Today's topic: Google vs. Apple. Or, "It all started out so well." When Google and Apple first started to get to know each other, it looked like a match made in heaven: Apple had Macs and Macbooks running its own operating system and browser, and it wanted to provide non-Microsoft apps and services to users. Google had apps and services--Search, Maps, Docs, things like that, and wanted to make these products default services on as many products as possible. But it clearly was facing an uphill battle betting them on Windows machines, since Microsoft had its own competing products. Apple made money selling hardware. Google made money selling advertising. It was glorious! When the iPhone came out, a device that married Apple's hardware and OS to Google's apps and services out of the box, it looked like the relationship was cemented for good.
And then Google released its own browser. Then its own phone and operating system, putting the two companies that were once in love into mortal combat. Google CEO Eric Schmidt had to leave the Apple board of directors. The sparks started to fly. Apple CEO Steve Jobs reportedly called Google "evil" in a company meeting. And here we are...with a great topic for today's roundtable, and a dynamite panel of guests. They are:
From CNET News, our reporter on the Google beat and formerly our Apple reporter, Tom Krazit. From The New York Times, co-author of the great March 14 story, "Apple's spat with Google is getting personal," Brad Stone. And from Slate, technology columnist and frequent Google/Apple observer, Farhad Manjoo, returning for his second appearance on the roundtable.
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