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Google CEO will talk to Apple over Chrome OS conflict

updated 08:30 am EDT, Fri July 10, 2009

Google CEO Talks to Apple

Google chief Eric Schmidt last evening said he would talk to Apple to determine whether or not he should recuse himself from the Mac maker's board of directors following the unveiling of Chrome OS. The executive told those at Allen & Co's technology conference that there is currently "no issue" with his remaining on the board but that he will ask Apple if it sees a conflict of interest to have another desktop operating system developer involved in its decisions. Apple itself hasn't commented on any possible change in relationship.

Schmidt already has to step out of director meetings when the iPhone is a subject due to Google's Android platform, which competes directly with Apple's mobile platforms. The connection among others has prompted an FTC investigation into possible anti-competitive behavior. Google's CEO readily admits that his company and Apple are mutually involved in developing their respective Chrome and Safari web browsers, both of which use the open WebKit rendering engine but different JavaScript code and interfaces.

"There's a very large collaboration with respect to Chrome and Safari," he said.

He also acknowledged that he along with other board members had been kept "extremely well-informed" during Apple chief Steve Jobs' just-ended medical leave, though he declined to provide further details.

Moving to Chrome OS itself, Schmidt added that he believes there may be announcements from partners building hardware for the platform later this year. Acer, HP and Lenovo have so far said they plan to have PCs, primarily netbooks, shipping with Chrome OS in the second half of 2010. Chrome OS is primarily intended for these low-end PCs and won't directly compete against Apple's current high-end computer lineup, but Google has also expressed a belief that desktops and other full-size systems may use its Linux-based OS as well.

By Electronista Staff


  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    just step down

    Schmidt already has to step out of director meetings when the iPhone is a subject due to Google's Android platform, which competes directly with Apple's mobile platforms

    So he has to leave the room when they talk phones. And he'll now have to leave the room when talk goes about OS X.

    What exactly will he be in the room for? Lunch decisions? Bonus distribution?

  1. bearcatrp

    Senior User

    Joined: Dec 2005


    Time for...

    this guy to go. There is no doubt there is a conflict of interest here and hope he leaves. Never understood why he got on board in the 1st place.

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999



    Until Google actually finds partners and Chrome SHIPS on actual computers, it's vaporware.

    When it's real, then we can talk.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: Vaporware

    Um, why? So he can get more inside information from Apple about various products for use over at Google?

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004



    yes there is a conflict of interest.

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