Apple’s lawsuit sent a message to Google; to Steve Jobs, Android stirred unpleasant memories of Microsoft’s Windows

“Last week Apple made headlines twice. On Monday it broke the world record for shareholder value. Apple’s $623.5 billion market cap beat Microsoft’s record from tech’s notorious bubble era,” Rich Karlgaard, the publisher of Forbes, writes for The Wall Street Journal. “Then on Friday, Apple won a $1.05 billion patent-infringement judgment against Samsung, the Korean electronics giant and the maker of the Galaxy line of smartphones that stirred Apple’s ire.”

“Why did Apple sue Samsung, the Galaxy hardware manufacturer, and not Google, maker of the phone’s Android software?” Karlgaard writes. “Apple sees Google as its chief competitor — this is no secret. Steve Jobs so hated Google’s Android that, even as he struggled with cancer, he told biographer Walter Isaacson: ‘Google… ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off. I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product… I’m willing to go thermonuclear on this.'”

Karlgaard writes, “It is revealing that Jobs spent precious energy in such an outburst. As a longtime Silicon Valley observer, I believe the real story is not what it seems. The source of Jobsian rage was not his Google loathing, per se. It was fear that Apple might be ‘Microsofted’ again… He feared that Google was going to pull a Microsoft and once again reduce Apple’s products to a pricey niche. To Jobs, Android looked like the new Windows.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In the full article, Karlgaard reaches the wrong conclusion [Apple “copied” Xerox PARC, so it was okay for Microsoft to knockoff the Mac and okay for Samsung to do the same with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad] because he does not seem to understand the real history of personal computing, specifically the Apple – Xerox PARC deal and the poorly-written contract signed by an unprepared sugar water salesbozo that led to Microsoft knocking off the Mac ad infinitum.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Macaddicted” for the heads up.]


  1. While I see similarities, there are just too many differences.

    Microsoft, soulless as they were (are), did sell the operating system. The business model was, “We’ll give you this code to run on your computer, and you give us money.”

    With Google, it’s just not the same. It’s, “We’ll give you this code to run on your computer because it gives us the keys to everyone’s data and tendencies so we can market it to advertisers.”

    Had that been Microsoft’s business model, I don’t think it would have won or won as big. Nothing is free.

    1. Google’s behavior is far more pernicious than Microsoft’s.

      Google willfully threatens personal privacy, a basic human right, by engaging in covert forms of what is scarcely less than identity theft.

      Some shrug off Google’s (alleged) theft of intellectual property, and may be similarly inclined to give Google a pass on its data gathering shenanigans.

      I’m sure that information brokers think of themselves as businessmen shrewdly deploying consumer analytics to generate lucrative revenue streams.

      I think of them as shadowy, amoral sociopaths—worse than stalkers, because they will sell you to anyone for the right price—including the stalkers.

    2. The difference is not as great as you claim. Microsoft software gave EVERYBODY the keys to everyone’s data because it was so insecure, i.e., MS did it “unwillingly” and not for profit, and never spent the effort to close the security holes in the sieve its software turned out to be.

  2. I can imagine Steve feared a repeat of Windows. Google and MS operate very differently in terms of generating revenue but the core piece of how they do business in operating systems is that they offer an OS for multiple hardware platforms and to multiple manufacturers.

    The part of the Macintosh vs. Windows story that I have always found interesting is that a lot of people seem to fixate on the Mac and Windows without realizing or acknowledging that while Microsoft took ideas from the Mac, there was an entire industry that was moving in the direction of GUIs after Xerox invented the thing. I’m amazed at Windows even succeeded considering what a mess it was. I attribute Windows success to others’ failures more than anything MS did ‘right’

    The idea that Windows was the single handed reason the Mac failed to dominate is crazy. Steve hyper focused on Windows because he felt Bill Gates ripped him off and they were business partners and friends (in my opinion).

    Apple had way more competition than just MS when they shipped the Mac. A TON of GUI development was happening in the 1970s and into the 1980s.

    Blit by AT&T in 1982 – First real GUI over UNIX with layered windows and high res graphics

    GSX/GEM – 1985 – A GUI built by Xerox Parc Alumni Jay Lorenzen that ended up on the Atari ST. The first release of GEM was a heavy knockoff of the Lisa OS and Apple sued Digital over the software.

    AmigaOS 1985 – The Amiga itself was a beautifully engineered piece of hardware and the OS was 32-bit pre-emptive multitasking long before MS or Apple.

    X (X-Windows) – MIT 1984 – still used to this day

    NeWS – Sun Microsystems mid 80s

    There are more I can’t even remember.

    1. My firm was bought by IBM in the late 1980s and at the time, PCs were gaining a foothold in business. We were issued a PC running IBM’s OS/2, which was a brilliant GUI, way ahead of DOS and Windows pre 3.0, even almost as good as the Mac (which I used at home).

  3. Steve is legitimately pissed at Android because it is a blatant theft and betrayal by Google. The transition from a physical body to an astral one does not erase legitimate desire to right a wrong. Treachery is the worst sin, and Google is heinously guilty.

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