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This article was published on July 8, 2009

Prediction: Google and Apple go to War.

Prediction: Google and Apple go to War.
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Former CEO of The Next Web. A fan of startups, entrepreneurship, getting things done faster, penning the occasional blog post, taking photos Former CEO of The Next Web. A fan of startups, entrepreneurship, getting things done faster, penning the occasional blog post, taking photos, designing, listening to good music and making lurrrve.

apple vs google_2Today saw the announcement of some very big news, the forthcoming release of Google’s OS and I could not be more excited. Secretly, its something I’ve wanted for quite some time; an open source, fast, lightweight and secure OS with the web and Google’s services (of which I use all) as its backbone.

The move by Google is sure to leave Apple and Microsoft shaking in their boots, and quite frankly, I’m certain this is the beginning of the end for Ubuntu & co. What I’d like to focus on here however is Apple, a company which just weeks ago I couldn’t see myself ever abandoning, and who had convinced me that beauty, elegance and reliability were my top priorities when it came to an operating system.

Since the increasing development and improvement of Google Apps (and web apps as a whole), the increased speed of Chrome, the release of Android and now, the Google OS. I’m left torn. Nearly everything I currently do is online, and I’d say approximately 80% involves Google Apps. I realise, your average non-geek Joe is a long long way from this, but I’ve never been more convinced that in time – everyone will use the web, an online word processor/spreadsheet etc.. (probably Google Docs) to work just as many have used windows and office for so long.

Commitment to Google Apps

My current commitment to Google Apps (until something better comes along of course) has left me frequently day-dreaming. Entertaining ideas of what it  would be like to truly incorporate all my primary web services into an operating system designed to really make sure they work as best as they possibly can. An operating system so reliable, smooth, fast and secure that using the web would feel local.

My day-dreams came true today, and it means I’m left wondering what Apple can bring to the table between now and Google’s OS release, aside from a gorgeous UI and decent hardware that will pumped about Apple again. After two years with the iPhone I’m already considering abandoning the device for an Android phone, primarily because of its integration with Google’s applications. Android has a local Gmail client, maps is fully featured, everything is pushed, email, contacts and calendar events…its all slick and its all built in.

The point is this…

As long as Google and web applications continue to improve at the rate they are, Apple is the only company I can see with potential to retain its current user base, but to do it, they’re going to have to start thinking far more Google-like. Apple’s propriety strategy, I believe, is an advantage, but Google’s offerings are increasingly more attractive a proposition and unless Apple rethink their local OS strategy (as I’m sure they will by the way), this is the beginning of an era of Google dominance, the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

The company is slowly but surely taking over every aspect of our lives from email (a backbone to nearly all our lives), to how we work, video and photosharing, how we maintain voice communication, the operating system our phone runs on…for some its scary, for me… I’m excited. And for now at least, the one company I want to see step up to Google’s surge in dominance is Apple, and I predict they will, but its not going to be easy.

Although, I am writing Microsoft’s long term consumer market off now, and saying loud and clear that the future is Google vs. Apple. Robert Scoble has just posted on Friendfeed: “Why did Google announce Chrome OS this week? Well, of course, Microsoft has a big announcement coming on Monday (I’m embargoed).” So you never know, I could of course be very very wrong and Microsoft might just have a few tricks up its sleeve, one might work..I doubt it.

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