But a Digg comment-er laid out a very cogent argument this morning (borrowing heavily from a Seth Weintraub article) for what we might see in an Apple/Google announcement at Monday's WWDC, and why.
Pure Speculation: .Mac to integrate Google Apps into fold - maybe even iWork?
OK, I admit this: I am basing this on some facts and some speculation but if you can stay with me here, this might all make some sense:
1. In a recent stockholder meeting, Steve Jobs admitted that .Mac has hasn’t achieved its full potential, but said the company was working on it.
2. Eric Schmidt, Apple Board Member and Google CEO, said that there are going to be a lot of Apple-Google partnerships because they have "common competitors". Common competitors==Microsoft. Microsoft's bread and butter==Office. We've already seen a flurry of Google Applications for Macintosh, the GMaps and Gmail on the iPhone, but why not Google Docs and Spreadsheets integrated into .Mac? Seems like a perfect fit.
3. Using iChat as a guide, we know that another network (AOL) allowed .Mac users their own namespace email@example.com as AIM names. Google could do the same thing in Apps. Perhaps the whole mac.com domain would be ported to Google Apps.
4. Google has cheap, fast, plentiful cloud space. They also have the ability and desire to search it and advertise on it (monetize it).
Gmail has won the battle against .Mac Mail for most Macintosh users. Calendar/IM/Addressbook integration? Diskspace (100mb vs. 3GB and counting)? Spam detection? Google wins most of these battles hands down.
Google is SPENDING $5/domain for Apps users through its Adsense subsidiary. They WANT more non-paying users. Apple would be happy to offload the .Mac users on Google. Apple’s $100/year customers could get a premium version of Apps with desktop backups and larger file space and a lot of the benefits they currently enjoy. Apple isn’t a cloud vendor, it is a Hardware/Software company. They want to stick to what they do best.
5. We know that iChat in Leopard has a special account preference for GTalk accounts. Not that you currently can't use ANY Jabber (Gtalk is based on Jabber) server in iChat. It is just interesting that they’ve split off the GTalk from the rest of the Jabber servers.
6. It has been 18 months (forever in software development at Apple) since iWork was last updated. That is lots of time to do some pretty fun things. I would love to see Apple enter the Blog editing game here - where MarsEdit, Ecto, Journaler are sweeping up. This would also be a serious game changer for the Pages.app/MS Word rivalry on the Mac Platform. And for google’s part? What better way to get into blog editing than use Google’s Writley technology.
7. Google needs a Keynote type of presentation tool, Apple needs a spreadsheet tool to round out their Office competition. They both have what the other needs.
8. Throw the Sun OpenOffice.org into the mix. The first Native Alpha release of this software was released this week. Both Apple and Google have been playing very nice with Sun lately.
9. iWork. This might just be the most important piece of the puzzle. There are so many things that can happen here, I am going to break it down into another subset.
* iWork could be a caching front end for Google Docs and Spreadsheets. Use it when you are on an airplane, at grandma's house with no Internet, in the subway, wherever Internet is spotty. As long as we are on the subject, why not use it all of the time you are on your own computer? The Web application interface is nice, but not Native Application Pages.app/Keynote nice.
* While we are talking about applications, what is stopping Apple from porting iWork and iLife applications to Windows? Quicktime and iTunes already enjoy a large following in the Windows camp. A few more ice cubes in hell perhaps?
* OR, and I realize we are flopping off of the deep end here, what if Apple sells a Leopard virtual machine for Windows which functions like Parallels Coherence mode (except Mac operating in Windows, not Windows operating in Mac). Run Leopard anywhere! You could even boot from a Google HOSTED OS. Not a full version, mind you, but a stripped down, embedded version of the Mac OS like they are throwing into AppleTV and the iPhone. One of the great things about virtualization is the elimination of the need for gigabytes of drivers and such. Install small Google/Apple app on your Windows desktop. As a comparison, Parallels is around 70 megs - bout the same size as iTunes/Quicktime. Your OS and files sit in the cloud. Can be done, why not? OK, I realize not everyone has Fiber in their house…yet.
Maybe in a few years? We'll see. But as for WWDC? I think there is every chance that .Mac will integrate with Google Apps. Why not? It makes sense for all parties and would finally give Microsoft a run for its money. Plus the enemy of your enemy is your friend.
PS - Perhaps Digg member rued is Seth Weintraub. Rued lists his homepage as The Paris Times, and Seth Weingtraub is a contributor to the Paris Times.
The world may never know. Cue Charms Tootsie Roll Pop ad.
UPDATE 1 - Shazam, the question is answered in the first comment.
UPDATE 2 - It appears that this article got picked up by the Wall Street Journal online. Too bad I don't have a subscription, otherwise I'd read it. In any event, welcome all of you, drop me a line if you'd like. Glad to have you. Wipe your feet before you come in, and whatever you do, don't annoy the tiger.