Open Source

Frenemies: The 12 most complicated relationships in tech

The technology world is full of strange bedfellows - companies that have tenuous partnerships based on common goals while also competing heatedly against other for the hearts (and dollars) of users in certain markets. See a list of the top 12 "frenemies" in tech.

The technology world is full of strange bedfellows, companies that have tenuous partnerships based on common goals while also competing heatedly against other for the hearts (and dollars) of users in certain markets. On his blog Technologizer, Harry McCracken has a post called The Best of Frenemies: 12 Technology Love Stories in which he names his top 12 frenemies:

  1. Apple and Microsoft
  2. Consumers and Hollywood
  3. Microsoft and Open Source
  4. Microsoft and Windows developers
  5. Sumner Redstone and YouTube
  6. Microsoft and Sun
  7. Google and Yahoo
  8. Apple and Adobe
  9. IDG and Ziff-Davis
  10. Corel and Microsoft
  11. Apple and Google
  12. IBM and Microsoft

The list is a little Microsoft-heavy (Microsoft is in five of the pairings on the list) but it's fun reading nonetheless. Check out the full post.

Here are a couple I would add:

  • Intel and VMware: VMware is essentially reducing the need for hardware by optimizing servers with virtualization. Intel makes its money off people buying more hardware.
  • OLPC and Linux: The XO laptop for OLPC was originally a totally open source solution. However, sales lagged and so OLPC went to Microsoft and got an agreement to do an alternate XO with a version of Windows XP. Of course, Linux on netbooks from the major computer manufacturers such as Dell and HP is now eating into the XO's mojo.

About Jason Hiner

Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.

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