Originally Posted by SpinDrift
I really think that's the key here. Relationships with like minded companies such as Apple/Google/Sun could really influence a major technology shift. I don't see Apple and Google merging, Google are too big and to be honest I don't see a need. But Apple and Sun could be a realistic option. Although saying that, Larry Page did say that if Apple and Google merged they could call the company Applegoo! Perhaps he was hinting at a future partnership?! Anyway, partnership, buyout or a common goal, it makes little difference as long as technologies are shared with these kinds of companies.
Google isn't too big.
While cooperation is good, there is only so much that can be gained by that.
Foe example, people here always complain that someone sitting on Apple's board should make their company do something beneficial for Apple.
They can't do that, because they are sitting on Apple's board, not as a representative of their company, but simply as themselves. They still have a fiduciary duty to their own company. Whatever they do must benefit their company, not Apple.
Likewise, each company in some sort of loose alliance can't do something that won't benefit their own company, even if it would help the others.
But, one division in a company can do something that will benefit the company as a whole, while losing out somewhat itself.
What this means is that Sun can't, as a separate company, lose low end sales to Apple, its competitor, in order to do something that would supposedly help them both in the longer term.
But, Sun as a division, could take over the X Serve, move it into the new server division, and discontinue some of its own competing models, if that would be better for the new company overall.
The same thing would be true of Apple and Google. Both are no doubt developing similar software. Even with an alliance, they must both do what is best for their own companies. Even if that results in duplicate work. With a merge, much duplicate work could be ended, and the best of the projects could themselves be merged, with the best of the engineers working on them.
Google could adapt its software, and search, to better take advantage of Apple's products. For example, Apple could merge the functions of Google search, with Spotlight.
Apple might also be able to take advantage of Googles hundreds of thousands of servers.
Those are just a very few areas in which the companies can't now cooperate without doing themselves some harm.