It’s been a busy week for Google with the announcement of a number of new initiatives. If there was any doubt about the growing animosity between the two companies, there is none now. Google spent a lot of its on-stage time during the conference making direct swipes at Apple, even going so far as comparing the company to Big Brother from 1984. Google’s new product announcements pits it directly against Apple in many key areas:
Apple TV Google TV
iTunes Wireless Android Music Syncing
iAds Google Ads / Admob
iPhone OS Android OS
Apple CEO Steve Jobs seemed to know this was coming and made his own jabs against Google at Apple’s town hall meeting in January.
On Google: We did not enter the search business, Jobs said. They entered the phone business. Make no mistake they want to kill the iPhone. We won’t let them, he says. Someone else asks something on a different topic, but there’s no getting Jobs off this rant. I want to go back to that other question first and say one more thing, he says. This don’t be evil mantra: “It’s bullshit.” Audience roars.
Google’s mantra is now “openness” in a refrain that might have been lifted from Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer.
“I agree that no single company can create all the hardware and software. Openness is central because it’s the foundation of choice.” – Steve Ballmer
Microsoft has always been about creating the platform and distributing it to as many customers as possible through their hardware partners. Microsoft, of course, made money through the sale of each software license. Google is eyeing the same basic plan but their plan revolves around monetizing ads on the platform. Beyond internet search, Google hopes to infiltrate mobile phones and television as well.
In all this conflict, the other PC manufacturers seem to be bystanders, perhaps hoping that a Google win will trickle down to their hardware sales. One company, however, seems to be thinking differently and trying to branch out on their own. Apple’s ownership of hardware and software has been one of their greatest strengths.
Of all the companies out there, HP actually stepped up and purchased Palm and their WebOS. And all indications seem to suggest that HP is reworking their product line to incorporate WebOS into their handhelds but also their tablets. Palm’s Jon Rubinstein told Slashgear that the Pre’s OS would be suitable for tablets “and beyond”:
With the iPad fresh to the market, and talk of a Google-branded rival running Android, we also asked about Rubinstein’s opinion on the burgeoning tablet segment. While Palm are focusing on smartphones right now, he did tell us that webOS was designed to be a “mobile device OS” rather than solely a smartphone platform, suited to a broad scale of devices up to tablets and even larger.
HP is even working on their branding. In one instance, they are following in Apple’s footsteps. HP has managed to switch Sex In the City from Apple to HP.
You see, Carrie Bradshaw, who has spent so many hours penning so much angst to so many troubled souls, has decided she can no longer do that on a Mac. The new “Sex and the City” movie, tantalizingly named “Sex and the City 2,” will see the newly married Mrs. Big stroking her fingers along the keys of something made by HP and powered–oh, yes–by Windows.
The move may seem silly, but Apple has been a staple on the television series throughout and just goes to show where HP is trying to position itself in the market.
Apple’s role, however, remains the same as always — as a staunch proponent of vertical integration and a tightly controlled user experience. Apple, however, lost the previous round when it was against Microsoft, but Apple has also never had such a strong lead before.