Remember the good old days when the major tech battle was Mac vs. Windows? Ah, those were the days. RISC vs. CISC. Thieves vs. innovators. Those days are gone. Microsoft may have won the desktop PC and notebook operating system wars, but the company has struggled to make a competitive appearance in the future– mobile devices.
Microsoft nemesis Google was once a close ally of Apple. CEO Steve Jobs even allowed Google’s then-CEO Eric Schmidt onto Apple’s board. That was a mistake. Within months of the iPhone’s launch in 2007, Google’s acquired Android OS began to resemble the iPhone in ways that must have brought déjà vu all over again to Apple.
What happened? Why did Google work so feverishly, so quickly, to counter the iPhone’s advance. Executives at Google recognized the future that Apple was building and that future did not include Google.
The search giant makes most of its revenue and profits with search engine results tied to advertising. Apple’s iPhone ushered in a new platform where apps rule search. Google knew it would not be the dominant search mechanism on the iPhone and was deathly afraid that Apple would rule the smart phone world.
So, Google launched Android OS and made it, more or less, free for Apple’s competitors– other smart phone manufacturers. That was Google’s way of ensuring that search and advertising would have a prominent place in the future of mobile devices.
Mobile users, as exemplified by the iPhone, search for information in different ways. No longer are we wedded to the browser window. iPhone apps can do their own searches and that leaves Google on the outside looking in, and with fewer ways to distribute their all-important ads.
How else do you explain Google’s purchase of Motorola (patents and smart phone manufacturing capability to compete with Apple)? Google is desperate. They’ve seen the future of mobile devices in the iPhone and iPad and recognized that Google is being shut out in favor of specialized apps, and voice recognition for search.
A free Android OS and the purchase of Motorola tell us the company is desperate to save their shrinking search empire as the future of computing moves away from the desktop and notebook, away from the browser, and into mobile devices and the post-PC era.
Google hates Apple because they recognized what the iPhone represents. The future of computing. The iPhone’s reliance on apps as the ultimate in personal customization of devices makes Google obsolete. It’s a life and death battle for Google. They had no choice but to give away Android OS to combat Apple’s iPhone.