Google Sets Its Sights on Apple

It's been a busy week for Google with the announcement of a number of new initiatives. We've covered them here on MacRumors because it's clear that Google has its sights set squarely on Apple. If there was any doubt about the growing animosity between the two companies, there is none now. Google spent a lot of its on-stage time during the conference making direct swipes at Apple, even going so far as comparing the company to Big Brother from 1984. Google's new product announcements pit it directly against Apple in many key areas:

Apple TV <-> Google TV
iTunes <-> Wireless Android Music Syncing
iAds <-> Google Ads / Admob
h.264 <-> WebM/VP8
iPhone OS <-> Android OS

Apple CEO Steve Jobs seemed to know this was coming and made his own jabs against Google at Apple's town hall meeting in January.

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 dont be evil mantra: "It's bullshit." Audience roars.

Google's mantra now seems to be "openness" in a refrain that might have been lifted from Microsoft's Steve Ballmer.

"I agree that no single company can create all the hardware and software. Openness is central because it's the foundation of choice." - Steve Ballmer

Microsoft has always been about creating the platform and distributing it to as many customers as possible through their hardware partners. Microsoft, of course, made money through the sale of each software license. Google is eyeing the same basic plan but their plan revolves around monetizing ads on the platform. Beyond internet search, Google hopes to infiltrate mobile phones and television as well.

Apple's role, however, remains the same as always -- as a staunch proponent of vertical integration and a tightly controlled user experience. How tightly they control that experience, however, has been a point of contention amongst users and developers. Apple lost the previous round when it was against Microsoft, but Apple has also never had such a strong lead before.

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