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Google’s Eric Schmidt joins Apple board

I just read that Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt has joined the Apple Board of Directors.

The more I think about it, the more that I realise – “wow, that’s a big deal” but also “wow, that’s potentially not good news”.

To be clear, Schmidt is not leaving Google – he’s just going to sit on the board of both companies. But that can only mean that Google and Apple intend to work closer together in the future – otherwise there would be massive conflicts of interest, especially as Schmidt is not just a board member of Google but CEO too.

The bit that I am most worried about is that Goolge has always been very platform-neutral (whereas Apple clearly isn’t). What that means for the rest of us, I’m not sure yet.

Clearly there would be a lot to gain if the two companies worker closer together – Apple has a massive media arm these days that Google is so desperate to get into. And Google effectively could become Apple’s equivalent to Microsoft’s Live – ensuring that Apple doesn’t need to open up all new web divisions to offer products matched against Microsoft’s take on Web2.0.

I don’t know where it’s all heading, but I find the move very curious indeed – especially as I would have thought Lary, Sergy and the primary shareholders of Google would want Schmidt concentrating all his efforts on Google.

Published in News


  1. Google have exactly what Apple lack, it’s a perfect match. There have been rumours flying around about a Google PC, or a Google OS. As if they would even dream of trying to get into that market on their own. Mac OS with the google application suite behind it would be great, iLife Online, totally accessible, gigs of storage!

  2. I agree with Thom. Google and Apple can together provide the kind of competion in the market place that is likely to be good for users. It is never quite clear what the effects of oligopolistic competation will be – but with appropriate regulatory regimes the “helpful” aspects of the competion will probably outway the “unhelpful”. And together the two companies can enter areas of the market which have effectively been monopolised in recent years…

  3. Photar Photar

    Stuff to send to your copy editor:
    The bit that I am most worried about is that Goolge has always been very platform-neutral (whereas Apple clearly isn’t

    Clearly there would be a lot to gain if the two companies worker closer together.

    On a not so tangentially related note:
    It would be interesting to see Apple contract out its .mac services to Google.

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