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Wait, Now It's Google + Apple. Or Is It?

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 29, 2006

Lots of speculation about what it means that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is joining Apple’s board. Marshall at TechCrunch muses that Google’s just-announced online office suite on Apple computers might pose a potent threat to Microsoft. (Mmm… maybe. Wonder if Microsoft will need to buy some new furniture again.) Om thinks everyone with digital media ambitions, not just Microsoft, should be worried. (More likely.) Me, I’m not so sure those two famously secretive and private companies will so easily share their talents. Battle lines are getting drawn as a new world of digital media emerges, but only in chalk. Lots more maneuvering to come.

Reader Comments

Don Dodge

August 30, 2006 8:39 AM

I agree completely. Eric Schmidt is a great choice for a board seat at Apple, but I wouldn't jump to conclusions about where that might lead each company.

Several months ago there was a big joint press conference between Google and Sun Microsystems. Eric Schmidt was formerly CTO of Sun so the speculation was that they would cooperate on several levels, perhaps releasing a special version of StarOffice to compete with Microsoft. The speculation was wrong and the press conference was basically a non-event.

Strategic alliances, board seats, and press releases make for good stories, but business is driven by real customer demand for products and services. Years ago when I worked in business development we called these things "Barney Agreements". You know..."I love you, You love me, ..."

It is fun to speculate but I don't see much changing here.

Don Dodge

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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