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Google purchases IBM inventions as patent arms race looms

post #1 of 96
Thread Starter 
Google announced on Thursday that it had acquired a group of patents from IBM, even as growing interest in intellectual property suggests a coming legal face-off between Apple and Google.

Bloomberg reports that Google struck a deal with IBM earlier this month to bolster its IP portfolio with a batch of patents. Like many tech companies, at times well acquire patents that are relevant to our business, the company said Thursday in an e-mailed statement.

The Mountain View, Calif., search giant has cast itself as a reluctant player in the patent market. The tech industry has a significant problem, Kent Walker, who serves as general counsel for the company, said earlier this week. Software patents are kind of gumming up the works of innovation.

The company is calling for large-scale patent reform, even as its Android mobile operating system faces infringement suits on at least six fronts. But, competitors assert that Google is critical of the patent system because it finds itself outmatched by larger, more established technology companies with bigger patent portfolios.

Google is said to be interested in acquiring InterDigital, a Pennsylvania-based company with patents related to high-speed mobile phone networks. Reports that Apple and Google may bid on the company drove its value up more than 50 percent to $3.2 billion earlier this week.

Photography pioneer Kodak has revealed that it is shopping its digital imaging patents around after seeing the high level of interest, and subsequent bidding, in the Nortel auction.

Late last month, Apple and six other companies, including Microsoft, Research in Motion and Sony, faced off against Google and Intel in a bidding war that drove up the price for Nortel's 6,000 patents to an unprecedented $4.5 billion.

Walker called the deal the "biggest patents sale in the history of the world," adding that his company is looking into "other opportunities" to expand its portfolio. Nortel's patents were said to be of high-value to Apple and Google because they contained vital inventions related to the 4G Long-Term Evolution wireless networking standard.

Google's interest in intellectual property may also have been piqued by a recent ITC ruling that found HTC had violated two of Apple's patents. Patent experts have suggested that the violations in question may be part of the Android architecture and could extend to "every Android device out there."

Meanwhile, Google executive Eric Schmidt has promised that his company will "make sure" that HTC does not lose its suit with Apple.

Walker has compared the current patent situation to a nuclear arms race that will eventually "settle into mutual assured destruction, noting that these fights are an arduous and expensive way to do it."
post #2 of 96
Just buy up a bunch of patents from the likes of IBM?

This is a clue to me that Google does not have the expertise to keep up with Apple and knows it will lose the next bidding war with Apple gaining another treasure trove of patents.
post #3 of 96
Iamgine the domnance if google and apple did not part ways back in the day. Apples native apps coupled with google's web services would have produced an unstoppable device that would rule the world.

Instead we have two highly innovative companies that suck in cohesiveness and cloudiness respectivelly. Now icloud and ics are supposed to fix that but that still remains to be seen.
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post #4 of 96
The first one to make their patents free for all to use will lead the revolution.
post #5 of 96
There is no creativity in buying other people's ideas and suing anyone that infringes what they buy up.
Its just wrong, there should be a law to stop this. Its simply a devil's way of working.
post #6 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Iamgine the domnance if google and apple did not part ways back in the day. Apples native apps coupled with google's web services would have produced an unstoppable device that would rule the world.

Instead we have two highly innovative companies that suck in cohesiveness and cloudiness respectivelly. Now icloud and ics are supposed to fix that but that still remains to be seen.

Everyone keeps calling Google innovative.

What exactly have they innovated since their page-rank patent?
post #7 of 96
Google is so full of it when they talk about patent reform and how it "inhibits" innovation. Just like how they've created this myth the Andriod OS is "open" when they guard that source code like it's a gold unicorn.
post #8 of 96
Just put Larry Page in the ring with Steve Jobs and let 'em duke it out already!

(I've heard tell that Steve's a ninja...)

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post #9 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post

Everyone keeps calling Google innovative.

What exactly have they innovated since their page-rank patent?

Google TV.
post #10 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by moustache View Post

There is no creativity in buying other people's ideas and suing anyone that infringes what they buy up.
Its just wrong, there should be a law to stop this. Its simply a devil's way of working.


You mean like buying a company that used pinch to zoom and then patenting it and trying to stop others from using it?
post #11 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Software patents are kind of gumming up the works of innovation.

That means that your 'innovations' are using technology and ideas which already exist, in which case you should pay to license these.

Of course, a more sensible thing to do would be to reduce the length of time a patent is valid for or to judge whether a patent could be used to block competition in which case it would be subject to capped licensing fees and HAS to be made available to all via these fees.
post #12 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post

Everyone keeps calling Google innovative.

What exactly have they innovated since their page-rank patent?

I have mentioned it before and gotten flak for it, but the truth is that, at a fundamental level, Google has been far more innovative than Apple. Anyone who says otherwise is arguing blindly and purely out of passion and completely ignoring the facts.
post #13 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Just buy up a bunch of patents from the likes of IBM?

This is a clue to me that Google does not have the expertise to keep up with Apple and knows it will lose the next bidding war with Apple gaining another treasure trove of patents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

The first one to make their patents free for all to use will lead the revolution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blursd View Post

Google is so full of it when they talk about patent reform and how it "inhibits" innovation. Just like how they've created this myth the Andriod OS is "open" when they guard that source code like it's a gold unicorn.

In threads covering the outcome of the Nortel patent auction, many people on this site blasted Google for not being serious about Android and for not trying hard enough to win those patents. Now they are being criticized for acquiring IP to protect Android. Larry Page must know how Obama feels - damned if you do ....

And this is a clue that Google does not have enough expertise, then what clue did we get from Apple purchasing the Nortel patents, not to mention acquiring the company with the multitouch IP? Let's stick to the truth: both Google and Apple have their respective expertise.

The fact is that this is akin to the nuclear buildup during the Cold War. As senseless as it sounds, you have to build up the offensive arsenal in order to play defence. In this war, however, building up the arsenal includes both in-house development and acquisitions. To do just one or the other is a dumb purist play and a disservice to the shareholders.
post #14 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

In threads covering the outcome of the Nortel patent auction, many people on this site blasted Google for not being serious about Android and for not trying hard enough to win those patents. Now they are being criticized for acquiring IP to protect Android. Larry Page must know how Obama feels - damned if you do ....

Google walked away from that auction empty handed and stated bashing Apple et all stating that those companies would rather buy patents than innovate. And Google kept this chirping up for a good few days at least; blowing their own horn saying how much better they were than those that beat them in the auction.

NOW they go out and buy a bunch of patents from IBM and their song has changed?

Google has some cool stuff out there but when they open their mouths they sound like Microsoft or Adobe: "wonk wonk wonk".

Reluctant player, indeed. Google is only acting like a spoiled hippy who didn't win the Nortel patents.
post #15 of 96
"Damn! All this stupid killing has to stop. Why can't people just put their guns down and talk about it. We need a world where no one is afraid of getting shot. Someone should get all these people to lay down their guns and get along", said the man as he loaded his gun.
post #16 of 96
The really sad thing here is Eric Schmidt and Google thinks it's okay to rip-off other people's designs, and give them away for free as open source. In the end, they may just get away with it. (but don't dare give away their patented search algorithms as open source because that would be evil)

I happen to think that open source is a good thing, BUT it's still not okay rip-off other people's work and give it away for free if they are not part of the open source project.

I'm as sick of the looming patent war as anyone else, but we wouldn't even be in this mess if Google and the Android consortium didn't rip-off Apple's mobile OS.

The other mobile phone companies got caught napping. Rather compete by innovating themselves, they instead followed Googles lead and ripped off Apple under the guise of "open source".
post #17 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

The first one to make their patents free for all to use will lead the revolution.

On what planet?
post #18 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

I have mentioned it before and gotten flak for it, but the truth is that, at a fundamental level, Google has been far more innovative than Apple. Anyone who says otherwise is arguing blindly and purely out of passion and completely ignoring the facts.

On the face of it, your assertion is nonsense, and, since you don't support it with any facts or arguments, you would seem to be the one, "arguing blindly and purely out of passion and completely ignoring the facts."
post #19 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by blursd View Post

Google is so full of it when they talk about patent reform and how it "inhibits" innovation. Just like how they've created this myth the Andriod OS is "open" when they guard that source code like it's a gold unicorn.

The latest Android phone source code, 2.3.3, is here. Feel free to use it.
http://source.android.com/

The Honeycomb build for tablets has only had certain sections (GPL and LGPL) released so far. And there's no guarantee's that the entire Honeycomb build will ever be released as open source. But there's also no claims from the developer's that it won't be either.
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post #20 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post

Everyone keeps calling Google innovative.

What exactly have they innovated since their page-rank patent?

I agree but don't forget their 'How to place mole on a leading tech company's board of directors so as to be able to enter all the fields they are in'. That was pretty innovative
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Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
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post #21 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

On the face of it, your assertion is nonsense, and, since you don't support it with any facts or arguments, you would seem to be the one, "arguing blindly and purely out of passion and completely ignoring the facts."

I am ignoring the facts? I am sorry you are not aware of Google's innovations; I had expected a higher level of knowledge here since everyone writes with such condescension and derision (after all, arrogance is only tolerable if backed by real knowledge). At a high level, they have changed search, advertising and email with the same impact as iPhone and iPod in their respective categories. But it is really at a fundamental level that they have surpassed most companies (and I am speaking historically), consider what they have invented in database design, distributed computing, pattern recognition and computer science in general. I suggest you look up all of this yourself before criticizing one of the most inventive companies in history. Apple has never, ever innovated at this level. Instead, they have been very clever and inventive in industrial design, integration and UI design. All of this is important, but it is simply not moving computer science forward in the same fundamental way Google has done. This is not because Apple is not capable of it; it's simply not their business model.
post #22 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

I am ignoring the facts? Clearly, you are not aware of Google's innovations. At a high level, they have changed search, advertising and email with the same impact as iPhone and iPod in their respective categories. But it is really at a fundamental level that they have surpassed most companies (and I am speaking historically), consider what they have invented in database design, distributed computing, pattern recognition and computer science in general. I suggest you look up all of this yourself before criticizing one of the most inventive companies in history. Apple has never, ever innovated at this level. Instead, they have been very clever and inventive in industrial design, integration and UI design. All of this is important, but it is simply not moving computer science forward in the same fundamental way Google has done. This is not because Apple is not capable of it; it's simply not their business model.

Sure Google is innovative, but I wouldn't say that they are more innovative than Apple. I wonder how Google would feel if another company ripped off their work and then under the guise of "open source" simply gave it away for free to compete with them. I'm guessing that they'd be pissed. Yet it's perfectly okay for them to do that.

When you buy an Apple product, you are the customer. When you use one of Google's free services, they sell your soul to their true customers, the advertisers. I don't trust Google in any way shape or form when their entire revenue stream is based on selling us all out.
post #23 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post

Everyone keeps calling Google innovative.google voice search as you type

What exactly have they innovated since their page-rank patent?


Google voice, search as you type, Google docs, Google books, youtube, gmail, chrome, and chrome os. Remember that innovate does not mean invent it means to improve on, and yes Google innovates a lot they are one of the most innovative technology companies in the world.
post #24 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

I wonder how Google would feel if another company ripped off their work and then under the guise of "open source" simply gave it away for free to compete with them. . .

Hmmm...
Perhaps like Mozilla's new Boot To Gecko project that uses Android underpinnings to compete with Android, and will be giving it away free? I'm sure Google will be suing Mozilla, aren't you?

http://arstechnica.com/open-source/n...ko-project.ars
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post #25 of 96
All of these Apple vs. Google arguments make me want to puke. It reminds me of the Apple vs. Microsoft crap.

I know... I have a choice to read or not read... just saying...
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post #26 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

All of these Apple vs. Google arguments make me want to puke. It reminds me of the Apple vs. Microsoft crap.

I know... I have a choice to read or not read... just saying...

Plus 1
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post #27 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post

Everyone keeps calling Google innovative.

What exactly have they innovated since their page-rank patent?

It obvious you know nothing about real tech behind the web. What else they did for starters look to their BigTable, GFS and MapReduce papers. The core behind FB, LinkedIn, Apache Hadoop (behind Yahoo, IBM, Oracle, MSFT) products and tech. You and Apple just care about shiny icons in a grid, ;-). Google cares about making computing better for society.
post #28 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by holy_steven View Post

Google cares about making computing better for society.

For real? My, my, here's a live one.
post #29 of 96
Google is arguably one of the most agressive companies in buying up other smaller companies - here is a PARTIAL list of companies purchased and for what service:
Google "Innovations":
Search - supported by puchases of Outride/Akwan/Kaltix/Orion/Metaweb/ Like/Sparkbuy/PostRank
AdWords (allegedly stolen from Ideaworks/Goto/Overture - settled in court), and Sprinks/Ignite Logic
Analytics - bought from Urchin Software/Phatbits/Measure Map/Trendalyzer
Chrome browser - bought from Skia/GreenBorder
Blogger - bought from Pyra Labs/Genius Labs/TNC
Earth - bought from Keyhole, Inc.
Gmail - bought from Neotonic Software/Postini/reMail/Plannr
Groups - bought from Deja
Picasa - bought from Picasa/Neven Vision/Picnik
SketchUp - bought from @Last Software
Talk - bought from Marratech/Gizmo5
Android - bought from Android, Inc., supported by additional purchases of Skia/allPAY/bruNET/BumpTop/Reqwireless/Simplify/Zetawire/Blindtype/TalkBin
ChromeOS - includes purchases of PhatBits
Wallet - bought from Punchd
Books - bought from eBook Technologies
Feedburner - bought from Feedburner
Latitude - bought from Dodgeball
Maps - bought from ZipDash/Where2/Keyhole, Inc./Endoxon/Image America/Quiksee
Voice - bought from GrandCentral/Phonetic Arts/SayNow
Youtube - bought from Youtube/Omnisio/On2/Episodic/fflick/NewNextNetworks/Green Parrot Pictures
Goggles - bought from Neven Vision Germany/PlinkArt/PittPatt
iGoogle - bought from Outride
Translate - bought from Phonetic Arts
Admob - bought from Admob
AdSense - bought from Applied Semantics/Adscape/DoubleClick/Teracent/Invite Media/Admeld
Google+ - bought from Zinku/Jaiku/Aardvark/Angstro/Fridge
Wave - bought from AppJet
Docs - bought from Upstartle/2Web Technologies/JotSpot/Xunlei/Tonic Systems/Zenter/Appjet/DocVerse
TV - bought from Widevine Technologies

rather Borg-like I think...
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post #30 of 96
It's not about Google vs. Apple in some big patent showdown. That would be pointless and both sides know it.

It's about defending against the patent trolls who distract and drain a company's resources with endless lawsuits in a badly broken intellectual property system.
post #31 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Hmmm...
Perhaps like Mozilla's new Boot To Gecko project that uses Android underpinnings to compete with Android, and will be giving it away free? I'm sure Google will be suing Mozilla, aren't you?

http://arstechnica.com/open-source/n...ko-project.ars

Most of Mozilla's funding comes from Google...
post #32 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

Google is arguably one of the most agressive companies in buying up other smaller companies - here is a PARTIAL list of companies purchased and for what service...

Apple v. Samsung hit the name on the head. Innovation doesn't ONLY mean invention, it also means "to make changes in something established, esp. by introducing new methods, ideas, or products."

Absolutely, Google does this with the stuff they buy — or, at least some of it. (Feedburner, not so much.)

This pissing contest going on in here of which company innovates "more" is juvenile and entirely subjective.

They both innovate. Period.
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post #33 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Most of Mozilla's funding comes from Google...

...according to the article Mozilla is seeking to use as little of Android code as they can, ignoring the Java side entirely if possible. OTOH, you have Google who is now trying to make peace with the Linux org into order to legitimize it's open claims and by trying to get all the drivers and APIs they built independently included in Linux. It's kind of like having a gangster walk into your lovely little co-op and say" you know there's been a lot of problems in the neighborhood, let me help you make your business get more customers and I'll protect the premises - no cost, cuz we just LOVE small businesses!"
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post #34 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post

Apple v. Samsung hit the name on the head. Innovation doesn't ONLY mean invention, it also means "to make changes in something established, esp. by introducing new methods, ideas, or products."

Absolutely, Google does this with the stuff they buy — or, at least some of it. (Feedburner, not so much.)

This pissing contest going on in here of which company innovates "more" is juvenile and entirely subjective.

They both innovate. Period.

You can argue the point, and I won't necessarily disagree with you, but when Google has since 2001 bought over 80 companies (compare that to Microsoft that has purchased over 128 companies since 1987), and then you bring into the the mix the stated intent of Google is, in their own words, "organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful". Every acquisition plays into this stated goal, "innovation" as such only works for Google when it directs work towards this stated goal. You cannot emphasize this concept strongly enough - every product they produce (or purchase) is designed specifically to give them better access to and control over the world's information. This is not characteristically innovative as it is strongly directed and incremental development towards that stated end.

Google is not a grand beneficent friend whose best interest is necessarily yours. They are a commercial interest, supporting stockholders and generating revenue directly from their ability to access, associate and control the delivery of the world's information. The fact that they create a collaborative work environment, that they seek out and try to employ the best and the brightest is coincidental to their stated goal, not because it's fun, or cool or anything else.

This is also true of Microsoft and Apple - but they don't try to cloud the issue with moralistic nonsense like "do no evil". I am thoroughly wearied of those cupidic supporters of Google who believe in the face of all contrary evidence that Google is the greatest good that open source has ever had, that they are this magnificent unicorn-like loving mythical beast that grants endless wishes to worshipful geeks.
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post #35 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by sticknick View Post

Google walked away from that auction empty handed and stated bashing Apple et all stating that those companies would rather buy patents than innovate. And Google kept this chirping up for a good few days at least; blowing their own horn saying how much better they were than those that beat them in the auction.

NOW they go out and buy a bunch of patents from IBM and their song has changed?

Google has some cool stuff out there but when they open their mouths they sound like Microsoft or Adobe: "wonk wonk wonk".

Reluctant player, indeed. Google is only acting like a spoiled hippy who didn't win the Nortel patents.

since when is larry and brinn 'hippies'? Steve Jobs is from the hippie generation. get an education.
post #36 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Google announced on Thursday that it had acquired a group of patents from IBM, even as growing interest in intellectual property suggests a coming legal face-off between Apple and Google.

Bloomberg reports that Google struck a deal with IBM earlier this month to bolster its IP portfolio with a batch of patents. Like many tech companies, at times well acquire patents that are relevant to our business, the company said Thursday in an e-mailed statement.

The Mountain View, Calif., search giant has cast itself as a reluctant player in the patent market. The tech industry has a significant problem, Kent Walker, who serves as general counsel for the company, said earlier this week. Software patents are kind of gumming up the works of innovation.

The company is calling for large-scale patent reform, even as its Android mobile operating system faces infringement suits on at least six fronts. But, competitors assert that Google is critical of the patent system because it finds itself outmatched by larger, more established technology companies with bigger patent portfolios.

Google is said to be interested in acquiring InterDigital, a Pennsylvania-based company with patents related to high-speed mobile phone networks. Reports that Apple and Google may bid on the company drove its value up more than 50 percent to $3.2 billion earlier this week.

Photography pioneer Kodak has revealed that it is shopping its digital imaging patents around after seeing the high level of interest, and subsequent bidding, in the Nortel auction.

Late last month, Apple and six other companies, including Microsoft, Research in Motion and Sony, faced off against Google and Intel in a bidding war that drove up the price for Nortel's 6,000 patents to an unprecedented $4.5 billion.

Walker called the deal the "biggest patents sale in the history of the world," adding that his company is looking into "other opportunities" to expand its portfolio. Nortel's patents were said to be of high-value to Apple and Google because they contained vital inventions related to the 4G Long-Term Evolution wireless networking standard.

Google's interest in intellectual property may also have been piqued by a recent ITC ruling that found HTC had violated two of Apple's patents. Patent experts have suggested that the violations in question may be part of the Android architecture and could extend to "every Android device out there."

Meanwhile, Google executive Eric Schmidt has promised that his company will "make sure" that HTC does not lose its suit with Apple.

Walker has compared the current patent situation to a nuclear arms race that will eventually "settle into mutual assured destruction, noting that these fights are an arduous and expensive way to do it."

they'll make a decent keyboard, instead of one's that just look pretty. I think form should follow functions in this case. I make SO many mistakes on the current flat-keyed wireless white thing it's not funny. The way the IBM keyboards grip your fingers makes it difficult to make a mistake on those things.

Cheers,
Cameron
post #37 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by moustache View Post

There is no creativity in buying other people's ideas and suing anyone that infringes what they buy up.
Its just wrong, there should be a law to stop this. Its simply a devil's way of working.

There are a number of good reasons for a company to sell of patents. For example:
  1. To get rid of IP they are no longer concerned with.
  2. To finance new development work.
  3. To add cash to the coffers
  4. To fund retirement at the cessation of business.
  5. To pay your taxes. In other words keep a company operating through tough times.

Patents are no different than anything else a company owns. If they can gain by selling off the IP all the better for them. In some cases the companies doing these sales are in effect saving jobs which isn't a bad thing at the moment.

You call it the devils way of working to which I have to reply that that is simply ignorant. Some patents can encompass man years of work, which implies value right there. Frankly it is just as valuable as the effort put into building a plant or physical device. So if you are in need of money why not sell off the work that went into that IP?

From the buyers standpoint it is no different than buying a canned process or building ready to go. In effect you pay for the effort that went into that IP and the right to use it exclusively. It is a business transaction nothing more.
post #38 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple v. Samsung View Post

Remember that innovate does not mean invent it means to improve on, and yes Google innovates a lot they are one of the most innovative technology companies in the world.

Ha! By that definition, Apple is at least as and probably more innovative than Google. Besides all of the patents that Apple has birthed, they are responsible for completely redesigning the desktop, smartphone, and tablet computing paradigms both at the gross level as well as the detailed level.

Were it not for Apple's innovations based upon their licensing of Xerox's original work, computing may well still be stuck at the CLI and the web as we now know it may not exist...much less Google.

And, less you and others claiming the Google has done more for computing that Apple, computing at home and in the office is way ahead of where it would otherwise be were it not for companies like Apple and it's Apple I computer.

No doubt Google has been responsible for innovative extensions based on others work, and new work of their own, but: to paraphrase... I know Apple, and you Google are no Apple!
post #39 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

I have mentioned it before and gotten flak for it, but the truth is that, at a fundamental level, Google has been far more innovative than Apple. Anyone who says otherwise is arguing blindly and purely out of passion and completely ignoring the facts.

How do you figure?
post #40 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

I am ignoring the facts? I am sorry you are not aware of Google's innovations; I had expected a higher level of knowledge here since everyone writes with such condescension and derision (after all, arrogance is only tolerable if backed by real knowledge). At a high level, they have changed search, advertising and email with the same impact as iPhone and iPod in their respective categories. But it is really at a fundamental level that they have surpassed most companies (and I am speaking historically), consider what they have invented in database design, distributed computing, pattern recognition and computer science in general. I suggest you look up all of this yourself before criticizing one of the most inventive companies in history. Apple has never, ever innovated at this level. Instead, they have been very clever and inventive in industrial design, integration and UI design. All of this is important, but it is simply not moving computer science forward in the same fundamental way Google has done. This is not because Apple is not capable of it; it's simply not their business model.

Obviously you don't know what you are talking about.
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