For those of you who doubt the severity of the animosity between Apple and Google, note this weekend's story from Wired, which got the goods on comments Apple CEO Steve Jobs made during a town hall meeting after the launch of Apple's iPad:
"On Google: We did not enter the search business, Jobs said. They entered the phone business. Make no mistake, they want to kill the iPhone. We won't let them, he says. Someone else asks something on a different topic, but there's no getting Jobs off this rant. I want to go back to that other question first and say one more thing, he says. This don't be evil mantra: "It's bullshit." Audience roars."
Priceless. Classic Jobs, not one to mince words. He also said Adobe was lazy, but the clash between the iconic Flash maker and the iconic computer maker is boring compared with Apple versus Google.
Forget about Google versus Microsoft (and Yahoo). Google versus Apple is bound to be a title fight for the mobile Web over the next decade.
On the Web, those companies are twisting in the wind. See Kevin Kelleher's post on GigaOm for Microsoft's Web follies. Yahoo has to align with Microsoft on search to survive, so that tells you how things are going there.
When Google CEO Eric Schmidt, whom Jobs threw off Apple's board last August, wakes up today and reads those lines, his face could well tighten in a grimace comparable to that of Heath Ledger's Joker from "The Dark Knight."
The iPhone versus Android is today's battle, with Google creating HTML5-based workarounds for Google Voice and other Web apps. Both companies made plays for mobile ad companies (Apple bought Quattro, Google bid for AdMob) to increase their share of the mobile Web money pie.
Later in 2010, Google Chrome OS netbooks may well challenge the new iPad.
Anyone want to guess what will happen between now and then? This is so exciting. Apple and Microsoft always hated each other. Microsoft and Google always hated each other. But Apple and Google, once allies and friendly, are now foes.
That makes for some great movie material. Then again, back to Jobs' alleged comment about Google's Don't Be Evil mantra being BS; he is only voicing what hundreds of other companies that have had to work with Google have said privately.
Ask companies like Reframe It, whose execs feel its annotation service has been usurped by Sidewiki. Ask GPS makers, DNS (Domain Name System) providers, or social software makers or even online dictionaries.
They may tell you Google's Don't Be Evil mantra extends to consumers only, and they would have a fair point. The bottom line is that Google wants to be everywhere on the Web, and if that means stomping out other Web services, then that is collateral damage.
If some in the long tail find themselves buoyed by Google, then great, but if not it's too bad for them.