An Unprecedented Alliance: Apple Teams Up with Microsoft

by Matt Klassen on January 25, 2010

In a surprising move, Apple has recently announced its intention to use Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing, for all its mobile devices. While these long-time tech rivals have battled it out for decades over PC superiority, they have now become fast friends in the world of smart phones.

I’m sure no one needs to be reminded of the incessant and annoying Apple commercials that have flooded the airwaves in recent years demonstrating this deep divide in the witty interaction between the suave and confident Apple rep with the nerdy and nervous Windows agent. But what would lead Apple to bury the hatchet with Microsoft and adopt Bing as the iPhone’s official search engine?

As an ancient proverb says, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Apple has been surprised of late by the sudden emergence of Google as their top competitor in the smart phone market. Over the past year, Apple has cautiously watched the rapidly-rising popularity of Google’s Android OS, a Linux-based mobile operating system that many users find easier and more intuitive than Apple’s iPhone.

With the recent release of Google’s Nexus One smart phone, Apple is showing signs of concern because it now has its first legitimate competitor to the iPhone. With Apple pouring so many of their resources into developing and promoting the iPhone brand, it’s no wonder they are turning to their old enemies for help.

It remains to be seen whether or not Microsoft’s Bing search engine will make a significant dent in Google’s reported 86% share of the mobile search market. Even if Bing proves that it can outdo Google’s incredibly popular search engine, the Apple-Bing deal might not last long.

A source recently announced to BusinessWeek that Apple is simply using the deal with Microsoft to leverage itself enough time to develop a mobile search engine of its own. Apple, recognizing the intricate relationship between search engines and advertising, isn’t about to let one of its main rivals steal a valuable revenue stream.

All things considered, it seems that the battleground for ongoing tech supremacy has temporarily left the realm of the PC, allowing, for now, two old enemies to become valuable telecom allies. Who said hell wouldn’t freeze over?

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Mike January 26, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I guess in the face of losing money, even the worst of enemies can make up.

Good post.

Fiona January 26, 2010 at 7:14 pm

I’ve just heard about the Bing search engine and I’m excited. I wonder if I’m the only one who’s not super happy with Android OS. I welcome something different. Thanks for the info on this as I haven’t really read much about it anywhere else. Well done!

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