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New Appointments at Google, Apple, Show Depth of Enmity Between the Two

Tim Bray, legendary software developer and programmer, is off to Google. He announced his decision this morning, three weeks on from his resignation from Sun Microsystems, which came with a searing critique of Apple. Meanwhile, a key player on the Mountain View campus, RJ Pittman, worked his final day last week and is off to Cupertino.

Tim Bray

Tim Bray, legendary software developer and programmer, is off to Google. He announced his decision this morning, three weeks on from his resignation from Sun Microsystems, which came with a searing critique of Apple. Meanwhile, a key player on the Mountain View campus, RJ Pittman, worked his final day last week and is off to Cupertino. Confused? So are we–but mostly over how Apple and Google, former BFFs, have fallen out.

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Bray, who was developer of Web Technologies at Sun, covered the reasons for his move on his blog. It was, he said, mainly about Android. The Google OS was open-source, developer friendly, and mobile Internet is, as he sees it, the future. Google was, he said “too big to be purely good or in fact purely anything,” but he was down with the company philosophy.

At the end of his list of reasons to move was a five-word sentence, “I’ll enjoy competing with Apple.” Bray elucidated his reasons in the next paragraph: “The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger. I hate it.”

RJ Pittman

One person who’s not au fait with Bray’s attitude is RJ Pittman. As of Friday he was Product Manager at Google. His new place of work will be Apple, although there’s no word on what exactly he will be doing. Moving on after three years at Google was hard, he acknowledged in an email. “I learned so much about the world, our users, and most of all… me. I left with a very heavy heart yesterday.” The no-poaching agreement between the two companies is, one assumes, over.

Steve Jobs, according to a searing feature in The New York Times, is convinced that Google is trying to wipe out the iPhone–hence the lawsuit. Although directed at HTC, make no mistake that Jobs’ real target is Google. A decade on from the two companies hook up, in an attempt to loosen Microsoft’s stranglehold on personal computing, the cracks are apparent as both firms start to step on each others’ toes in the hardware, software and mobile advertising arenas.

[Via ongoing by Tim Bray and TechCrunch and The New York Times]

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About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S

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