The gap between Silicon Valley giants Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues to widen, this time due to the companies’ web operations. Google has embarked on development of its own version for an internet browser engine, called Blink, and in the past it has relied on WebKit — an open source browser engine program that is free to use. Both Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari browsers have relied on WebKit-based solutions, but now Google has said that its new engine operations will “technologically liberate” Chrome from Safari completely, CNET reported.
Apple and Google were both working with the same code base with WebKit, and held a healthy, cooperative relationship for a long time. With Blink, each company will now be working independently on browser features, without the added progress on either side which bound the two companies together.
“We’re confident this will allow us to move faster and allow the rest of the WebKit community to move faster, which ultimately will allow the Web to move faster,” said Linus Upson, Google’s vice president of engineering for Chrome.
Though it cited technical reasons for branching off, Google and Apple have felt tensions rising as the two titans grow more competitive. Slowly and surely, each have been picking off cooperative products and replacing them with other variants, such as Apple’s replacement of Google Maps on its iOS devices. The split of the web engines — or “forking” — could also have an effect on the several other high-profile companies which use WebKit, such as BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). Initially, Blink and WebKit will be almost identical, but over time, the divergence will become more pronounced, CNET said.
“Over time they’ll evolve in different directions, which will make it harder to share code,” Alex Komoroske, product manager for Google’s Open Web Platform team, said. “It’ll be increasingly difficult to share a straightforward patch.”