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Apple-Google battle heats up with key hires on both sides

post #1 of 111
Thread Starter 
Apple recently nabbed a former Google product manager for a secretive "pretty neat role" with the company, while a new Google employee has shared harsh words about Apple's "Disney-fied" approach to the mobile Internet.

Google recently hired well-known software developer Tim Bray, formerly of Oracle and Sun Microsystems. The developer wrote on his personal blog Monday that he will "enjoy competing with Apple," and shared some harsh words on what he feels are the iPhone maker's restrictive policies.

"The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet's future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what," Bray wrote. "It's a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord's pleasure and fear his anger. I hate it."

He continued: "I hate it even though the iPhone hardware and software are great, because freedom's not just another word for anything, nor is it an optional ingredient."

Bray said he views his new job with Google has an opportunity to prove that Apple is wrong in their approach to the mobile Internet. He noted that he's been a buyer of Apple systems for years, and despite his "current irritation," he will likely continue to do so. At Google, he will work on the Android mobile platform.

Last year, criticism of Apple's policies with the App Store mounted, prompting company executive Phil Schiller to personally fight back. But Apple came under fire again last month after the company changed its policy on "overtly sexual" content and purged more than 5,000 applications from the App Store.

As Google's latest hire took the opportunity to criticize the iPhone maker, Apple had its own key hire recently in the form of a former product manager with Google. TechCrunch discovered that R.J. Pittman, who it called a "prominent" employee with the search giant, has moved on to Apple.

Pittman sent a letter to his colleagues at Google in which he said the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984 changed his life.

"I've owned almost one of every Apple product released since then, and still own my first Mac that started it all some 25 years ago," he wrote. "In a strange but not so strange way, this is sort of a homecoming for me, despite never having worked for Apple. Life works in curious ways, and I love it when every so often it comes full circle."

He went on to say that he would have a "pretty neat role" with Apple, but declined to say what it might be. TechCrunch speculated that Pittman could work with the employees Apple took on in its acquisition of streaming music service Lala, given his background with Google's own music search technology.

"That said, Apple could be after his other talents Pittman had previously presented at the launches of other search-related products, including a Google Labs event," the report said. "And before that, he founded Groxis."

Last August, it was revealed that Apple and Google shared a gentlemen's agreement to not poach each others' employees, though these latest moves would suggest that deal is no longer in place. That should come as no surprise to any who have followed the growing rivalry between Google and Apple closely -- a battle that one observer said resembles World War III due to the level of animosity between the two technology giants.
post #2 of 111
Does that make Google the Hustler of mobile phone makers? Is Tim Bray the Larry Flint of mobile phones or would that title go to Eric Schmidt?
post #3 of 111
I guess this means WAR
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #4 of 111
So who is the winner here?
Microsoft?
post #5 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by json View Post

So who is the winner here?
Microsoft?

The consumer.
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post #6 of 111
Really disappointed that Google RDF seems to have led Tim Bray to the extent of lying.

Before Apple there was no mobile Internet. There were only ghetto-ized WAP and .mobi pages for cell phones. Besides Flash, Apple supports (actively in many cases) nearly every internet standard. They are not going about blocking what pages you can view in Mobile Safari.

If you are talking about their App Store, its a different matter. However App Store != Mobile Internet (unless he knows something about its success that even we dont).

Although, I think the real reason he said Mobile Internet is because "Apple Stifles Mobile Internet" makes them sound far more evil than "Apple Restricts Content Sold In Their Stores" or "Apple Vets Applications Before Releasing Them On Their Phones".
post #7 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Google recently hired well-known software developer Tim Bray, formerly of Oracle and Sun Microsystems. The developer wrote on his personal blog Monday that he will "enjoy competing with Apple," and shared some harsh words on what he feels are the iPhone maker's restrictive policies.

So after all that Apple has done for this man, now he wants to kill us. He has no gratitude. He is the lowest of the low.
post #8 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by json View Post

So who is the winner here?
Microsoft?

No, in the tech universe this just means loyalty is for sale to the highest bidder. New hires are required by the laws of this universe to trash the comeptition and praise the new employer. These two guys may swap spit with other tech firms some day which will require new declarations of undying devotion.

What it really means is that these two guys got to thinking they were actually important to Apple and Google and felt disrespected for some reason.

Now the resident trolls, of course, will pounce on the Apple guy leaving for Google as proof of their trolled assertions that Apple is evil and doomed. But we already know that don't we?
post #9 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Bray said he views his new job with Google has an opportunity to prove that Apple is wrong in their approach to the mobile Internet.

Apple's AppStore is NOT the mobile internet and is NOT intended to be. That is what Mobile Safari on the iPhone is for. If he (i.e. Google) wants to write mobile internet apps for the iPhone... write them for Mobile Safari. I do not understand why this is so difficult to understand.
post #10 of 111
Google is evil! They act as if it's their highway or nothing while they want you to use their "free" applications while they collect every piece of information from to bombard you with targeted adds. When will people wake up and notice that all Google adds target you even if you searched for a sight you only went to once in your life. So say goodbye to privacy.

Heck the initial roll out of Buzz should have given a clue with what Google wants with the data you use from them. To me the Google "free" stuff is just a ruse to collect data on you to direct adds to you. Next time they will be giving away cars (like Malls do) so they can get more info on the data on you.

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post #11 of 111
Agreed. its not like apple has deceived anyone in what they are buying into. Apples vision is very much a "disneyfied" vision, but rather than an insult, Steve Jobs who has great admiration for Walt Disney accomplishments, would see it as offering consumers the best experience. much as Disney World is an experience and not the real world, problems and all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

Really disappointed that Google RDF seems to have led Tim Bray to the extent of lying.

Before Apple there was no mobile Internet. There were only ghetto-ized WAP and .mobi pages for cell phones. Besides Flash, Apple supports (actively in many cases) nearly every internet standard. They are not going about blocking what pages you can view in Mobile Safari.

If you are talking about their App Store, its a different matter. However App Store != Mobile Internet (unless he knows something about its success that even we dont).

Although, I think the real reason he said Mobile Internet is because "Apple Stifles Mobile Internet" makes them sound far more evil than "Apple Restricts Content Sold In Their Stores" or "Apple Vets Applications Before Releasing Them On Their Phones".
post #12 of 111
Personally, the tact of "our sh-t doesn't smell, but yours stinks" is a dangerous one for Google, if for no other reason than the fact that Google really isn't that much more open than Apple.

After all, Google isn't providing open source to core Google services like Maps, Gmail, YouTube and the like. And of course, crown jewels, like Google's search index are closed, not to mention that they have NEVER provided visibility to the spread they make between advertisers and publishers with AdWords/AdSense. What's so open about that?

It reminds me of the adage, "Be open with what you want to commoditize, but closed where your proprietary advantage lies."

By that definition, Google is more “open-ish" than open, something that I blogged about here:

Open "ish": The meaning of open, according to Google
http://bit.ly/5ocoV3

Check it out if interested.

Mark
post #13 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

Really disappointed that Google RDF seems to have led Tim Bray to the extent of lying.

Before Apple there was no mobile Internet. There were only ghetto-ized WAP and .mobi pages for cell phones. Besides Flash, Apple supports (actively in many cases) nearly every internet standard. They are not going about blocking what pages you can view in Mobile Safari.

If you are talking about their App Store, its a different matter. However App Store != Mobile Internet (unless he knows something about its success that even we dont).

Although, I think the real reason he said Mobile Internet is because "Apple Stifles Mobile Internet" makes them sound far more evil than "Apple Restricts Content Sold In Their Stores" or "Apple Vets Applications Before Releasing Them On Their Phones".

Agreed, Bray was on a mindless rant. As the good book says!

"Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut." (Prov 10:19 NLT)
post #14 of 111
So Bray's ideal is an unmonitored mirror of the open sewer that is today's internet, huh?
Seems like that's his idea of what we should all want.

Well, cool. At least I know where to place my bets.
BTW, 'Disneyfied' is not a degrading term to lots and lots of families. Only to those who want Times Square to revert to the cesspool that it was in the 90's. Says more about them than it does Disney.
post #15 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

He went on to say that he would have a "pretty neat role" with Apple, but declined to say what it might be...
"That said, Apple could be after his other talents Pittman had previously presented at the launches of other search-related products, including a Google Labs event," the report said. "And before that, he founded Groxis."

He is in a lot of Google videos, is fairly well spoken and easy on the eyes. Could he be the new spokesface of Apple?

Tim Cook is a shoe-in for CEO but a dynamic public speaker he is NOT.
Phil Schiller is a marketing guy and it comes across in his presentation.
Scott Forstall isn't bad but lacks charisma.
post #16 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

Really disappointed that Google RDF seems to have led Tim Bray to the extent of lying.

Before Apple there was no mobile Internet. There were only ghetto-ized WAP and .mobi pages for cell phones. Besides Flash, Apple supports (actively in many cases) nearly every internet standard. They are not going about blocking what pages you can view in Mobile Safari.

If you are talking about their App Store, its a different matter. However App Store != Mobile Internet (unless he knows something about its success that even we dont).

Although, I think the real reason he said Mobile Internet is because "Apple Stifles Mobile Internet" makes them sound far more evil than "Apple Restricts Content Sold In Their Stores" or "Apple Vets Applications Before Releasing Them On Their Phones".

I agree. But I suspect that his real gripe here has nothing to do with "censorship" of controversial or sexual content. This sounds like a cover for an open-source type ideology. He's not concerned about consumer freedom, he's concerned about developer freedom. Those aren't exactly the same things.

I think Apple has the right approach, because they are putting consumer experience above ideology (or, perhaps consumer experience is their ideology).
post #17 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

...This sounds like a cover for an open-source type ideology. He's not concerned about consumer freedom, he's concerned about developer freedom. Those aren't exactly the same things.

+1

You nailed it.
post #18 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLuv View Post

So after all that Apple has done for this man, now he wants to kill us. He has no gratitude. He is the lowest of the low.

Here's a tip. It's just a job. You might choose to eat the same breakfast forever but some people like new challenges.
post #19 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

Here's a tip. It's just a job. You might choose to eat the same breakfast forever but some people like new challenges.

Maybe it's all part of some weird Google hazing ceremony.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

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post #20 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypermark View Post

Personally, the tact of "our sh-t doesn't smell, but yours stinks" is a dangerous one for Google, if for no other reason than the fact that Google really isn't that much more open than Apple.

True, but same goes for Apple. Even more so because Apple has a public perception of slick, polished products - Apple can lose that if they put out (closed, sanitized, sterilized) crap. Apple gets bad press and their stock price slips.

Google, on the other hand, gives their stuff away for free. Shiny and clean isn't Google's "raison d'etre." So if it doesn't work perfectly (Buzz), people complain for a week or two then drop it.
post #21 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

He continued: "I hate it even though the iPhone hardware and software are great, because freedom's not just another word for anything, nor is it an optional ingredient."

So does this mean that Bray will head up Google's China Division? I'd hate to think Google can be scared out of town by a "Closed System" Government! Afterall, "freedom's not just another word for anything, nor is it an optional ingredient." What's that? Google's leaving China?! Well apparently for Google... it appears that freedom IS an optional ingredient!

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post #22 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbsmd View Post

True, but same goes for Apple. Even more so because Apple has a public perception of slick, polished products - Apple can lose that if they put out (closed, sanitized, sterilized) crap. Apple gets bad press and their stock price slips.

Google, on the other hand, gives their stuff away for free. Shiny and clean isn't Google's "raison d'etre." So if it doesn't work perfectly (Buzz), people complain for a week or two then drop it.

You appear to be implicitly equating "slick, polished" with "closed, sanitized". I don't think those are equivalent at all. Outside of the EFF, nobody is saying "oooh, check out the rounded, curvy opensourcedness of my laptop!" Consumers don't care about inputs, they care about outputs. The extent to which a product is "open" or "closed" is just one of many inputs. And when it comes to "slick and polished" I think you're more likely to find closed-source inputs than open-source inputs. Compare, for example, Windows gaming to Linux gaming -- which is the more "polished" experience?
post #23 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbsmd View Post

True, but same goes for Apple. Even more so because Apple has a public perception of slick, polished products - Apple can lose that if they put out (closed, sanitized, sterilized) crap. Apple gets bad press and their stock price slips.

Google, on the other hand, gives their stuff away for free. Shiny and clean isn't Google's "raison d'etre." So if it doesn't work perfectly (Buzz), people complain for a week or two then drop it.

I would agree with you that this knife cuts both ways (Apple doesn't get a free pass, for example, if the market concludes that Apple is simply being a bully/stifling innovation with their patent strategy vs. rightfully protecting their IP) but I disagree with the thesis that because Google's products are less than shiny, that will pass muster over the long haul with device OEMs, software developers and carriers.

What consumers will cope with (because they don't care enough to differentiate) is very different from what developers, handset makers and carriers expect when they are making a mission-critical bet.
post #24 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypermark View Post

Personally, the tact of "our sh-t doesn't smell, but yours stinks" is a dangerous one for Google, if for no other reason than the fact that Google really isn't that much more open than Apple.

After all, Google isn't providing open source to core Google services like Maps, Gmail, YouTube and the like. And of course, crown jewels, like Google's search index are closed, not to mention that they have NEVER provided visibility to the spread they make between advertisers and publishers with AdWords/AdSense. What's so open about that?

It reminds me of the adage, "Be open with what you want to commoditize, but closed where your proprietary advantage lies."

By that definition, Google is more “open-ish" than open, something that I blogged about here:

Open "ish": The meaning of open, according to Google
http://bit.ly/5ocoV3

Check it out if interested.

Mark

GREAT post and article Mark, thank you!!

Also interesting, I just took a peak at Android Market Place: http://www.android.com/market/terms/...nt-policy.html

It really ISN'T any more open than Apple...What's interesting to me is that 3rd bullet... Does anyone know, can you alter the core apps like the Android dialer? Seems they could use this bullet to deny an App just as Apple denied Google Voice....
post #25 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I agree. But I suspect that his real gripe here has nothing to do with "censorship" of controversial or sexual content. This sounds like a cover for an open-source type ideology. He's not concerned about consumer freedom, he's concerned about developer freedom. Those aren't exactly the same things.

I think Apple has the right approach, because they are putting consumer experience above ideology (or, perhaps consumer experience is their ideology).

I agree that his gripe probably has nothing to do with the censorship and I agree that putting the consumer first is the way to go, but I don't see how you can argue that Apple has done this considering that self-same censorship issue.

Censorship in the manner in which Apple has employed it in this case, is exactly the thing you are arguing they "don't do." It's putting Apple's personal ideology ahead of the needs and desires of the consumers.

Sure some consumers (supposedly) complained about the risque stuff (I don't actually believe that but let's go with accepted wisdom), but if Apple's consumers got a vote, we all know the censorship would be immediately lifted. The censorship isn't about what the consumers of Apple's products and services want, it's a PR move from Apple to defuse a vocal minority.

I'm agreeing with what you are saying about Apple in general, but this censorship issue is a whole new ballgame for them. They are doing something they have never done before and acting very un-Apple-like in the process.
post #26 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I agree that his gripe probably has nothing to do with the censorship and I agree that putting the consumer first is the way to go, but I don't see how you can argue that Apple has done this considering that self-same censorship issue.

Censorship in the manner in which Apple has employed it in this case, is exactly the thing you are arguing they "don't do." It's putting Apple's personal ideology ahead of the needs and desires of the consumers.

Sure some consumers (supposedly) complained about the risque stuff (I don't actually believe that but let's go with accepted wisdom), but if Apple's consumers got a vote, we all know the censorship would be immediately lifted. The censorship isn't about what the consumers of Apple's products and services want, it's a PR move from Apple to defuse a vocal minority.

I'm agreeing with what you are saying about Apple in general, but this censorship issue is a whole new ballgame for them. They are doing something they have never done before and acting very un-Apple-like in the process.

To this point, notice bullet number 7.
http://www.android.com/market/terms/...nt-policy.html

Just as Disney-fied it appears....
post #27 of 111
If you want to cause Google some grief, download Firefox and use the TrackMeNot randomized (but observable) search submission plug-in and the Ghostery web bug anti-tracking plug-in.

They are harmless, but adds noise to their system of data collectors, tell all your friends...
post #28 of 111
Lots of great comments on this thread so far. Well done!
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #29 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by swinge View Post

GREAT post and article Mark, thank you!!

Also interesting, I just took a peak at Android Market Place: http://www.android.com/market/terms/...nt-policy.html

It really ISN'T any more open than Apple...What's interesting to me is that 3rd bullet... Does anyone know, can you alter the core apps like the Android dialer? Seems they could use this bullet to deny an App just as Apple denied Google Voice....

Thanks, though, I would say that in fairness to Google, one of the first Verizon phones using Android has Bing as the default search engine, which speaks to the degree of heavy-handedness Google is NOT employing.

Imagine Apple allowing an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad to ship with doubleTwist as the default media library management app vs. iTunes. Never, right?

Thus, the net out is that Apple is a bit more prescriptive when it comes to CHOICE (they are a governed platform, after all), but at the same time, the OPENNESS distinction made by Google-ites is a bit of smokescreen.

It's the distinction between attributes (Openness) and Outcomes (User Experience).
post #30 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by swinge View Post

To this point, notice bullet number 7.
http://www.android.com/market/terms/...nt-policy.html

Just as Disney-fied it appears....

Yep.

The funny part is that to anyone outside of the USA (or at least those of us that don't work at Disney), the idea of putting it as "pornography, obscenity, nudity or sexual activity" is such a joke.

"Pornography" and "obscenity" are the same thing, "nudity" has nothing to do with pornography (or even "sexual activity" half the time), and the term "sexual activity" could cover completely non-pornographic science stuff at the same time as it's basically just another pseudonym for "pornography" again.

It's almost as bad as the way Americans talk about "socialism, communism, and fascism" in the same sentence (Obama is all three for instance), when in fact these are three completely different things, two of them being complete opposites.
post #31 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by satcomer View Post

Google is evil!... "free" stuff [email, search, apps, etc] is just a ruse to collect data on you to direct adds to you.

VERY WELL PUT. (Although there are a bunch of Google-heads on this forum, so be prepared for criticism.)

Google is far from the innocent company that seems to provide free search. They're an advertising giant - collecting and retaining - every search you do. Google knows more about you than your spouse and they use it to sell advertising to companies who want access. What started out as a 'search' company found a way to do it profitably. The problem is that it's at the consumers expense of privacy.
post #32 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypermark View Post

Personally,...... blah blah blah, leading up to

...... something that I blogged about here:.......
deleted

Check it out if interested.

Mark

No thanks.
post #33 of 111
Apple may have formed, or be in the process of forming, a quasi-fascist state for developers and consumers, but Google's nose is all up in your tish - in perpetuity.

Not sure which company out-evils the other, just yet. I love most of what each company does, but I hate their philosphies of having the right to control what I do and to know about it.

When Apple's logo turns black, and Google's turns graphite, will we really be in trouble then?
post #34 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I agree that his gripe probably has nothing to do with the censorship and I agree that putting the consumer first is the way to go, but I don't see how you can argue that Apple has done this considering that self-same censorship issue.

Censorship in the manner in which Apple has employed it in this case, is exactly the thing you are arguing they "don't do." It's putting Apple's personal ideology ahead of the needs and desires of the consumers.

Sure some consumers (supposedly) complained about the risque stuff (I don't actually believe that but let's go with accepted wisdom), but if Apple's consumers got a vote, we all know the censorship would be immediately lifted. The censorship isn't about what the consumers of Apple's products and services want, it's a PR move from Apple to defuse a vocal minority.

I'm agreeing with what you are saying about Apple in general, but this censorship issue is a whole new ballgame for them. They are doing something they have never done before and acting very un-Apple-like in the process.

I think you vastly underestimate the extent to which Apple's customers want that type of "censorship." Two big apple customers are school districts and parents. Right there you've got a sizable chunk of people who are very much in favor of controlling risque stuff. Add to them all of the prudes, feminists, and religious conservatives, and you're talking about a pretty sizable chunk of people.

Also, I seriously doubt that censoring risque material has anything to do with any "personal ideology" of anyone at Apple. Steve Jobs has repeatedly talked about how great it is to take LSD -- I really don't see him as a big time prude. You may not like this type of "censorship", but it's totally customer-driven.
post #35 of 111
Caged deathmatch battle-royale... Steve Jobs and Eric Schmitt wrestling neked in yesterday's NY Times...

Not that these gossipy blubs aren't fun but let's get real. The Apple is a "walled garden" argument is a stale Microsoft talking point. Apple and Google competitors? That's news? I'm dumbfounded there's anybody left who doesn't already know it.
post #36 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerARSgm View Post

Google is far from the innocent company that seems to provide free search.

Google is more evil than any company's.
post #37 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLuv View Post

Google is more evil than any company's.

I disagree. I would still maintain that Google is the least evil company of all others. The problem with them, however, is they try to maintain this huge "holier than thou" "we are openner than you (although we never open things where our competitive advantage lies)" "do no evil (unless its in your interest)" BS.

I prefer Apple/MS etc. because they don't pretend to be the complete opposite of the huge corporations they are.
post #38 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

I guess this means WAR

Eh! I think so...

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post #39 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by tranquility View Post

Apple may have formed, or be in the process of forming, a quasi-fascist state for developers and consumers...

Can you elaborate on this, please? And also show me an industry which is not what you describe.
post #40 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The consumer.

How?

Microsoft can continue to do what they've been doing:

Nothing.
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