In the world of geeks, it would be akin to Yoda and Darth Vader joining forces.

Now there is this rumour going around that Microsoft and Apple are in talks over the possibility that Apple will use Microsoft’s rival product to Google, Bing, as the default search engine for the iPhone.

According to Bloomberg “A deal between Apple and Microsoft would likely mean iPhone owners would automatically get Microsoft’s Bing as the main search engine, possibly requiring them to actively change the phone’s settings if they want to search using Google.”

Why would Apple jump ship? Well, one possibility is that Microsoft is simply offering a good deal. Maybe it is offering a better share of resulting advertising revenue then Google.

But in truth there is more to this rumoured deal than simple revenue share.

Google and Apple are now big rivals. Google has its Android operating system for mobile phones. Perhaps Android phones are the first serious rival to the iPhone.

Not so long ago, Google CEO Eric Schmidt was on the Apple board, but no more. He stepped down recently over increasing conflict of interest.

Google poses a massive threat to both Microsoft and Apple. It also poses a threat to the likes of Rupert Murdoch and other media companies.

The ethos of Google is ‘free..’

It faces hugely powerful opposition. Google now provides free word processors and spread sheets. At the moment its products have short-comings but they are getting better. Microsoft must hate that.

Microsoft and Apple are traditionally massive rivals. Fans of Apple have this tendency to see Microsoft as a kind of evil empire.  But both companies rely on consumers paying for their products.

As for media companies; now the New York Times has joined the list of those wanting to charge for its content.

Google faces formidable opposition.

Equally, Google has two formidable assets. Firstly, its business model is based on giving things away for free. Secondly, Google has enlisted the support of a giant army of programmers, the Linux and Wikipedia brigade.

The battle between Google and the rest may be likened to a battle between David and Goliath. On one side you have Google, and on the other side you have Microsoft, Apple News Corp and the rest.  But take a second look, and examine Google’s business model, and all of a sudden it is not clear, which side is Goliath and which side David.

© Investment & Business News 2013