Saturday, June 9, 2007

Apple and Google alliance

Few bloggers have picked up this Wired's post on a speculation of Steve Jobs announcing a possible alliance between Apple and Google. Interesting - that's all I can say. The post has a quote from Eric Schmidt that Apple actually gets the design but does not have the necessary computing infrastructure. I agree. Apple is a company that delivers innovation with heavy focus on design (of all kinds) where as Google has brought in simplicity and agility by nailing down few very simply problems with state of the art technology innovation. Google certainly does not have bad design but Google has a long way to go and has plenty of opportunities when it comes to interaction or visual (sensory) design. I was told that the person who leads the user experience efforts at Google has "office hours" during which developers can (and do) drop in and expect that person to solve design problems. This was quite a challenge for that person since the design process does not quite work that way. On the other hand, design is one of the biggest strength that Apple has and given the computing resources Apple can do miracles. I don't think it is about or limited to .Mac. iTunes can have a great story if offered on Google's cloud since it could have great sharing and preview potential with Google's cloud. Apple did have issues with iTunes after last Christmas when people started using their iTunes gift cards to buy music and the store could not handle those concurrent users. It was a true load test and iTunes did not do well. Imagine the same scenario - iTunes running on Google's cloud and tightly integrated with AdSense. YouTube is a great platform for video syndication with a community angle. Apple does have community but the syndication is limited to downloading and does not have sharing semantics. Having said this despite of these product synergies an alliance cannot be successful unless it can offer a tangible business value. But hey, this is a speculation, isn't it?

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