With Apple, you never know who is going to be evil next. Microsoft usually gets the grand prize, but as of late it appears that Google may be getting the cold shoulder for its forays into the mobile word.
Apple and Google have historically been very friendly. But in recent months, the tenor of that relationship has changed. Apple rejected Google Voice for the iPhone. And now it appears that the relationship may get a bit cooler with all the talk of a Google phone.
As that relationship becomes more distant, it appears that Apple and Microsoft may be warming up a bit, which may prove fruitful for the future of the iPhone in the enterprise. It may also prove beneficial for Microsoft, too, as it is also fighting off Google's efforts to win over the enterprise with its Google Apps productivity applications.
As PCWorld points out, Microsoft may be smart to team up with Apple. The iPhone is a solid, smart phone. Microsoft could do well by developing applications for the iPhone that serve its customers. Its Exchange Server and Office products still dominate the enterprise. As it is platform agnostic, Microsoft can develop applications for the iPhone that support its customers and protects its market share.
Apple needs a good partner like Microsoft to make any significant dent in the enterprise. It does not have the enterprise infrastructure like Research in Motion does with the Blackberry Server. Without an enterprise management service, Apple will find it tough for the iPhone to make any deep play into the corporate world.
Further, Google is showing signs that its plans to dominate the Internet is dependent on having hardware to go with its enterprise services and cloud-based operating systems.
Google is reaching out to handset and netbook manufacturers. This suits Google's designs on the enterprise. Google Apps are gaining acceptance as an enterprise suite. The Android OS finally seems to be gaining some momentum. And the Chrome OS is a strong contender for the netbook market, especially as Windows Mobile 7 shows yet more signs of delays.
We expect the enterprise will serve as the place where the battles intensify between Apple and Google. Microsoft has nothing to lose in teaming with Apple to fend off Google, a common rival and current evil force du jour.