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Google CEO Schmidt Leaves Apple Board 128

Jerod Venema writes "Today, Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt resigned from Apple's board of directors, citing conflicts of interest. Apple has released a statement that the company and Schmidt reached a decision to split ties as Google enters new markets that directly compete with Apple's iPhone and Mac operating systems. Schmidt had recused himself of portions of Apple's board meetings when conflicts of interest or anything Google-related arose. But Steve Jobs said Schmidt would have to leave much larger portions of the meetings after Google announced last month that it would enter the operating system sphere."
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Google CEO Schmidt Leaves Apple Board

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  • by Blahgerton ( 1083623 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @10:19AM (#28926941)
    Surely this has nothing to do with Google Voice being rejected from the App Store.
  • by robinsc ( 84714 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @10:21AM (#28926983) Homepage

    Well if you look
    Safari => chrome
    Mac os => google os
    iphone => android
    xserve =>google server farms

    probably the only thing he didn't have to recuse himself from would be mp3 players....

    • I can understand iphone meetings because those are solid competing products and maybe even safari(even if there is no real profit) but google os has always lead me to believe its a netbook os and has no real intent to be some ones main computer.

      How can you compare xserver(a sold product) to googles server farms that are completely in house

      if they needed a reason for mp3 players then all they would realy have to do is site that there search engine provides people with sites to bypass drm in there music
      • by nxtw ( 866177 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @10:49AM (#28927403)

        How can you compare xserver(a sold product) to googles server farms that are completely in house

        Using hosted Google services is an alternative to running similar applications on a local server. For example, there's no need to have a local email/calendaring server if you use Gmail and Google Calendar. In this example, it's really OS X Server that could be conflicting with Google's services.

        But the more relevant conflict is between Apple's MobileMe and Google's collection of (free) web apps.

      • What makes you think Apple has no plans to enter the netbook market with a netbook of their own or some other device targetted to consumers who might otherwise get a netbook (i.e. the oft-rumored Mac tablet)
        • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @12:32PM (#28929129)

          I of course could be wrong, but I don't think Apple will sell anything cheaper than the Mini. The margins are simply too low for them to be interested in the netbook market, even if that market continues to grow. I think Apple has demonstrated consistently in the last decade that they value margins over market share.

          • I still don't believe they intend to simply ignore the netbook market. I think they'll try for a "high end" netbook or netbook-esque device (i.e. tablet). Not all netbook purchasers are looking solely at the low price, they're popular for the "cute" and "hip" factor too. I'd be surprised if Apple didn't see room for themselves in that segment.
            • I think if the "Air" was more popular, they would have created a 10" model... but I don't think it is exactly setting the world on fire. I suspect netbooks are sucking sales away from low-end notebooks at this point, not the high-end stuff Apple usually targets.

            • Yeah, I disagree. I think the primary driver for all netbook sales is the low price tag in some form or another.

              Nobody wants a "smaller, possibly less expensive MacBook".. that's what they think their Iphone is after all. The niche of the Netbook is both low cost and utility: you can log on to WiFi and get things done in a pinch. Utility is simply not Apple's style.

              Apple limits their interests exclusively to aesthetic elitism and aggressively minimalist UI, which they are proud to charge a mint for. There a

        • Because the margins are too thin.
      • Unless you're into PC gaming, then a netbook surely covers everything that you need to do on a "main computer". In fact I've been using one even for most of my work for the last few months (while connected to an external monitor), and it is the only computer I use now when I'm at home.

        I've got my MBP for when I need to do Windows development at work, but I'm happy to just use my netbook 95% of the time. The only difference in use between my MBP and the netbook is that I don't get all the fancy Comppiz effec

      • by dissy ( 172727 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @01:02PM (#28929565)

        How can you compare xserver(a sold product) to googles server farms that are completely in house

        It isn't too hard. One just needs to realize that googles server farms are not completely in house and are also a sold product.

        http://www.google.com/enterprise/search/gsa.html [google.com]

        The Google Search Appliance (GSA) provides fast, relevant search for your website or intranet. An on-premise, easy-to-deploy solution, the GSA provides your organization with high relevancy right out of the box, can be customized to meet your specific needs, and scales easily as your content grows.

        Not exactly as sexy compared to an xserve, but it is a sold product none the less.

        Google Appliance Pict [wikimedia.org]
        Xserve Pict [wikimedia.org]

        • Google Search Appliance is a single purpose server to provide in-house search services. It's basically a search program that happens to come with a server, not a server to be used for anything.

          Xserve is a general purpose server. Google only competes with Apple here if your only intention for the Xserve was to implement a custom search engine on it. Even if that were the case, the main selling point for Google in that instance wouldn't be the hardware, but in the performance of their search method compared

    • by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @10:30AM (#28927103) Homepage

      turtle necks => t-shirts

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      how about the actual computers themselves?
      • Apple is, literally, no longer a computer company. Jobs announced the name change from "Apple Computer" to "Apple" when he announced the iPhone.

    • by RichardJenkins ( 1362463 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @11:32AM (#28928103)
      I read somewhere that Apple also has a line in consumer PC hardware.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        I read somewhere that Apple also has a line in consumer PC hardware.

        Lies! They make luxury computing products for the discerning customer. ;-)

    • Funny thing is, one of the reasons I want an Android phone (besides the obvious openness) is that I can load the Last.FM player and listen to music... without requiring a separate device.

      • There's an app [apple.com] for that...
        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Dear iPhone Developers,

          It has come to Apple's attention that your application does one or more of the following things:

          - Appears to be remotely useful
          - May be excessively unique
          - Competes with something we may or may not release (thanks for the idea though)

          As a result of the violation of the terms of use for the market place, your application will be removed, rebranded, and released as an Apple app. Thanks for your $99 and your app. Please buy more of our crap. You know you will.

          Apple's iPhone vio

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by MasterMnd ( 95596 )

      probably the only thing he didn't have to recuse himself from would be mp3 players....

      Hmm, so does this mean that Google's about to announce a line of mp3 players? :)

    • by xant ( 99438 )

      Actually, my android phone is my mp3 player.

      But Google doesn't make laptops or keyboards yet. Looking forward to a laptop that is housed at a Google datacenter, and which I can carry around with me, and use, remotely.

  • by Canazza ( 1428553 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @10:26AM (#28927041)

    I thought he was just being dull at meetings...

    Given that he was leaving Apple bored

  • coming in iPhone OS 4

    Apple is already in bed with Microsoft and ActiveSync for iphone and Snow Leopard email connection to MS Exchange. Why not license mapping software as well?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by shadow349 ( 1034412 )

      Apple is already in bed with Microsoft and ActiveSync for iphone and Snow Leopard email connection to MS Exchange. Why not license mapping software as well?

      By that reason, Google should switch to VirtualEarth for maps. Google is already in bed with Microsoft and ActiveSync for Google Apps. Why not license mapping software as well?

      • by alen ( 225700 )

        apple doesn't have it's own mapping software for one. google needs a reason to keep it's eleventy billion servers running and doing something

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Apple is already in bed with Microsoft and ActiveSync for iphone and Snow Leopard email connection to MS Exchange. Why not license mapping software as well?

      Because compared to Google Earth, Virtual Earth is terrible. That being said, Virtual earth is not that bad it's just nowhere near as good as Google Earth. Also MS wont likely have a bar of it, ActiveSync licensing is used to further Exchange sales, what back end product does a Virtual Earth license serve.

  • nothing more to say

  • Arthur Levinson? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Faizdog ( 243703 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @10:42AM (#28927291)

    Genentech Inc. Chairman Arthur Levinson also serves as a director on both boards. The Feds are investigating that as well. What about him? The news story keep mentioning that Schmidt would recuse himself from discussions related to Google, what about Levinson? Did he recuse himself from both Google and Apple meetings when the other was being discussed?

    Just curious.

    • Re:Arthur Levinson? (Score:4, Informative)

      by rsmith-mac ( 639075 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @11:35AM (#28928147)

      The FTC/DOJ would be far more interested in Schmidt since he's not just on both boards, but he's an employee for one of the companies. The primary issue they're seeking to prevent is collusion, which is would usually be accomplished by company employees sitting on each others' boards. A common 3rd party board member on two similar companies is also an issue, but it's not nearly as pressing of an issue since they aren't an employee.

      Or to put this another way, they're handling one thing at a time.

  • Why? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Why is Jobs telling the Board what to do? Isn't it supposed to be the other way around?
  • Finally (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 03, 2009 @11:11AM (#28927697)

    I've always said that fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy. It's about time Apple realized that.

    -Anonymous CEO

  • Schmidt resigning from the Apple board was obviously necessitated by the Google/Apple/AT&T conflict that is being reviewed by the FCC. I argue that AT&T is forcing the hand of Apple. Apple has no reason to be concerned about Google Voice, but AT&T and the other wireless carriers have good reason to be terrified of Google Voice if network neutrality is applied to wireless carriers.

    In its current incarnation the worse thing Google Voice can do to AT&T is to conveniently allow iPhone users to

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Let me make some corrections to your observations. Google voice does not use VOIP at all, for anything. Making a call from a cell phone through google voice sends the call request via a data connection, to which googles servers initiate two calls. One to your cell phone, and another to your party. The google voice software on the cell phone intercepts the incoming call and answers it, and then waits for the other party to pick up... If you're webapp crippled on an iphone, the calls are still routed ov
      • As far as VOIP goes I think the GP poster was alluding to the way things are headed. If you get used to dialing through Google Voice it will eventually be trivial for Google Voice to determine if it should use VOIP or the cell network and chose whatever is cheaper.

        My contact list is already 3-way synced with my iphone, google contacts, and address book. It works surprisingly well.

        SMS revenue for AT&T is huge. All the cell phone companies screw you in their own way, AT&Ts is through SMS. Any othe

        • Any other way to cut out AT&T to reliably send and receive SMS messages is something they would stop immediately.

          They can't stop the cheaper alternative called email [zawodny.com] unless they do something stupid with their data plans. They're fresh out of luck - the world moves on (thankfully).

          It's actually quite fun to see major monopolies suddenly lose their ability to gloriously rip people off - especially since they have been behaving like it's an entitlement.

          • I don't see email taking over very soon since a lot of phones sold still don't support it. You also have to sign up for an email address and give that out on top of your phone number.

            SMS does short messaging better than anything else out there and that is why email hasn't overtaken it. Email is also not a very immediate medium. Part is admittedly perception, but part is also how email works. Things like IM and SMS are more like live conversations. If anything, functioning IM programs on mobile devices

          • Maybe we should be extremely thankful that SMS is so expensive. If it were as cheap as email, spamming would become an issue. As it is now, the price does cull the spam.
            • by cheros ( 223479 )

              Good point - especially since there is no way NOT to receive SMS. I get a nice demonstration of SMS spam courtesy of O2 (UK operator) - every time I am as much as NEAR a border I get all their marketing about international call charges.

              It's so bad I'm considering changing operator for when I'm in the UK..

  • by Zebedeu ( 739988 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @12:49PM (#28929395)

    I'm happy for these news because rumours have it that Google didn't implement some features such as multitouch in Android at Apple's request.

    Now that they aren't buddy-buddy anymore, maybe Google will say fuck it and implement those features anyway (much as Palm did with the Pré).

    Looking forward to that multitouch, and hopefully for those spring animations when a list reaches the end (in Android there isn't any visual feedback when you reach the end of a list except for the mini scrollbar on the right).

    • Sounds a bit like a stretch. I guess anything's possible. I can certainly hope though.

      I don't think anybody really knows why Google chose to omit multi-touch functionality in the Android OS.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      happy for these news because rumours have it that Google didn't implement some features such as multitouch in Android at Apple's request.

      The FTC/DOJ is forcing this move, Schmidt is doing it voluntarily in hopes of reducing the heat. This does not mean that Google and Apple are going to stop co-operating. Although as an Android phone owner I'd very much like to see less Apple influence over the product.

  • This is all about Android, which is poised to knock off the iPhone this fall as over 18 new devices hit the market (from Motorola, Samsung, LG and HTC). Android is the game changer, and both Google and Apple know it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kklein ( 900361 )

      Android is the game changer, and both Google and Apple know it.

      Yes, 18 new devices; 18 ways for them to suck differently. You don't really get why Apple products do well, do you? You're one of those people who think it's the aesthetics, right?

      • I get Apple fine, thank you. Apple has had a fabulous run the past six years, and they do make incredible products. No different than in the past where Apple has: * Dominated, then lost the microcomputer market in the late 70s and early 80s. * Dominated, then lost the GUI powered computer market in the mid 80s. * Dominated, then lost the PDA market in the 90s. Android vs. iPhone feels a lot like PC Clones vs. Apple from the 80s, or Wintel vs. Mac in the 90s. I think Android compares much better to iPhone
  • From: http://www.woot.com/Blog/ViewEntry.aspx?Id=8910 [woot.com]

    Don't believe the disinformation doublespeak about why Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from the Apple Board of Directors this morning. For the story the Applo-Googlo-controlled media doesn't want you to hear, check out the following straight-ish dope leaked by our sources on "the inside". (What those sources are inside of, we're not saying.)

    1. Too busy now that gmail is out of beta
    2. Nervous about the Apple boa

  • by inode_buddha ( 576844 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @04:00PM (#28932291) Journal
    "Schmidt Happens"
  • This story is all over the net, and seems to me pretty odd that this is so newsworthy. Boards are stuffed with CEOs, hence varying degree of conflicts of interests, direct and indirect, and I would have thought such shuffling should be routine, not so newsworthy. The fact that it is not routine perhaps is a symptom of lousy corporate governance that underhandedly enshrines old-boys club.
  • Its nice to see someone taking their responsibility of their job so seriously, I know many who even if they were
    in conflict with another contract or job, they would still go through with it, just because they would have to get caught and prosecuted...and this guy is not even really that up in arms about missing meetings...I guess you can say he has some dignity!

  • I don't see how there can be a conflict of interest here - Apple is a hardware company, not a software company.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming