The rumors about Google and Apple are getting more serious. Most recently the fuel has come from a New York Magazine article:
Some of his friends say these close calls have mellowed him. “I see him around the neighborhood,” says one. “He looks different than he did a few years ago. I think he may want to do something else.” Say what? “I think that Google is going to buy Apple,” this person says. “It would be a victory for Apple; they’d get major-league partners, money, and engineers. And it would be a victory for Steve—a huge win that lets him leave the stage.”
Is this a rumor? Yes. But this is the type of rumor you should pay attention to.
Add to this the fact that a close friend of mine is a system administrator who works on Macs and gets regularly taken out by her local Apple representative. Well, a few months back this person pretty much said exactly the same thing — that Jobs was stepping down, and that it would be Google stepping in. He didn’t give details (he probably didn’t have any anyway), but that part was clear — Google in charge of Apple.
Of course, commentary from some Apple representative doesn’t make a rumor true, but there’s more. The most compelling thing about the story is the fact that it makes perfect sense.
- There have been numerous hints that Jobs may be stepping down soon — not the least of which being his numerous run-ins with cancer.
- Eric Schmidt joins Jobs on stage at MacWorld to discuss them working together extensively.
- Eric Schmidt recently joined the Apple board of directors.
- They are both Microsoft arch-enemies.
- Jobs is very paternal when it comes to his baby (Apple). It makes sense that he’d encourage the board to pick someone like Google to take over because he doesn’t trust anyone else to follow his vision.
So when you combine the recent comments made with the fact that there’s been speculation about a merger since before MacWorld, and an actual Apple rep clearly saying this was privately being discussed…uh, yeah — it’s at least worth considering as a possibility.
I can’t possibly imagine the pain in Microsoft’s collective face if this were to actually take place. It’ll be a sad day in Redmond, that’s for sure.: