So, what's up? Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are taking the stage tomorrow: together. As in, at the same time. As in, yes they will interact publicly with each other. The last time the two made a joint appearance was ten years ago at MacWorld Boston. Gates dropped by with a $150 million check to invest in Apple (and save it's floundering bacon at the time).
For over 20 years now, the personal computing world has been divided in two (not evenly divided, mind you. But, divided nonetheless): Windows-based PC's versus Apple Macintosh. This is a rivalry we all know well. I've always likened it to dog and cat people. People tend to be rabidly one or the other.
The Gates-Jobs meeting tomorrow, at the D5 conference, is not expected to yield any joint announcements. And despite the hype, it's not exactly a Nixon-to-China moment either (for one thing, I'm not sure who would be Nixon and who would be China).
As usual, the technorati press is making a mountain out of a molehill (they just can't help themselves). This is less like a Simon & Garfunkel reunion and more like "A Very Brady Christmas".
Are Microsoft and Apple still fierce competitors? Of course, and will be for years to come. What's different is we no longer live in a dog and cat world. The PC world is no longer divided into two. It's fragmented into several. In fact, it's not even a PC world anymore. It's not about the desktop anymore, or the operating system, or the browser anymore. It's about the web, itself.
These titans of tech are just not as, well, titanic, as they used to be. The real titans these days are collectively the little guys: entrepreneurs, smaller businesses, the lone innovators, the end user. The web truly has become the great democratizer socially and in the business world, making the old superpowers of silicon a little less relevant.
There is one thing that could make tomorrow more exciting at the Gates-Jobs appearance: a surprise walk-on by one of the other keynoters: Google CEO Eric Schmidt, also on the conference agenda. If that were to happen, Gates and Jobs would likely be speaking more from common ground than different.
Google Calendar - Now Optimized for Mobile Users
With mobile devices outselling PC's four to one these days, it stands to reason that more people than ever are wanting their core web-based applications to be mobile web-based applications. Enter Google calendar, now optimized for the handset crowd. Makes sense!