(415) 963-4362
Why work for IT?
We make IT work for you!
Monday, June 14, 2010
Lately I have been bothered by what is going on in the so-well-covered rivalry between our beloved software giants: Microsoft, Google and Apple. Recently, the paper value of Apple even surpassed Microsoft’s for the first time in more than 20 years, and I was thinking maybe it is a sign of a serious change in balance of power within this market.

You never know, but it doesn’t look like we are going to see some critical shift in this balance.

In order to understand future trends, we usually rely on careful analysis of the past and the present. We have known Microsoft and Apple for so many years that Ballmer and Jobs became household names. My personal opinion is that we can’t even compare these two companies - that’s how different they are. I would consider today’s Apple as mainly a consumer electronics company. The company’s management style is very centralistic and its vision is built solely around Jobs’ business ideology. Once Steve decided that we had to abandon keyboards and switch to touch screen, Apple developed a product which was kept in secrecy and unveiled with much hype. Jobs develops what he thinks the future should be and then he convinces us with much success to use Apple’s products.

On the other hand, Microsoft’s approach has always been much different. We always knew that a new operating system was always in development. We also knew the product’s code name and had advanced notice of Beta releases, which were almost never on time. Microsoft started the development not from a single person’s dream, but from careful analysis of the potential user’s needs. Microsoft loved to release unfinished products to learn even more from the early adaptors and fix the major problems before releasing them to the masses. Sometimes this approach worked; sometimes you just can’t satisfy all. One big difference between Apple and Microsoft is the fact that Microsoft still continues to be mostly a software company, enjoying higher profit margins than a mostly hardware-oriented company.

Google follows the same path as Microsoft. It tries to play with hardware here and there, and I believe it will do it even more in the future, but like Microsoft, Google will remain mostly software developers. Another important similarity between Microsoft and Google is their run-after business users and developing platforms for corporations. Apple mainly ignores this market, even though most of its products are used heavily for business and not just pleasure or entertainment.

The conclusion of this short review is that each company will continue following its own path, and from time to time we’ll see interesting intersections of these paths which will be considered by our hype-loving press as the modern day Clash of the Titans.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]