In a shock announcement Apple has bought a controlling share in the Internet giant Google.
Apple has cited its reason behind the purchase ‘To expand from the digital desktop to a centric focused digital lifestyle’.
Also in its announcement, were plans ‘within a reasonable timescale’ to phase out Google Checkout with all services being transferred to its ‘ITunes Store’. There is some speculation that the Store will now face some re positioning due to Apples new focus.
Where does this leave web users and competing companies like Microsoft.
Safari, Apples flagship web browser is due for a major upgrade in the Q3 this year, with the introduction of its I-Game and I-See Safari Web based plug-ins. Both these Safari only plug-ins will integrate game and music content direct into the safari browser for a totally seamless entertainment experience.
People not using Safari will not have access to this killer functionality, with Internet Explorers market share predicted to drop below 50% by Q4 2010.
In a separate move Apple has been in talk with Nintendo as an online distribution agent, with exclusive Wii and DS titles being available for download in Q3 2010.
There has been much speculation about a joint venture for some time now and these talks now seem to be baring fruit with interoperability in the latest plans for Nintendo and Apple related hardware.
With ITunes – Nintendo online distribution deal in the bag it have been suggested that the new generation of apples hardware range will also have the ability to play Nintendo game content.
The benefits for Nintendo are now clear, with its aim of domination with Apples help, the US and EU markets with its brand of next gen gaming.
It is also rumoured if uptake for the technology is as predicted, that Q1 2011 will see Apples ‘blacklisting’ of non Apple browsers and hardware from Google search results. In a statement Apple stated that it would never blacklist non apple hardware and browsers from Google results, but believed Safari and websites engineered to take advantage of Safaris innovative features provide web users the best experience on the web and therefore would probably list ‘apple verified’ site as a priority in search results.
Apple has explained ‘Apple Verified’ is a new scheme where websites are vetted for content and those approved have the right to show the official mark on their content. Although Beta trials are underway and are free to join, it is expected Apple will want Webmasters to contribute to take advantage of the new service.
2010 could finally be Apples year with total integration of the mobile, gaming and internet market. And Microsoft shares dropped 10% upon the market hearing the news this morning.
And the winner is
The above article is fiction and has been written to show what could happen.
For over a decade there has been the promise of an integrated digital life, and although services had take us part of the journey there is still quite a way to go.
The above article demonstrated what could happen if a player like Apple decided to consolidate their position as a total digital provider.
If it did happen the benefits would be tremendous, but would we ever want this much perceived power in the hands of just one company?
Or is it the case we will never have a totally integrated digital lifestyle.
The only thing we can be sure of is that services will grow and consolidate over time, new services will be created to take care of a new niches and the circle will continue.
Technology will always be that Forth Bridge!!