A move by the Apple board to recruit Google chief executive, Eric Schmidt, as their newest director has sparked off speculation about the motives of the move and could signal a major technological power alliance.
There’s no mistaking the obvious rivalry that exists between Google and software giant Microsoft. Google’s recent efforts to infiltrate the online software market, which is an obvious attempt to target Microsoft’s office application market, would surely fit well with some of Apple’s strategic plans.
After years of fighting the PC ascendancy set by Microsoft’s Windows platform and Intel’s hardware, Apple recently adopted Intel’s processor to change the landscape of personal computing.
The man behind the move, Apple’s co-founder Steven Jobs, is noted for his ability to drive powerful corporate sells. Jobs was the man behind selling Next to Apple and more recently was instrumental in the sale of Pixar to Disney.
It’s early days yet, but could this be early signs of an Apple sale to Google. Probably not in the short term, as Google has no experience in the hardware sector, but it makes for interesting speculation.
What it has created is a boardroom synergy between two companies that could really be a formidable force against Microsoft’s plans. Some commentators suggest it could breed a platform to rival Microsoft’s .NET offering, which would radically change the playing field. With Schmidt on the board, any such moves would be much easier.
With all the speculation aside, it appears that Schmidt is maintaining a level of diplomacy in his new assignment. He has declined an option to buy 30000 Apple shares which he is entitled to after his appointment to the board. Instead, he has opted to purchase 10000 Apple shares on the open market.
This is definitely one appointment that has the potential to shake up the shape of our technological future. Watch this space closely, as the world watches to see how Google and Apple combine forces.