Are these two great companies on a collision course? They may be united in their disdain for Microsoft, but they are going to be knocking into each other in the coming year.
Google has its Android mobile platform, and Chrome which is looking increasingly like a lunge towards an operating system (Google seem to be embarassed that Chrome does not yet run on Macs, but do Apple really want another operating system pushing into their terrain?). Not to mention Google Docs which is a growing threat to Microsoft’s Office. Steve Ballmer is blowing smoke when he pretends not to see how Google will make money out of this.
But Android will be a strong competitor for the iPhone, and it looks as though Google has taken a leaf out of Apple’s book with its App Store for Android. The iPhone App store is already a huge success, but it the Android works and the App Store is as free-wheeling as is projected, Apple may find they face very strong competition with developers flocking to the less restrictive environment.
I am sure that these App Store developments are going to work, and they will be important to publishers and developers. But they are not the guts of the business, when you get down to it, its still really the web and the browser that matters. Perhaps the real story in all these exciting development is that the next generation of browsers will all be WebKit (Safari, iPhone, Chrome, Android, Blackberry, Nokia all using it) and that commonality is what is going to hold the web together…..