Google Chief Resigns!…. as Apple Director – 'One on One' turning into a 'triple threat'?

The New York Times reports:

The computer maker Apple announced on Monday that Eric E. Schmidt, chief executive of Google, was stepping down from its board because of “potential conflicts of interest” as Google makes a play into the market for computer operating systems.Software Giants

Mr. Schmidt’s resignation comes as the search giant begins to compete more directly with its longtime ally Apple, maker of the iPhone and iPod. It also follows months of investigations by federal regulators into whether Apple and Google had violated antitrust laws by sharing two directors. Genentech chairman Arthur D. Levinson remains on the board of both companies.

Mr. Schmidt had been on Apple’s board since August 2006, and Apple praised Mr. Schmidt for his work. But the company’s chief executive, Steven P. Jobs, said in a statement that Mr. Schmidt’s position would have been “significantly diminished” because he would have been forced to excuse himself from more of the meetings as Google and Apple began to compete head to head.

Last month, Google said it was developing an operating system for personal computers based on its Chrome browser, a move that effectively started a foray into Apple’s core business, and it would also compete against Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

Coming to the inference – What exactly is the dominion wherein ‘Google and Apple’ intend to go ‘head to head’? Is it Chrome vs Windows vs Mac OSX, or is there something else within the Apple pipeline that feels ‘threatened’ by Google’s recent announcement? How does this development influence the future of OS production. Most importantly, where do you see the market share tilting, once all three companies go head to head within the OS business? Does this resignation bode well for Microsoft, or is it a prelude to a greater threat from its decades old rival – Apple, which now successfully controls more than 10% of the market share within this industry. Not to forget – will we see Schmidt/Google going ‘all in’ with Chrome as a result of this development?

Comments appreciated, with rationale.

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  • Interesting … I will be following this, but cannot say that I can predict the future. Sorry if this is not very helpful. For some reason I do not doubt that Chrome OS will be a success.

  • The report was that he would have to step out of meetings when the iPhone or Mac OS X is discussed. As the board of directors paying him to be there, but having to not be included in about 90% of discussions, that would seem poor business management skills.

  • It appears that Apple and Google are going to compete in all the markets and maybe more importantly the services and applications that revolve around iPhone.
    The iPhone created a market for a phone that “aggregates” all kinds of data from the Web and presents it in applications that tie easily into telephony, mapping, reuse in social media, etc.
    Google’s Android devices are headed in the same direction. Google is in the unique position of “owning” much of the data that can be delivered to the device… there can be end-to-end integration not unlike Apple; perhaps more so (since Apple is not in the search engine business!)
    This is going to raise the competitive level in the market for this class of seamlessly integrated, technically advanced, all-encompassing handheld device.
    Where it will end up I don’t dare predict.

  • well Chrome OS is just vaporware and the initrail anoucement a Joke – they got smacked down over some of their silly comments on security by Bruce Shenier FFS
    a cut down linux distubition is not an OS
    Gooles CEO has no business sitting on any other boards

  • I love this topic! I have to say that I only recently started using Google Apps, and there are some great things you can do that I would have never thought would be free! However, the latest conflict with Apple rejecting Google’s voice app for iPhone suggests that there is a conflict and will likely be more to come. Apple is an awesome company full of genius innovators, so I can’t wait to see what’s next for them. Still… I can only imagine that sooner or later, there will be a new Mac vs. PC commercial that also includes Chrome or Google in some way. Of course that is probably later rather than sooner, but as quickly as technology has to develop to keep up, perhaps it might be sooner than even I think.
    PS – Praying for continued good health for Steve Jobs! I can’t wait to see what they come up with next, and would offer to be a beta tester any day!

  • I think it was the correct thing to do.

  • You have to look out to the future a bit to really get the point of Google’s OS.
    What they are saying is that as time goes by, and technology improves, applications won’t really run locally. The “cloud” will host all of the data and logic.
    Today, that works well for simple things, like Gmail, but not so well for more complex applications. It works marginally well for word processing and spreadsheets ( like GoogleApps ), but doesn’t really work well at all for applications that need a really rich UI.
    However, the technology improves every year. Tax returns, for example, used to be done almost exclusively with local applications…only simple returns were done on the web. That’s changed now, with even complex returns workable on a web interface.
    Another good comparison is drawing tools like Visio. While it has a way to go before it matches Visio, the online tool at is a good start.
    Similarly, Coghead was a little before it’s time, and couldn’t make a business case of it, but their technology was very interesting. It created an almost desktop app like experience over the web. ( see links )
    What I think Google is trying to do here is to look forward a bit to the time when our PC’s and laptops are really only “dumb terminals” displaying applications running out in the much more powerful cloud.
    Rather than wait for all of the issues to get ironed out first ( like offline functionality, convergence on a UI that’s less complicated than Ajax/jQuery/etc), Google is trying to get their stripped down OS established as the defacto standard.
    I think the fact that’s it Linux based is really a function of time to market, and not neccessarily what they think it will be eventually. I suspect their plan would be to evolve Chrome such that it displaces the OS piece by piece over time.
    There’s some evidence of that already, in that the browser is doing OS like functions now, like spinning off new processes for each browser tab, and isolating multiple independant tasks from one another.
    Supposing they are right, it is a bit of a dance to gracefully migrate that way. There are certainly many applications that won’t be ready for the cloud for a long time. And, they can’t really make much headroom with corporations. Corporations have a much higher percentage of UI intensive applications than an “average joe consumer” would. Corporations are also wary of “the cloud” since they want to hold on to their data for competative, regulatory, or other reasons.
    I’m sure I’m coming off as a bit of a Google fanboy, not my intention. There are some big challenges in front of them, and Google hasn’t really yet demonstrated an ability to succeed big outside of search and advertising. And, as this move by Apple indicates, they are thumbing their nose at some of the big boys, and not for some secondary product. Google is going after both Apple’s and Microsoft’s flagship products. It will be a much bigger war than search ever was.
    Should be fun to watch though 🙂

  • It’s not just OS but iPhone.

  • I do not doubt that Orac…I mean Google has a shot at making the web-based OS a success, but it’s hardly like this is an original idea.
    Can you spell Larry Ellison? (See link below especially the date of the article.)

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