out there regardless of how many machines run Linux.
      • by Weedlekin (836313)
        There are more OS X desktop users than Linux desktop users, not more OS X users overall.
      • by delire (809063)
        I wouldn't be so sure. Google are mid-development of their in-house developer desktop OS Goobuntu [wikipedia.org], an Ubuntu [ubuntu.com] derivative made by Google for the task. Furthermore don't forget that Google's next biggest 'market' is in Asia, where Linux desktop growth is formidable to say the least, far surpassing desktop Linux growth we've seen elsewhere in the West. Don't forget also OS X isn't a migration target for whole governments and their administrations either - comprising a large chunk of the so-called enterprise mar
        • by IflyRC (956454)
          Linux is the 'people's OS'

          I'll consider calling it that when Linux is simple enough for the majority of the "people" can understand it. Right now, that just isn't the case.
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            I'll consider calling it that when Linux is simple enough for the majority of the "people" can understand it. Right now, that just isn't the case.

            When OSX breaks it's just as hard to get it back going as Linux. Actually, it's a lot harder! Just getting OSX to single user mode takes half a dozen commands (on 10.3 anyway; it's only like three or four on 10.4.) On linux it takes no commands; once you're in as root, you're in and you can reset your password. Unless it fails to mount root or something, but t

            • by eh2o (471262)
              Linux wins on installation flexibility, hardware flexibility, and esoteric kernel tweaks. And for stability and ongoing maintenance of long-uptime server systems, it absolutely rocks. But for a desktop system, no thanks. Better than windows but there is no way I'd give up OSX (and I used a linux on the desktop full time for about 8 years (mostly Debian/Gnome but also KDE in the early days) before I "switched").

              Not to say that OSX is perfectly consistent. I've found problems before -- for example as a dv
            • Is this a troll? (Score:4, Informative)

              by Slur (61510) on Monday November 06, 2006 @02:44PM (#16739531) Homepage Journal
              You are factually wrong on several points:

              Single-user mode: Very easy, just hold down COMMAND-S at startup. With applejack installed repairs can be very quick. In a pinch archive-and-installing the system gets you back to where you were very quickly, preserving settings.

              Context menus: Actually Mac uses them all over the place now, and they are comprehensive.

              Mac Consistency: You're completely wrong about application behavior. For all applications, not just the Finder, only the clicked-on window comes to the front. An application that uses PALETTES (like Photoshop) shows them when one of its windows is active. The key-combination to hide apps is COMMAND-H for all apps that don't override it for legacy reasons. Adobe apps traditionally use Cmd-H for "Extras" so they change the hide key to COMMAND-CONTROL-H. In any case, you can always COMMAND-OPTION-CLICK any Dock icon to hide all other apps. Icons appearing under the Dock: It's so easy to avoid. Put the Dock on the side of the screen and make it smaller for the best experience.

              Linux is getting better all the time though, I agree with that.
              • I have high doubts he has ever played with OS X. He didnt even get OS Xs install setup right. Its probably the easiest install setup of any OS out there and has remained pretty much unchanged since OS 8
              • by drinkypoo (153816)

                Single-user mode: Very easy, just hold down COMMAND-S at startup. With applejack installed repairs can be very quick. In a pinch archive-and-installing the system gets you back to where you were very quickly, preserving settings.

                Never heard of applejack. Why should it be hard to deal with the system without additional software? It's easy to get to single user mode but at least as of 10.3 (We're unlikely to spend the money to go to 10.4 as long as the apps run on 10.3 - and when Adobe CS3 comes out, we'r

            • On linux it takes no commands; once you're in as root, you're in and you can reset your password. Unless it fails to mount root or something, but that can happen with OSX as well.

              Off topic I know, but boot from the OSX-disk and, oh well, start halfway this http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106 156 [apple.com] link. It even has pictures ;-)

          • by delire (809063)
            These days distributions like Xandros and Ubuntu require no CLI intervention on the part of the user for daily desktop tasks. This was certainly not the case a few years ago. The odd install may require CLI interaction however, hence the need for more like System76 [system76.com] and big vendors like HP and Dell to push pre-installs.

            It seems your sig is stuck in the 90's.
    • "Partnering" with Linux (is that even possible?) would not be as smart a business decision. Apple has handheld devices in millions of consumers' hands, a growing number of computers on peoples' desks and partnerships within the entertainment industry -- all things Google wants. Their pockets also just happen to be lined deep with cash. If you haven't noticed, Google has been making huge inroads into video and community collaboration -- why not partner with the company that has already done much of the di
      • Google is a Linux company.

        They build their own, internal linux distribution. They run all their heavy metal on Linux.

        They'll never, ever switch to OS X, at least internally.

        What does make sense is for them to better support OS X client apps. But at it's core, Google is a Linux company.
        • And your point is what exactly? We're talking about two completely different things here.

          Everyone knows Google runs Linux -- for their systems. Most companies I know have at least some services on Linux. I know very few that are seriously running Mac OS X Server.

          That has nothing to with business relationships, strategic partnerships, or what will ultimately bring them in gobs of cash.

          It's like a company running Verizon for their landline service, then setting up a strategic partnership with Cingular. Th
    • by LWATCDR (28044)
      "Firstly, some gee whizz apps appearing first for Linux," Why? More people use Windows than Linux. I would be happy if they came out at the same time.

      "and secondly, them to come out with a Google branded Linux with full indemnity against any patent(s) that Microsoft may allege to be infringed by Linux..."
      Why? Really why would Google do that?
      Google isn't a charity it is a business. How would this help Google make one cent of income?
      I could see IBM doing this. IBM does make a lot of money from Linux and let's
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Google isn't a charity it is a business. How would this help Google make one cent of income?

        Companies regularly make strategic moves that make them money in the long term, via an indirect route. Google throwing their support and development behind a desktop Linux distro could do a number of things. It could provide a stable target for other developers. It could promote a commoditization of the OS, and thus remove MS's largest weapon against them. It could save Google money internally by providing a cheap

        • by LWATCDR (28044)
          "It could provide a stable target for other developers. " How? Linux is the least stable target by nature. Anyone can change or modify anything. That is why OS/X is so easy. It is the lease open so it is the most stable target.
          "It could save Google money internally by providing a cheaper platform for their employees internally."
          Ubuntu, Open Suse, and even Gentoo are all good enough for for Google to deploy internally. This is Google we are talking about."
          Frankly I am having less hope for a Desktop Linux by
          • How? Linux is the least stable target by nature.

            Well if Google picked or made one distro, that would make for a stable target for them and anyone else who wanted to contribute. We're talking about the benefits to Google of Google sponsoring a distro.

            Ubuntu, Open Suse, and even Gentoo are all good enough for for Google to deploy internally.

            Sure, but it is a lot easier to standardize on one distro than many.

            Frankly I am having less hope for a Desktop Linux by the minute...

            You go on to list symptoms

            • by LWATCDR (28044)
              Frankly the problem is the open source faithful.
              People WANT TO BUY Photoshop. They do not want to learn GIMP. They want the FREEDOM to buy software.
              People want to buy nvidia and ATI video cards. They do not care about binary blobs. And they do not want to be educated about how evil closed source is. Want to know why? They will never look at the source. If they did they would never understand it.
              OS/X gives people the choice to buy the stuff they want instead of hoping that someone will write it.

              I love FO
              • by Ash-Fox (726320)

                People WANT TO BUY Photoshop.

                And they're free to, although they may need Crossover [codeweavers.com] if they can't get it running under Vanilla wine (heard it runs Photoshop 7, MS Office pretty well).

                They do not want to learn GIMP.

                Would they prefer Kirta [koffice.org] (snapshot [theden.ws]) since it's closer in looks and feel to Photoshop?

                People want to buy nvidia and ATI video cards.

                All my Linux installations have Nvidia/ATi cards.

                They do not care about binary blobs.

                Neither do I. But the machines that need them, have them. Not like a few mouse cl

                • by LWATCDR (28044)
                  "Believe it or not, programmers are "people" too."
                  Yes and I am one of them. Just about the only source I look at under Linux is example code. While having the source is nice it is a rare programmer that will dig into the kernel source.
                  Programmers are a very small part of the user base of computers today. Sad as that maybe. I was looking at cars and the salesperson made some comment about the on-board computer. It was something like computers run everything these days and no body understands them. It was fu
          • by Ash-Fox (726320)

            How? Linux is the least stable target by nature.

            I don't see how.

            Anyone can change or modify anything.

            That's an advantage, I've also not seen such dramatic changes that broke a tonne of applications yet.

            That is why OS/X is so easy.

            Uhuh.. Go run your Mac classic applications on your new Macintel.

            It is the lease open so it is the most stable target.

            I'm able to run applications from the early 90s on my Linux installation. Hell, right now I'm running a old unix port of a Z-code interpreter (compiled quite a few

  • One massive multinational corporation working with another. Why should I be excited about this? Is this news? Is this a good thing?
    • Yeah -- multinational corporations all suck. Just like the one that your .sig links to. Hypocrite.
  • makes sense (Score:2, Insightful)

    Mac's don't enjoy a huge portion of the market share when looking at the overall picture, but when you look at some key professional markets -- music, video, and web design and programming, Mac's are actually pretty popular. Only makes sense that Google, who has catered unconditionally to developers would do such a thing. Not to mention, it just makes sense to support a platform that is in direct competition with Google's own competition, that being Microsoft.
    • Mac's don't enjoy a huge portion of the market share when looking at the overall picture, but when you look at some key professional markets -- music, video, and web design and programming, Mac's are actually pretty popular.

      And also note that the the Mac marketshare is on the rise. For notebooks, especially, it's becoming significant. Any time I'm in a local coffeeshop or other place where there are people using notebook computers, 30-50% of them are Macs (typically iBooks and non-pro MacBooks). Five yea
      • Any time I'm in a local coffeeshop or other place where there are people using notebook computers, 30-50% of them are Macs (typically iBooks and non-pro MacBooks). Five years ago this was unheard of.

        I've been assuming Apple was just paying people to hang out in trendy coffee shops with Macbooks.

  • Only good things can possibly come from that.

    That must be the coolest job in the world: working on Macs for Google.
  • The largest threat to Google's online services business is Microsoft. Microsoft can and does illegally leverage their monopoly on desktop OS's to defeat superior offerings from competitors. Microsoft is putting a lot of resources into defeating Google, not only by making comparable services, but by tying those services to Windows and tying the Web in general to Windows by their use of proprietary technologies and their intentional refusal to fully implement standards in IE. Microsoft's plan is obviously to

  • ...do you have any idea how much iTMS is worth? Talk about profit...
    • by LauraW (662560)
      do you have any idea how much iTMS is worth

      Not a lot, actually. Though Apple makes a profit on iTMS, haven't they said publicly that the main point is that iTMS helps sell lots of iPods?

  • How many BIOSes does it have?? I know these new Macs are hi-end kit but even so....
  • Google Buys Apple.
  • by boxlight (928484) on Monday November 06, 2006 @11:21AM (#16736381)
    The way I see it, Google wants to own the multi-billion dollar TV ad revenue market. And Apple is on the verve of owning the way TV is distributed from the internet to the living room.

    Google + Apple is natch.

    Additionally, Google has been long-rumored to want a "Google PC" -- if I was google I would OEM Mac hardware and ship it with "mom friendly" software that just does email, photos&tv, and web browsing software clients that only run full screen.

    boxlight

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nine-times (778537)

      Additionally, Google has been long-rumored to want a "Google PC" -- if I was google I would OEM Mac hardware and ship it with "mom friendly" software that just does email, photos&tv, and web browsing software clients that only run full screen.

      If that were the case, if they just wanted the hardware, wouldn't it make more sense for Google to go to Asus or whoever it is (I forget) who actually manufactures the Apple hardware? The only reason to go to Apple is if they don't want a "Google PC" but want OS

    • by qazwart (261667)
      I have five Macs at home, and I think this would be silly. Google's "OS" is Linux based, so why run on what is really premium priced hardware? No, if Google is going to release a Google PC, they'd get their own box made to their own specs, and put their own OS on it. It's cheaper that way, and they would have more control over it.

      That said, Google really doesn't see a need to move into the PC hardware arena. Nor, are they interested in distributing their "OS". It's one thing supporting their "OS" at their c
  • Maybe Google will fucking kill Apple.
  • > "While Google generally seems to lag behind in Safari compatibility..."

    everybody has been lagging behind in Safari compatibility because it's only been 4 months or so since Apple released a simple goddamn javascript debugger for it.
    • because it's only been 4 months or so since Apple released a simple goddamn javascript debugger for it.

      I used a debugger that was built-in by using one of the tweaker apps to make it appear. That was 12 months ago and the level of debugging that safari has(not just javascript) was amazing.
      • by bunions (970377)
        First I've heard of it. Same deal with the dojo developers and several other javascript toolkit vendors.
  • It seems like every other Google employee I meet is using a Mac laptop. That probably has something to do with it.
  • Microsoft is starting to lose ground on the desktop. Apple is eroding market share from the top with expensive, trendy systems. Linux is coming from the bottom with the tech savy crowd that wants something flexible and Free.

    Things look good :-)
  • by bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) on Monday November 06, 2006 @01:59PM (#16738765) Homepage
    We all now how hard Google wants to dominate video Ads, the way they dominate text. (to clarify I mean, adds appearing IN video content, not video format adds appearing in text content)

    They are talking to the TV companies who currently control video distribution. But why tie yourself to yesterdays companies, it is iTMS (and possible YouTube) that are likely to control video content soon.

    Google have already realised that keyword searching isn't a killer 'product' for video content, people just don't want to plug keyboards into their TV's. So the are looking at other ways to enter and dominate that ad market.

    What surprises me is Google's (public) lack of contact with the big games companies. Obviously in-game advertising has significant potential, but it is also likely that the next gen winner will control a significant portion of the 'living room'. Why should a Blue-ray disc force you to sit though last months trailers when it is being played on a PS3 sitting on a nice fat broadband connection. Live may be for downloadable games now, but what would stop Microsoft using that network to push video (to your TV and/or Zune).
  • Safari is so broken I never use it. Periodically it reaches a point where all future attempts to connect to a web site fail with Safari hanging indefinitely as if waiting for a response from the server. Happens on a friend's Mac too.

    Not only does Firefox work better on the Mac, it actually looks better than Safari, pretty weird given that we're talking about an Apple application here. So as long as Google properly support Firefox I'm happy. (Though I slightly prefer Safari RSS handling.)

    • Firefox looks better than Safari? There's just no disputing Firefox is a terrible, terrible port of a Linux/Windows application in look, let alone feel. No Keychain integration. Preferences are oddly arranged. Forms and controls behave like reanimated simulacra of their Cocoa equivalents. In short, nothing works the way a Mac user would expect them to. Are you a PC user or something?
  • Mac = Google PC (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wandazulu (265281) on Monday November 06, 2006 @02:19PM (#16739101)
    I think the Mac really is the "Google PC" that has been rumored. The key thing is that I'll bet it will be more a symbiotic partnership instead of a re-badged Mac; the next version of OSX could ship with the entire suite of available Google Mac apps, Google says that the Mac works best for their software, maybe new apps and features that are not available on the Windows version, etc. I could also imagine .Mac taking on a more "Google" hue, with docs written in Writely or whatever available for sync on .Mac.

    Even though their stuff is essentially web-based, Google still needs a delivery platform. As others have suggested, it's possible that the killer-apps of the future will be both on-and-offline and thus having both Apple and Google working on both sides of the equation, together they will provide enough benefit to take on Microsoft, who has proven time and again that they want the playground for themselves, alone.

    If a Google/Apple partnership works out, they have a very real potential of hitting at both of Microsoft's profitable products: Windows and Office, upon which the MS empire rests.
  • by saddino (183491) on Monday November 06, 2006 @02:19PM (#16739115)
    If Singh's technical expertise and history of OS X wizardry any indication, we can hope for some cool Mac software from Google.

    Although Singh's hiring is definitely a step in the right direction concerning Google's commitment to the Mac, it's been a long time coming. In the meantime, independent Mac developers have already started writing tools and utilities that bridge the gap between OS X and Google. Just a few examples (the first being a shameless plug, natch):
    • Amnesty Generator [mesadynamics.com] – converts Google web page hosted gadgets into Dashboard widgets.
    • Google Maps Plugin [briantoth.com] – integrates Apple Address Book with Google Maps and Google Earth.
    • Dashalytics [rovingrob.com] – gives you quick access to prettified Google Analytics stats in a widget.
    • Spanning Sync [spanningsync.com] – syncs iCal with Google Calendar.

    I suppose the real question is: does Google's newfound enthusiasm for OS X simply mean rewriting all these existing tools in-house?
  • I heard Google were interested in buying Apple.
  • I wonder if Google is looking to diversify their server-side platform support beyond Linux?

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