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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 Foredecker (161844) * on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:23PM (#30799378) Homepage Journal

    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. Microsoft's search (bing), advertising platform, and back end services are all designed for partnering - its the core business model.

    of course, Microsoft will compete with Apple in the phone space at some point in the future (we are clearly uncompetitive now...), but if Apple is going to be in bed with a competitor, its much better that it be Microsoft rather than google - better for both companies. I mentioed this to Symbolset [slashdot.org] in a post here [slashdot.org].

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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 Adambomb (118938) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:44PM (#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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BrokenHalo (565198)
        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 dynamo (6127)

        I agree with the first part, I don't see bing or other ms stuff becoming the standard default on any Apple products, ever. When you take a step back and look at the big picture, the major innovation is that bing is a search interface with a pretty photo behind it. Yahoo would be an easy call, they need the money and they're a whole lot better in terms of basic trustworthiness as a promise-delivering company.

        But on this:

        Not to mention that the whole Apple fanism is based on the belief that MS stole their software.

        I'm not sure where this comes from, but it's ridiculous. Sure, any new Windows release in

      • And yet, one of the biggest features that Apple advertised in 10.6 was the fact that the built-in calendar APIs supported integration with MS Exchange. Apple's NSTextStorage classes (and, therefore, any rich text editing Cocoa app on OS X) can read OOXML documents, as well as ODF.
      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @03:29PM (#30800326) Journal
        On the other hand, while Apple and MS are direct competitors on the PC side, they've settled into a fairly comfortable(for Apple) stalemate.

        MS sells licences to the Wintel box-pushers who move product by the megapallet every year; but have shitty margins. Apple sells relatively modest volumes to people willing to pay for their substantial margins. Both parties lack the ability and/or interest to push into the other's camp. MS is largely incapable of capturing the "premium" market that Apple has(both because of its own software, and because of the PC OEMs' somewhat chintzy engineering). Apple has absoutely no way of substantially expanding its market share without ghastly violence against its margins, and Steve's attitude toward backwards compatibility would not be a hit in the corporate world.

        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.

        I'm not saying that an MS alliance is in Apple's future. There are plenty of wannabe search engines that don't completely suck, and could be made to work well enough for phone purposes that Apple could chose from. However, I would say that MS is less counter-intuitive than it looks. The Apple/MS rivalry is dramatic; but largely stable. It is basically just a dispute over how to divide up the PC market. Google, on the other hand, would be happy to nuke that entire market if it made access to their internet advertising incrementally cheaper.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Stuntmonkey (557875)

          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 m

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ...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'

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        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.

        Yes, the algorithms are probably the hardest bit, which is what confuses me about your statement: Google has spent a lot of time and money hiring smart people specifically to develop search algorithms, and Apple hasn't. How exactly does that put Apple in a spot to "crush" Google, again?

        I also think Apple doesn't have the in-house expertise to build and maintain the hardware/software required to provide a search product equivalent to Google's. Maybe someone could make the case that it's "not a factor" to G

        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @02:54PM (#30800096) Journal
          I take it you don't remember AltaVista? It existed for the sole purpose of advertising Alphas. Most people didn't care, or even know, that it ran on Alphas, but whenever the DEC sales people went to corporate customers to explain how well their kit scaled they had an example that they could easily point to. No one cares about Google's custom Linux because Google isn't selling it. People would care about a search engine running on XServes with OS X because it would be a large-scale server deployment that Apple sales reps could point to.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by maxume (22995)

            Plus they would have a big customer to sell servers to (themselves...).

            To clarify, I mean if they actually tried to make a meaningful competitor.

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:57PM (#30799630) Homepage

      I don't think it makes sense, and I say this for a variety of types of reasons. First, Jobs seems like the sort of guy who holds a grudge, and he seems to not like Microsoft. That's just my read on the situation, but I wouldn't guess that he'd be eager to jump into bed with Microsoft without a strong reason.

      Second, it doesn't make sense to jump to Bing just because Google releases a phone. It only makes sense if Bing is better than Google. If you think about it, as long as the iPhone and Google phones are using the same maps, searches, etc., then it can't be counted as an advantage for Google. People can't say, "Well I want to buy an Android phone because they use Google for their search engine. The iPhone uses [whatever], and I don't like it as much." So if Apple were to switch to something else, it really needs to be better. Not just arguably better or "some people think it's a little better," but decisively better in a way that Apple can count it as an advantage. I know Microsoft is offering payoffs for anyone who switches to Bing (not criticizing here, Google also pays for placement), but Apple tends to focus on customer experience as the most important thing, and I can't see Jobs opting for a substandard solution even if it came with a big cash bonus. Apple doesn't need the cash. And so far, I haven't seen anything that leads me to believe that Bing is decisively superior to Google.

      Third, Apple makes a lot of hay from making Microsoft the butt of jokes. Whenever Microsoft screws up or fails at anything, it helps reinforce their image as bumbling idiots, which in turn helps reinforce Apple's image as slick/cool geniuses. Every partnership they have with Microsoft serves to undercut that, and announcing that Apple is actively switching to a Microsoft product because of its superiority would be dangerous to Apple's image.

      I'm sure that Apple's relationship is uneasy, but I doubt it has turned to decisively to outright war that Apple would shoot itself in the foot to hurt Google. If I had to make a prediction, it would be that you'd see the introduction of Apple-branded alternatives without cutting out Google's products. Look at how they've dealt with Microsoft Office as an example (introducing iWork and supporting Exchange with Mail/iCal/Address book while still relying on MSOffice). I wouldn't doubt Apple's ability to create a search engine. I would sooner question whether they wanted to send people all over the country developing the maps for a Google Maps competitor, and whether they're actually interested in being as involved in advertising as Google is.

      • Third, Apple makes a lot of hay from making Microsoft the butt of jokes. Whenever Microsoft screws up or fails at anything, it helps reinforce their image as bumbling idiots, which in turn helps reinforce Apple's image as slick/cool geniuses.

        I hope Apple and MS team up just so I can see all the "I'm a PC/Mac" commercial spoofs that will result.

        • You mean like Justin Long and John Hodgeman beating up Brent Spiner?
          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Lundse (1036754)

            You mean like Justin Long and John Hodgeman beating up Brent Spiner?

            Or making sweet, sweet, manly love!

      • Bill gates and Steve Jobs are old friends and have been for the better part of 30 years. When Apple was near BK Gates loaned Jobs a _large_ sum of money in exchange for shares. MS and Apple have been in the sack for the better part of the past 3 decades.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dogzilla (83896)

        Advertising is a critical part of launching a new publishing platform that includes magazines and newspapers. I don't think that necessarily means that Apple is launching a search engine, but even if it does, it doesn't necessarily follow that Apple will follow Google's model and extract ad revenue from the search engine - Apple could be perfectly happy with simply keeping the data out of Google's hands.

        Also, Apple recently acquired Placebase, a Google competitor. Not sure if they have street view, but they

    • by gmuslera (3436)
      There is no cure for the virus you could get going with MS to bed. And is definately worse than AIDS, you could end being zombie.
    • [Apple] are not large enough to build their own search engine

      Completely wrong. Actually, they already have their own search engine, it's called Spotlight and it works well.

      I'm pretty sure they could build some data centers and have a product quickly.

      Now, Apple has always worked on profitable markets. I'm pretty sure web search has not enough profit margins for them to consider to enter into that market.

      If anything, you will get applesearch through your MobileMe account : paying customers, smaller datacenters because not anyone can access the search engine; no ads, in

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dun Malg (230075)
        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.
    • If there is an advantage to having that search data would you give it to yet another mobile competitor who will eat into your market share too and who can also use its desktop OS monopoly to heavily tie their mobile OS to it and therefore make it an over all more attractive purchase and possibly harder for Apple to over come where as Google ay end up shooting itself in the foot and becoming yet another Alta Vista or Yahoo?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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

    • by FatdogHaiku (978357) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @03:15PM (#30800238)
      Oddly, when corporate competitors get into bed, it's usually their customers that get screwed...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RobertM1968 (951074)

      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 cu

  • So. Android it is, then. That was an easy decision.

    • by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:40PM (#30799502)

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

    • by GIL_Dude (850471) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:47PM (#30799562) Homepage
      I don't know. I've always used Google for search the last several years. I also have a Droid phone. But just yesterday I was writing some documentation for some code I wrote to help manage the driver store on Windows. I needed to add some links to further information about driver INF files on the MS site. I went to google and did a search. I realized quickly that at some point over the last few years Google has changed the way their links work. They no longer are a link to the site you want - they are a link to something at Google that then redirects to your chosen site. Since I have no idea how long those links will work, they were useless to me (I wanted to right-click and copy shortcut / copy link and paste it into my documentation as further reading - but some link to Google that may work fine for today and maybe not work fine next year isn't all that handy). I copied my search from Google and pasted it into Bing. I got pretty much the same results, but a right-click and copy shortcut actually got me the real URL and I could then paste it into my doc. I don't even know when Google changed this so that their links aren't real links to sites - but stuff like that could drive me permanently to Bing.
      • Can you provide an example? I ran a couple searches on Google, and the links provided went directly to the appropriate site.

        Is it possible that the problem is with something Microsoft is doing on the subdomain you were searching? I read something were the author was referenced Microsoft doing something fishy to block/confuse Google searches to some of their sites, but it was light on details so I never figured out what he was referencing. Just wondering if the two might be related.

      • by whoever57 (658626)

        I realized quickly that at some point over the last few years Google has changed the way their links work. They no longer are a link to the site you want - they are a link to something at Google that then redirects to your chosen site.

        I just tried this and the only links that went through google were the ones in the "Did you mean ..." section. In the "Results" section (for the words exactly as I typed them), the links are direct to the target website.

        • by janek78 (861508)

          Try clicking "copy link" (Firefox) and then mouse-over the link again. Your clipboard will contain the long redirected version, which will now also appear on mouse over.

          Blocking javascript removes this behavior and leaves you with normal links.

          • by whoever57 (658626)

            Try clicking "copy link" (Firefox) and then mouse-over the link again. Your clipboard will contain the long redirected version, which will now also appear on mouse over.

            Nope. I tried this in a browser that doesn't have script blocking as well as as my default (Firefox). I don't have javascript blocking in Firefox -- only flashblock.

      • I copied my search from Google and pasted it into Bing. I got pretty much the same results

        FWIW, just replaced "google" with "bing" in the URL (or vice versa) -- the rest of the URL layout remains the same for all the types of searches I've tried.

      • I went to google and did a search. I realized quickly that at some point over the last few years Google has changed the way their links work. They no longer are a link to the site you want...

        That's interesting...I did a search and 20% of the links are direct and the rest are what you describe. I couldn't spot any pattern in which links were direct/indirect.

        Anyway, if I'm making bookmarks, I usually just copy the URL of the document I end up at after all the redirects, because sometimes the site I'm going to redirects me to a different page than the Google URL anyway. It doesn't seem like that much of an inconvenience, even though I do wonder what's up with the redirects in the search results.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:31PM (#30799430)
    That's it! Apple is done now too! Another nail in their coffin!

    I haven't used M$ or Apple since 1935 except for at work, when i play games or when I want to do anything except browse the web.

    OpenMoko! OpenMoko!

    i may not be able to run apps but I can mod my phones OS... if only I knew how to code.
  • by dirtyhippie (259852) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:32PM (#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 LoudMusic (199347) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:34PM (#30799458)

    I see very little chance of Apple using Bing as the default search provider on the iPhone. More likely they'd want MS to provide ultra compatible Office apps for the iPhone to help them get into the business smartphone market, competing directly with RIM / Blackberry.

    • There's a rumor that Apple is developing a version of iWork for the rumored tablet, so I'm not sure they'd even be all that interested in Microsoft making an iPhone office suite.

      I think it's most likely that Apple doesn't trust Microsoft and won't partner with them except out of necessity. The relationship between the companies has been antagonistic from the start. Later, Microsoft screwed them with IE and the Mac BU over at Microsoft has been doing a crappy job for years. Their programs are all slow, c

  • by phillymjs (234426) <slashdot&stango,org> on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:37PM (#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 kimvette (919543)

      Jobs thinks everything Microsoft does is second-rate

      On the other hand, Microsoft is at the top of the game economically. Microsoft never got the smartphone right, and they went five iterations of WinCE/Windows Mobile before they got the PDA right. For a PDA-only device I prefer Windows Mobile to the iPhone. For a "convergence" device (PDA + Phone) I prefer the iPhone.

      However, Apple almost failed with the iPhone; they just didn't get it and initially released it with the intent of never offering an SDK, but

  • by jabbathewocket (1601791) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:39PM (#30799496)
    granted its 'new to google' to be you know selling phones directly .. but this is not a "war" with carriers or handset makers, its more of a war on.. noone?
    Its really not that much different from going to the HTC website and clicking buy now and being directed to a web seller of any given phone as well as the carriers who sell them.. all google is REALLY doing here is creating a platform they can use to advertise android.. by that I mean.. when Verizon is done spamming millions of Droid Does! ads.. Android is left with being just another handset in the carriers collection of handsets.. by creating a direct way of buying , they have more importantly created a direct "sales conduit" that showcases Android and only android devices..
    For all intents and purposes this is no different than the ADP1 and ADP2 only now rather than buying unlocked, you buy them with tmobile service, which was the only place the unlocked dev phones worked in 3g anyhow.
    If Google was trying to be a gamechanger, they would have become an MVNO buying bandwidth from t-mobile, and reselling it (at reduced rates) in exchange for advertising/collecting demographic data from all the buyers, possibly even going with a pure GoogleVoice device that was IP only and no actual telephone service..
    Now if they would just fix the fragmented Android mess of a landscape, do away with the half-assed java applets and move to entirely native apps.. as well as license SenseUI from HTC OR convince HTC to offer its app stack over the marketplace.. they could almost become a decent size player in the mobile space.. until then.. MS/Nokia and Apple will contine to eat their lunch.. Pity that Google didn't buy Palm and kill the Pre before it shipped as it too is hurting Android's long term viability as a platform.
  • Apple and Google reminds me of an old joke where the Husband cuts "his attributes" to "annoy" the wife... in this case Apple is the Husband, and Google is the wife, but beside the joke.

    Apple must be desperate if this is considered, maybe they thought to be "invincible" and they got Nokia upset, now they have Google gnawing at the heel and this is another one. I cannot believe Microsoft sheer luck, Bing has any success by bribe, (vendors being paid to have Bing set), SW monopoly (IE8 having Bing as default s

    • and just to annoy Microsoft I search for "google chrome" using Bing (you would be amazed at the variety of responses :-)

      Such as?

  • TFS: "When companies start to imitate one another ..."

    This was once called "mee too"—marketing and should be taken as a sign of incompetent marketing (an)droids at work.

    CC.
    • Second comers to profitable markets are a fact of life.

      Apple itself was a second comer to music players and mobile phones.

      So to call Apple imitators with derogatory terms ignores the reality of trying to sell a successful product: trying first what seems to be working elsewhere.

  • Buy, not build (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:45PM (#30799548) Journal

    Google bought a mobile ad company called AdMob.
    Apple bought a mobile ad company called Quattro.

    Whatever happened to doing things in-house?

    • Depends on how quickly you want to get up and running. Incubating a new business takes longer than buying one that's already operational.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by alvinrod (889928)
      Sometimes companies purchase another smaller company just to keep it out of the hands of the competition.

      From what I've heard, Apple was in talks with AdMob before Google purchased them. I also heard a rumor that Apple bought Lala because Google was in negotiations to purchase them.

      Neither company has much overlap into the business areas of the other, but both are large and experiencing incredible growth. I believe that they're both very afraid of each other, though. If Apple were to run away with mob
  • by jaypifer (64463) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:46PM (#30799556)
    Google cannot keep fighting Microsoft/Apple/US DOJ/China/Evil at once and win. They are going to have to find allies at some point or go bankrupt.

    And what is it with people loving to predict the demise of the iPhone? Years ago it was the iPod killer and the only company that was able to kill the iPod was Apple.
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      When you're the fastest gun in the west, everyone comes to challenge you.

      It was the same with WWI and WWII aces. Once you got to be top ace everyone on the other side would be gunning for you.

  • by RoscBottle (937276) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:47PM (#30799564)
    To avoid Microsoft Apple could buy whatever is left of AltaVista. And then we'll have Apple Vista. No, wait...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      "To avoid Microsoft Apple could buy whatever is left of AltaVista...."

      Two bags of potato chips and an old 386 in a closet?

    • It would be a nice fit. AltaVista was created by DEC to sell Alphas, so having it run be Apple to sell Macs would be a logical continuation. Unfortunately, you'll find that AltaVista is now owned by Yahoo! A bit surprising, given that they're now using Bing rather than their in house search engine or AltaVista for search results, so maybe they'd be willing to sell it.
  • Ain't Gonna Happen (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SkydiverFL (310021) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @01:54PM (#30799606) Homepage

    Apple has shown a clear desire to not remain glued to Microsoft. This is evident with the release of iWork and the dead-end path of the Office products on the Apple platform.

    Because of my position, I have almost every handheld and PDA device that hits the market. As a seasoned .NET developer, I am biased towards Microsoft. However, that being said, the Windows Mobile platform is horrible. Even on devices like Samsung's Omnia, it is sluggish and cumbersome at best. Memory management is a nightmare.

    The only realistic path is for the Windows Mobile platform to die off or be revamped from scratch. At most they may build a mobile version of Office for iPhone and Android but even that is a stretch.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tyrione (134248)

      Apple has shown a clear desire to not remain glued to Microsoft. This is evident with the release of iWork and the dead-end path of the Office products on the Apple platform.

      Because of my position, I have almost every handheld and PDA device that hits the market. As a seasoned .NET developer, I am biased towards Microsoft. However, that being said, the Windows Mobile platform is horrible. Even on devices like Samsung's Omnia, it is sluggish and cumbersome at best. Memory management is a nightmare.

      The only realistic path is for the Windows Mobile platform to die off or be revamped from scratch. At most they may build a mobile version of Office for iPhone and Android but even that is a stretch.

      You're correct on all fronts. Apple no longer needs Microsoft, period. This is a desperate plea for BusinessWeek investors long on Microsoft hoping Apple will save a dead ship floating in the ocean spinning in a circle. Microsoft has burned out all of it's fuel and is just going in circles. The stock is in a holding pattern [it's split too many times] between 25-32 for the past 5+ years. It's going no where.

      • by jim_v2000 (818799)
        >Microsoft has burned out all of it's fuel and is just going in circles.

        lol...don't become a business analyst
  • ... oh, wait, is about Microsoft we are talking about?
  • What nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BearRanger (945122) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @02:16PM (#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.
  • Changing the default iphone search back to Google..

    There sure will be an app for that.

  • by tyrione (134248) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @02:29PM (#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 MostAwesomeDude (980382) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @02:31PM (#30799906) Homepage

    Well, not overtly, but consider Apple's market position: They make shiny white boxes that are overpriced and pander to a small segment of the market. They have a fifth of the computer market and are not trying to expand, mostly because their vertically integrated business model makes it difficult to increase manufacturing. The Mac Mini proved that they had a cap on their production, and they cannot sell their OS alone without suffering greatly in their business model.

    And Microsoft's position: They hold 80% of the market and cannot change. This isn't a problem because many large segments of customers are businesses that strongly desire an unchanging OS. MS has demonstrated a near-unbelievable commitment to binary compatibility and enterprise support, cementing its position. It hasn't been able to keep a strong grasp on the netbook and desktop market in recent years, though.

    Now, where's the cooperation? Simple. Microsoft uses its deep pockets and inertia to continue to push itself as the dominant, common, utilitarian operating system, while Apple continually compares its products favorably to Microsoft's and portrays its systems as being hip, cool, modern, and fun. We've all seen the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercials, and they're representative of the mentality Apple tries to inspire in its commercials, being the small underdog fighting against the big man. Remember "Think Different?"

    One Slashdotter has a mangled Voltaire quote in his sig about Apple and MS, but in my opinion it's backward. "If there were no Microsoft, it would be necessary for Apple to create one." However, this will never happen, because Microsoft's power to endure is ridiculous. Just like IBM wasn't destroyed in the decades prior, Microsoft can't be brought down by hordes of Apple fans, or waves of Linux supporters.

    Of course, I'm really just re-analysing the premises of World Domination 201 here, but it's not like anybody here has read it, right?

  • by D4C5CE (578304) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @02:36PM (#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

  • thank goodness it is real competition and not the kind of competition Microsoft plays such as buying up another vendors customers and paying them to use Microsoft's technology. Apple came out with a great piece of hardware and software to back it up and they took over the mess which was also called "the smartphone market". That was three years ago and Microsoft has come up with pretty much nothing comparable on the software side. But what Microsoft had done was pay off every phone vendor at last years big
  • If Apple were in allegiance with Microsoft, we'd have Apple becoming subservient to Microsoft. I think the word here should be alliance, as allies are partners working together, and generally should treat each other as equals. However, given Microsoft's history of treating its "allies", the word 'allegiance' may well become more apt as well.

  • by fadir (522518) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @03:08PM (#30800202)

    A good chunk of the iPhone market share stems from customers that are fed up with Windows Mobile and similar crap. I doubt that those would be too happy to be driven back into the hell hole they've just escaped.

    Jobs is clever enough not to risk that. He might be tempted but he's not an idiot.

  • Doubtful. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @03:15PM (#30800248)

    This story sounds like fluff intended to stir the pot. I'm sure people at Apple are keeping their eye on Google and certainly they must realize that your average consumer can only remain loyal so long before they start craving something new and different. However, to suggest that they'll somehow be driven to work with Microsoft simply because of a threat from Google seems ridiculous at best.

    Apple is a hardware maker, first and foremost, while both Google and Microsoft are software companies. And Apple has the advantage over the other two that they do also very good resources on the software side. This ensures that in this market Apple will always have the advantage because of far superior integration. Software and hardware is developed concurrently under a unified visions. The other guys basically develop the software then find a vendor to provide a phone that meets certain requirements. And because both Microsoft and Google provide their OSs for a variety of phones it inherently means their systems are compromised. It's far more difficult to provide a unified, closely maintained platform and an integrated app store. And Apple has managed to keep very tight control over their phone despite offering it on AT&T. Most other smartphones are crippled by the garbage service providers dump on there, and I'm not sure the hardware makers have the luxury of making demands.

    For Microsoft, and presumably Google once their OS becomes more widespread we are going to see the same kinds of issues with PCs. Apple again wins with integration. The others have to make do with whatever the hardware makers decide to include with the OS.

    As for the search engines, those are pretty much irrelevant. Google and Bing are pretty much the only top tier search engines out there. From my experience they produce results of comparable quality. What matters, however is advertising and web apps especially for businesses. One of the big reasons we use Google at my company is because the analytics and extensive marketing resources, and obviously, because it's currently got the biggest market share. I think Microsoft is at a disadvantage here mainly because they're still a more traditional software developer although they obviously have the resources and the experience. In this market Apple is really a non-entity. They've got great OSs and perhaps an app or two that stand out and that's it. I routinely use their iWork suite and am not impressed by it at all. It's no more intuitive than Office and is generally less powerful. Office is still the better suite.

    I think ultimately the question is, is Apple looking to compete directly with Google and MS. I realize that the pundits are always clamoring for this sort of direct competition with anything that's even remotely similar but at this point I don't yet see it. It would be a very different focus for Apple. I do think if they were going to take this route it would make sense that they acquired a smaller search engine company and then work on it internally. Partnerships don't always turn out well for Apple and they don't really sync well with the company's focus on integration.

  • Nimroddery Alert (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DannyO152 (544940) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @06:53PM (#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.

  • What about RIM? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by esarjeant (100503) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @09:02PM (#30803122) Homepage

    I don't see Apple doing this, while I think MS might make a step in this direction the culture at Apple is typically to avoid these kinds of partnerships. The few times they have tried this, the results have been less than satisfactory.

    It's more likely Microsoft will buy someone outright like RIM -- the Windows Mobile platform isn't going anywhere, so the best play is to acquire the industry leader and integrate that with the Windows operating system. There are a few technical barriers for a roadmap like this (eg: BlackBerry is a Java platform), but it will give MS the mindshare it needs to dominate the mobile space.

    It remains to be seen what kind of role Google can play in the mobile device market. While Android has some compelling features, it's not nearly as polished as the Apple iPhone nor does it have the maturity of something like the BlackBerry. More importantly, Google is not yet an innovator in the mobile device market - they have copied may of the ideas that are already there and may in fact still be technologically outpaced by the next generation of Apple's iPhone.

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