3 August 2010

Corporate Alliances

A successful corporate alliance inevitably results in a competitive split. This was first demonstrated to me back in the days of the Apple/Microsoft allience vs IBM. Once perception had changed and people realised that innovative startups could take on corporate giants, Gates then realised that he had to get the upper hand in silicon valley. Apple was backstabbed by Microsoft and the alliance was off in favour of competitive innovation ultimately benefiting us as the consumers.

Many years down the line Apple had allied with Google since Microsoft was the new giant in town and Apple had a vendetta to fulfill. Apple's iPhone appeared and quickly took center stage since Microsoft overlooked the need for mobility. Once the smartphone market was mature Apple once again got the short end of the alliance stick when Google's Android became a major competitor to the iPhone and Eric Schmidt was forced to leave Apple's board. At this point Apple is probably hanging onto it's intellectual property with all it's might, unfortunately for them this comes at a time when competition is demanding openness.

The Linux community and open source community as a whole were once unified against the proprietary businesses that dominated the technology sector. With the corporate backing of Google, Intel, Nokia, IBM, Dell (i could go on) open source is starting to win the battle and the bonds that held the Linux community together are beginning to break. With TomTom vs GarminAndroid vs Meego, Ubuntu Netbook vs Chrome OS vs Jolicloud, the mutual respect is dissipating and the mobile sector is up for dominance. It's Linux vs Linux at this point and the proprietary fat cats can't live off their fat forever, they need to innovate.