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Google Phone Could Drive Apple Into Allegiance With Microsoft 325

Posted by Soulskill
from the clash-of-the-titans dept.
rsmiller510 writes "A BusinessWeek report suggests that the Nexus One release marks the latest volley in an escalating war between Google and Apple, one that could force Apple into working more closely with Microsoft. 'When companies start to imitate one another, it's usually either an extreme case of flattery—or war. In the case of Google and Apple, it's both. Separated by a mere 10 miles in Silicon Valley, the two have been on famously good terms for almost a decade. ... Now the companies have entered a new, more adversarial phase. With Nexus One, Google, which had been content to power multiple phonemakers' devices with Android, enters the hardware game, becoming a direct threat to the iPhone. With its Quattro purchase, Apple aims to create completely new kinds of mobile ads, say three sources familiar with Apple's thinking. The goal isn't so much to compete with Google in search as to make search on mobile phones obsolete. ... Some analysts believe the Apple-Google battle is likely to get much rougher in the months ahead. Ovum's Yarmis thinks Apple may soon decide to dump Google as the default search engine on its devices, primarily to cut Google off from mobile data that could be used to improve its advertising and Android technology. Jobs might cut a deal with—gasp!—Microsoft to make Bing Apple's engine of choice, or even launch its own search engine, Yarmis says."
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Google Phone Could Drive Apple Into Allegiance With Microsoft

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  • by dirtyhippie (259852) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @12:32PM (#30799444) Homepage

    This conspiracy theory is half baked. Google's core business is search. And based on what we've seen from the Nexus One so far, apple has nothing to fear whatsoever from google in the mobile phone market. The Nexus One hardware is nice, but the software is crap. It's not even remotely a threat to apple's iPhone market. And don't forget that apple sells computers and mp3 players too. This is not enough for apple to ally with Microsoft. They tried that once before, and they got IE for mac out of it. They've learned from that mistake.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 17, 2010 @12:34PM (#30799456)

    Never going to happen, the Apple market is not the phone market but the mac market which is directly competing with microsoft (PC front). They have more than enough capital to create their own search engine and plenty of popular opinion to market it. Not to mention that the whole Apple fanism is based on the belief that MS stole their software.
    There are plenty of search engines out there Yahoo comes to mind.

  • by Murdoch5 (1563847) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @12:35PM (#30799464)
    If Microsoft builds a phone it will probably sell great and at the same time suck on both the hardware and software specs. People will buy what there told to with out understanding what there really buying.

    It's the same reason "bing" is successful, it's a mediocre search engine at best and has no way to stand up to google. It's the same way with the microsoft windows OS, people buy it because there told they should, Another example of just a mediocre product being pushed.

    On the other hand we have a company like Apple telling you to buy there stuff because it's easier to use and somehow that should make it better. In reality they have the worst customer service I've ever experienced and an OS that is so slightly better then Windows it's not even worth trying to separate them.

    Now we look at google, and there not telling you to buy there stuff and yet people do, there not telling you to use there search engine because it's better and more proprietary yet people do. To top it off there not telling people to use there cloud based OS and people do, see a trend.

    If a company like google who's products are known to be better and can manage to force company's who push there products down the publics throat to merge then it's not wonder what the real solution should be. Maybe lets focus on making a great product that allows people to do what they need to in constrast to making a product and trying to force someone to use it because it "easier to use" or I guess as apple would say it's "iEasier to use".
  • by phillymjs (234426) <slashdot@nospAM.stango.org> on Sunday January 17, 2010 @12:37PM (#30799482) Homepage Journal

    Jobs thinks everything Microsoft does is second-rate. He won't team up with them for that reason alone, never mind the fact that Apple has been burned by trusting Microsoft in the past, and I can't see that mistake being made again.

    ~Philly

  • by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @12:40PM (#30799502)

    Yeah, a company whose entire business is predicated on cool can't partner with uncool. Uncool is contagious. Cool isn't.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 17, 2010 @12:41PM (#30799512)

    ...they are not large enough to build their own search engine, advertising platform, and back end services to run them.

    Sure they are. They can do it easily. As a matter of fact, I think Apple's brand is so strong, if they created their own search engine, they'd crush Google and Bing.

    A search engine is nothing more than algorithms and marketing to get folks to use it and get the subsequent advertising revenue - the hardware and programming involved and its costs are not a factor. Actually, having a search engine driven by Macs would be a hell of a marketing gimmick.

    As far as talent in regards to the search algorithms, that's wouldn't be hard to get at all. Don't forget, Google, Excite, and other search engines started on one guy's computer.

  • by Adambomb (118938) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @12:44PM (#30799534) Journal

    Agreed, there has been such a longstanding history of apple versus pc(Microsoft) and Microsoft versus apple bashing in the recent past that if anything like this was going to happen, it would take a lonnnng wait before that mindset was out of consumers minds. Not only would it muck up years of work priming the marketplace to pit one against the other, but it would require that Microsoft allow the mainstream to consider Apple equivalent and Apple would have to effectively dump the "we're shinier and trendier than those balding business dweebs" tact that they've invested millions in imprinting on the 18-34 demographic.

    Not saying such a thing could NEVER happen; However it would be a huge deadweight loss for both companies current marketing strategies, between Apples image play and Microsoft's attempts to make Apples offerings appear irrelevant, that I can't see EITHER company even considering it in the short term.

  • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @12:57PM (#30799632)
    Not to mention that the whole Apple fanism is based on the belief that MS stole their software.

    In my case, you're completely wrong about that. The quibble about MS pinching Apple's software is old news (~1988?) and nobody gives a shit any more. I happen to quite like the fact that OS X behaves like a conventional Unix box if I pull up a terminal window.

    Microsoft has persisted in imposing its own standards and interfaces, which just don't suit the way I work.
  • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:06PM (#30799702)
    Check out the difference between "there" and "their". It will enrich your life and maybe help to prevent you from pissing off your readers.
  • What nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BearRanger (945122) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:16PM (#30799756)
    Why is it always "war"? You know, it's just possible that the market for mobile phones is large enough to support many different vendors. Apple has consistently shown that they're happy with just a portion of the markets they play in--provided it's the most lucrative end of that market. The iPod is more an anomaly than the norm in terms of how Apple approaches its various markets. Google and Apple stand to gain more here if they continue to cooperate than if they become all out adversaries.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:25PM (#30799862)

    Apple is a great company, but they are not large enough to build their own search engine

    Man... Apple's market cap is the same as Google. They're both about 2/3rd of MS's market cap.

    Most people see "oh but Apple has only 10% market share" and don't realize that they're making a killing on the hardware they're selling, which is why should they grab "only" 20% of the market they'd be much bigger than MS.

    Apple is today nearly as big as MS, let them reach 15% market share and their market cap shall equal that of MS.

    That's why Apple is so dangerous for MS: they don't need much of the market to be worth as much as MS.

    Anyway if Apple with a $170bn market cap valuation (these are "billions") ain't large enough to build its own search engine then who is?

    How big where the team that started Google in a garage yet!?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:27PM (#30799872)

    Apple can and will do anything they stick their mind too.

    Except write an operating system with preemptive multitasking.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:29PM (#30799890)

    Sure they are. They can do it easily. As a matter of fact, I think Apple's brand is so strong, if they created their own search engine, they'd crush Google and Bing.

    You're either joking or really, really dumb. That's like saying "Toyota's brand is so strong, if they created their own cola, they'd crush Coke and Pepsi".

    Their brand is strong in a certain area. Just like Google's brand is strong in a certain area. There's a reason searching online is called "Googling".

    ... and that's just talking brand. Google is already entrenched in most people as habit, they have by far the best search technology (and are constantly improving), and they most importantly have the crazy infrastructure necessary to enable everything they do.

  • by tyrione (134248) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:29PM (#30799894) Homepage
    No this does not make perfect sense. Steve has a feud with Bill going back to NeXT. Sorry, but this will never fly. Apple has made their continent and are growing it.
  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:32PM (#30799916) Homepage Journal

    if Apple is going to be in bed with a competitor, its much better that it be Microsoft rather than google

    Not with respect to search. Look, there's a reason that Google dominates the search market despite the large number of alternatives, and it has nothing to do with Microsoft-style marketing and lock-in. Google is simply so much better a search engine than any other, for general-purpose (as opposed to domain-specific) search, that for years there's been no reason to use anything else. Apple or any other company that makes Bing (or any non-Google search engine, really) the default on their products is making a huge mistake.

    Now, this isn't to say that at some point there won't be a better search engine out there; there was a time, after all, when it seemed like AltaVista was the be-all and end-all. But you can bet that if and when the Google-killer comes along, it won't be from Microsoft.

  • by D4C5CE (578304) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:36PM (#30799942)
    ...usually one of the factors that made them buy Macs, iPods and iPhones in the first place. For this reason alone it seems quite unlikely that:

    Jobs might cut a deal with—gasp!—Microsoft to make Bing Apple's engine of choice

  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @02:03PM (#30800162) Homepage
    Sorry, but any search engine that requires me to download a browser extension gets an automatic fail in my opinion.
  • by KarmaMB84 (743001) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @02:03PM (#30800164)

    And Microsoft better announce *something* regarding Windows Mobile soon. They're already on life support, it's not going to be long before someone pulls the plug on the whole division.

    Microsoft has committed to continuing Windows Mobile for industrial devices even if they completely fail in the smartphone market. They'll just continue working on it for rugged handheld computers built by Motorola for the likes of Fedex etc.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 17, 2010 @02:15PM (#30800250)

    Sure they are. They can do it easily. As a matter of fact, I think Apple's brand is so strong, if they created their own search engine, they'd crush Google and Bing.

    Just like they did with safari.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 17, 2010 @03:50PM (#30801024)
    This isn't insightful. The bottom line is that the majority of iPod and iPhone owners are still using Microsoft and most of them have little interest in Apple.
  • by Dun Malg (230075) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @04:56PM (#30801618) Homepage
    Market cap is simply share price * number of shares. It's a rough yardstick as to what the public perception of the value of the company is. It actually says nothing about who owns the shares, what their revenue is, or how much equity they could draw on.
  • by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @05:19PM (#30801856)

    Apple is a great company, but they are not large enough to build their own search engine, advertising platform, and back end services to run them.

    Most people said they had no business trying to build a cell phone, either.

    Ooopth.

  • Nimroddery Alert (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DannyO152 (544940) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @05:53PM (#30802112)

    Has BusinessWeek learned nothing about Apple over the last 13 years?

    Apple does not need to be the only or number one product in a sector to make money. It's nice when they are, because they really, really, make money when it happens. So Google now makes a phone. It is not likely to harm the phone with the better interface as much as the phones with lousy or no interface.

    Meanwhile, Google pays Apple for the customers it delivers. I'm sure if Microsoft wants to pay, Apple will cordially listen, but it won't say yes just to frost off Google. They'll say yes if the green comes in from Redmond.

  • by RobertM1968 (951074) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @06:13PM (#30802294) Homepage Journal

    I dunno... I disagree. Apple's partnerships with Microsoft have always ended badly.

    On top of that, it's not like Google is really advertising the Nexus One (hence the "poor" sales), so I dont see how it would drive anyone to do anything. The article would have been more correct if it discounted the Nexus One and simply grouped all Android phones as the driving force.

    That aside, Google's "search everywhere on the phone - or the web" search seems better than anything Microsoft has to offer. And Apple's current search seems better as well (in that respect). So, switching search providers to Bing doesnt seem to gain much benefit to Apple.

    Conversely, setting Bing as the default search provider could push away some quantity of pro-Apple/Anti-Microsoft fans. Now, while I dont have an iPhone (I happily use my "antiquated" G1), I for one would not ever switch my search provider to Microsoft... their current "privacy" policy's interpretations aside, they have done nothing to really ensure me they are not still selling my search data and whatever personal info they can glean from it. As a matter of fact, their current policy states they still do (it's the whole Microsoft partner thing that is always snuck in)... while at least Google, even though privy to more information, doesnt seem to actually sell the raw data, but instead sells services where you can advertise through them to people who meet certain data requirements. That leaves my "options" as use Bing and allow Microsoft and their "partners" to access my data, or use Google and allow Google and... oh, that's it... access to my data. As Microsoft has made many a claim in this (privacy) and other areas in the past (while even sneaking in little sections stating they can sell your data, images or whatever that you put on their services), yet claim they protect their users' privacy, I still seem them as the worst option.

    And no, I am not trying to start an anti-Microsoft rant. I am trying to say that, as a technologically savvy computer user (ie: tech, programmer, web designer) who actually reads the EULAs and knows what little hidden gems are in them, that I would expect many Apple users (who much of which already seem to have something against Microsoft - some for valid reasons, such as dropping Office support, reinstating Office support (well, a subset of it), then dropping Office support... trying to prevent certain of their OS's from running under virtualization software on MacOSX, etc) will also not be happy with such a partnership and may turn away from Apple - especially with Android based phones gaining some ground.

    So, for Apple's sake, I'd think them making their own search engines/tools or sticking with Google, may be their best bet. Gotta remember, it doesnt matter if Apple/iPhone users are zealots or misguided - or right on the money... what matters is how that will affect Apple's marketshare and mindshare in the iPhone/smartphone marketplace (hence my point about not trying to start a flame war or my post being intended as a rant). It's all about public perception - or in this case, customer perception... reality does not matter in those situations (whether the reality I paint above is true or not... since it is widely held perception, which for marketshare, beats reality every time). But that's just my opinion.

  • by Stuntmonkey (557875) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @08:59PM (#30803502)

    Google, on the other hand, is basically interested in scorched-earthing the margins on hardware, software, and connectivity in order to make it cheaper for consumers to look at Adwords.

    No, that isn't how the Google founders think, not at all. Their primary interest is to ensure that phones are powerful enough to use Google services on, and relatively open in terms of access to apps and content. None of the above necessarily makes them a direct competitor to Apple. In fact you will note that Google has supported the iPhone at least as well as Android with their own development (although Apple has been a bit lukewarm on apps like Google Voice). Besides, if they were trying to suck the margins out of the phone market, they wouldn't be selling the Nexus One for over $500.

  • by Petrushka (815171) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @10:19PM (#30804022)

    The onmousedown bit calls a JavaScript function to do that.

    Fuller details and explanation here [seo4uk.com]. Apparently Google's been doing it since 2003.

    The "Customise Google" Firefox extension includes options for stripping click tracking from Google search results, but I don't think it works; even with the extension active, search pages still include the onmousedown="return clk(this.href,"... code.

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