If You Can’t Beat ’Em, Join Em

Amazon is clearly dominating the hardware world. And, Microsoft and Google know it. That’s why Microsoft is developing Skype for the Amazon Echo and why Google is making it easy for Amazon’s Alexa to access your Gmail.

In the case of Google, it’s on Home devices can’t access your corporate Gmail as of today, but Amazon’s Alexa have been doing that since launch. This approach is all about eco-system competency, or as my colleague Bill Ryan likes to say about that, “can you play nice with others so you’re the company everyone wants to make a deal with.”

Today, that’s Amazon. It used to be Apple. And before that it was Microsoft. But now, even Google is doing their best to play nice with Amazon, despite their battles surrounding YouTube and Amazon’s Fire and Echo Show-but I predict that too will come to an end.

The reasons are simple. Amazon controls distribution. People shop at Amazon. Google’s attempt with Express is in flailing to failing mode and their own concepts of streaming, other than YouTubeTV, which is more of a Cable competitor than competition to Amazon Prime-which is more of a video store replacement that helped put the nails in the coffin of Blockbuster while YouTube TV fights with Hulu, Sony’s Vue to turn the cable guys into the next dumb pipe (some would say they already are) only goes to further prove that the “if you can’t beat them, join them” model is already at play.

How so? My Roku TV has YouTubeTV working fine. If I want YouTube TV on my Fire TV, I sideload the app onto my Android TV box and connect it. If I needed to I could install the Amazon Prime Video on it too. Neither company is making it impossible to integrate one another, just keeping some hurdles in the way to make it appear that they are friendly, but competitors.

Yes, Amazon and Google are fast becoming friends, and Microsoft, with their Skype for Echo app, will be too. Microsoft, beyond designing Surface PC’s is also out of the hardware game. They’ve figured out that it’s easier to simply put software on the other guys gear (and to help make Dell a player again.)

My guess is you’ll start to see both Google’s Home Voice Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa available on Dell machines, soon. Already Google’s Assistant works on Dell Chromebooks which are sold through Amazon too.

That’s why, everyone is joining Amazon. They simply can’t beat them.

Follow me on Twitter @andyabramson or read my occasional blog post at andyabramson.com

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