Space Ramblings

Apple’s Fear of Google

Anyone wondering whether Apple is getting worried about Google need only look at the Safari 4 Beta, which is basically Google Chrome. It’s not exactly an improvement, as testified to by the number of instructions for using terminal.app to reverse things back to the old Safari look. While Safari’s press from Apple is deliberately not talking about Google Chrome, emphasizing its speed superiority over Firefox 3 and Internet Explorer, but that’s not just because Google Chrome turns out to be faster than Apple Safari. Apple’s attempt to thrust Safari into a general market is part of Apple’s attempt at general relevance. Maintaining Safari as a legitimate mainstream browser required going up against the former fan favorite but now flabby Firefox, but Google entering the browser wars itself was a wild card. Apple is at a crossroads now and so is Google. But Google has a much clearer version of its computing future than Apple does. As the Mac continues to draw closer to the PC, Apple has to walk a fine line between competition and acquisition. Meanwhile Apple’s brand looks good on the portable side of the market, but still remains a no go on the computer end. So Apple has every reason to fear Google, and imitation is the sincerest form of tech panic.

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