Opinion Brief

Apple vs. Google: The war begins?

Apple and Google have long been allies in a mutual battle against Microsoft. But there are signs that the friendship is fraying

Not long ago, Apple and Google coexisted in harmony and friendship. These days? Not so much. First, Apple rejected Google Voice for the iPhone; next, Google CEO Eric Schmidt quit Apple's board; and then Google launched Nexus One, a direct shot at the iPhone. Now, Apple is reportedly in talks to replace Google as the iPhone's default search engine with one-time arch-rival Microsoft's Bing. From its side, Google is postioning YouTube to take on iTunes with a new movie-rental service. Are these two one-time tech allies now mortal "frenemies"? (Watch an iPhone ad that goes after Motorola's Droid)

This is war: Welcome to "the beginning of a new war between computer companies," says Nick Bilton in The New York Times. The Apple-Google fight promises to be just as nasty as "the Apple-Microsoft conflict of the early 1980s." It's ironic then, that the now-rivals were once allies in the fight against Microsoft, and that Bing's potential appearance on the iPhone could mark the beginning of a long war."The war between Apple and Google has just begun"

It's business—and personal: The Bing discussions are more about money more than shifting loyalties, says Jay Yarrow at The Business Insider. Microsoft wants on the iPhone badly, and it's willing to pay for it, and "if Microsoft will pay a premium, and Apple doesn't have to see an ugly Bing interface, Apple doesn't care." That said, according to CNBC's Jim Goldman, "Steve [Jobs] hates Eric [Schmidt]." Juicy.
"CNBC: Steve Jobs hates Eric Schmidt"

The "rivalry" talk is overblown: An Apple-Google war? "I don't buy it," says Tom Foremski in Silicon Valley Watcher. Some rivalry is inevitable, but Apple knows that Microsoft is still the bigger threat. Microsoft may be able to "muscle its way onto the iPhone," but if you want mortal combat, try Windows vs. Mac OS X, Zune vs. the iPod, MS Office vs. Apple's iWork. Apple vs. Google makes a good headline, but "this is purely a business decision.""BusinessWeek: MSFT might replace GOOG on iPhone—(it's the money not rivalry)"

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