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Google CEO Page laments relations with Apple, Amazon

updated 12:48 pm EST, Tue December 11, 2012

Says Google, public would benefit from more cooperation

It "would be nice" if Google could get along better with rival companies like Apple and Amazon, says Google CEO Larry Page in a new Fortune interview. He calls it a "shame" that the three companies are competing using entirely different business models: Apple relying on hardware, Google on advertising for free services, and Amazon on low-margin, high-volume web store sales. "All the big technology companies are big because they did something great," he remarks. "I'd like to see more cooperation on the user side. The Internet was made in universities and it was designed to integrate. And as we've commercialized it, we've added more of an island-like approach to it, which I think is somewhat of a shame for users."

If Google could cooperate better with its rivals, Page suggests that users would "suffer" somewhat less. "We try pretty hard to make our products available as widely as we can. That's our philosophy," he comments. "I think sometimes we're allowed to do that. Sometimes we're not."

On the subject of Apple specifically, Page says that Google has a "big search relationship" with the company, and that the two parties do talk. He adds that he was friendly with former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, but only "at times." Page is sticking by his perspective that Jobs' anger against Android was mostly for show and meant to rally Apple workers and supporters. "That's something I try not to do," he says. "I don't try to rally my company in that way because I think that if you're looking at somebody else, you're looking at what they do now, and that's not how again you stay two or three steps ahead."

In recent months rumors have grown that Apple and Google are trying to resolve patent disputes that have seen Apple level lawsuits against Android device makers. While Apple has settled with HTC, it is still locked in confrontations with companies like Samsung.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. abnyc

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-28-00

    Trying to make the internet incompatible with itself... This is exactly what microsoft was trying to do in the 90's and did not succeed.

  1. Infinitewill

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-28-11

    Here's an idea, if you want companies to stop fighting then stop stealing their IP.

  1. NeXTLoop

    Senior User

    Joined: 08-20-02

    Google had better learn from Microsoft if it doesn't want everyone ganging up against it. In plain English: Don't piss in your own pool.

    When you have privileged access to another company's IP, you can't go ripping it off. I even find the before-iPhone shots of Android amusing, especially given Page's comments about not looking at what another company is doing. The pre-iPhone Android was just a ripoff of the Blackberry. Either way, it shows Google had no inspiration of their own. They INTENDED to copy/steal another company's ideas...whichever company was currently doing the best.

  1. mytdave

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-16-00

    Nice attempt to spin that. Steve was genuinely pissed off because of Google's rip-off of iOS (similar to the MS ripp-off of MacOS ~30 years ago). People who aren't clueless or don't have their heads stuck in the sand know what you did, regardless of how you or anyone tries to spin it.

  1. mojkarma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-13-11

    Originally Posted by NeXTLoopView Post


    When you have privileged access to another company's IP, you can't go ripping it off.



    Just to make it clear,
    do you mean Google (ripping of from Apple)
    or Apple (ripping of from Xerox a few decades ago)?

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 01-03-08

    Originally Posted by mojkarmaView Post


    Just to make it clear,
    do you mean Google (ripping of from Apple)
    or Apple (ripping of from Xerox a few decades ago)?



    Apple being invited by Xerox to fully view PARC in exchange for Apple shares is implicit usage. Google getting their ideas from their Chairman, whose an Apple board member bound to confidentiality, is ripping off...just to be clear.

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Ah, thanks for bringing up this old canard again. Gives me a chance to educate the ignorant.

    Apple didn't "rip off" Xerox AT ALL. Period, full stop, end of story. They LICENSED the technology they used and they hired away the best people, who were happy to leave because nobody at Xerox appreciated what was going on at PARC.

    Ask any PARC staffer from the time, like I have. Then you'll have the facts instead of myth.

    So no, Google ripping off Apple to make Pretend-iOS-droid is NOT the same thing as Apple and Xerox PARC.

  1. mojkarma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-13-11

    I can't find any information that Apple pays license fees to Xerox. And whether they hired the best people from Xerox is absolutely irrelevant for the case. Please, teach the ignorant and give me some links. But here you have another example: what about the clock in ios6? Is it accidentally the same as from the switzerland train company? Why didn't Apple ask whether the design is copyrighted or not in the first place? Stolen IP? I'd say yes.
    My point is, there is a lot of copying ideas going on on both sides. Apple didn't invent the mouse and neither the graphical user interface. Without seeing what xerox was working on, I doubt they would come with the Macintosh as we know it.

  1. fractaledge

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-07-10

    Originally Posted by mojkarmaView Post

    I can't find any information that Apple pays license fees to Xerox.



    Tried wikipedia?

    "In return for the right to buy US$1,000,000 of pre-IPO stock, Xerox granted Apple Computer three days access to the PARC facilities. After visiting PARC, they came away with new ideas that would complete the foundation for Apple Computer's first GUI computer, the Apple Lisa."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Apple_Inc.

  1. fractaledge

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-07-10

    Originally Posted by mojkarmaView Post

    what about the clock in ios6? Is it accidentally the same as from the switzerland train company? Why didn't Apple ask whether the design is copyrighted or not in the first place? Stolen IP? I'd say yes.



    It would have been stolen IP if Apple did not pay as soon as the patent was asserted against them. But they did.

    Unlike Google and Co, who would rather go into protracted court proceedings and FRAND patent abuse so that they can turn a profit using the stolen IP while not paying for it. After all, Google and Co have enough money to keep it going for a decade or more. Now, that's stealing!

    Apple could have done a Google on swiss rail and stretched it out in court while turning a profit, but they do not behave like Google. They simply paid for the IP. That's good corporate behaviour for you.

  1. besson3c

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 03-03-01

    Originally Posted by InfinitewillView Post


    Here's an idea, if you want companies to stop fighting then stop stealing their IP.


    What's the difference between stealing intellectual property and creating new products inspired by other products?

  1. fractaledge

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-07-10

    Originally Posted by besson3cView Post


    What's the difference between stealing intellectual property and creating new products inspired by other products?



    Here is my take. The line is really blurry, but I suspect it is something like the difference between derivative work and plagiarism in academia.

    Simply regurgitating other people's ideas is plagiarism, using other people's work to derive something new is derivative work. Of course, if other people's work is not cited, it's still plagiarism.

    In industry, licensing other people's IP is similar to citing original authors in academia.

    Of course, the inspired product must be significantly different from the one(s) that inspired it to not be considered a rip off. It is very hard to define this 'significantly different' bit. However, using a single product as 'inspiration' is likely to produce a rip off. Apple's iOS 6 clock is a good example of that. Using multiple sources of inspiration in combination with original work is likely to produce something original. Apple's iPhone is an excellent example of that.

  1. besson3c

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 03-03-01

    Originally Posted by fractaledgeView Post



    Here is my take. The line is really blurry, but I suspect it is something like the difference between derivative work and plagiarism in academia.
    Simply regurgitating other people's ideas is plagiarism, using other people's work to derive something new is derivative work. Of course, if other people's work is not cited, it's still plagiarism.
    In industry, licensing other people's IP is similar to citing original authors in academia.
    Of course, the inspired product must be significantly different from the one(s) that inspired it to not be considered a rip off. It is very hard to define this 'significantly different' bit. However, using a single product as 'inspiration' is likely to produce a rip off. Apple's iOS 6 clock is a good example of that. Using multiple sources of inspiration in combination with original work is likely to produce something original. Apple's iPhone is an excellent example of that.



    I think this makes sense.

    Given this definition, I'd say that Google hasn't plagiarized anything of Apple's work. Android is based on a unique operating system, has unique design goals, is open source and therefore is surrounded by a different business model (and of course the revenue stream is different too, as mentioned above), etc. I can't think of any other Google product right now you could even make a claim to having copied Apple.

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