Microsoft vs. Apple vs. Google vs. Facebook … does that even make sense??? I mean, Apple and Microsoft make operating systems for computers right? Google is a search engine. And Facebook is a social networking site. So how are they competing? Well those things may have been what these COMPANIES were mainly known for but I think that is all about to change.
As of right now the main battle going on between Apple and Google is the mobile computing duopoly they have on smartphones and their operating systems. Apple has done well to stay ahead of the curve and invent new consumer electronics such as the Macbook, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. The iPhone was really the first widely accepted and used smartphone on the scene. But then Google came out with its own operating system for mobile devices called Android OS to compete with iOS for the iPhone. It’s really a battle between a closed, limited system (Apple) versus an open, choice based system (Google).
And now enters the heavyweight into the smartphone fight. Microsoft’s Windows Phone has been released and is starting to get play from new phone users that have a history using Microsoft software. Microsoft has long been known as the leader in operating systems with Windows being a steady winner. Back in the late 80’s and 90’s Apple tried to use their own software with their own hardware against IBM and Microsoft and other companies that used a more open form of computing.
Nowadays it’s a fight for a chunk of the social media and mobile computing market. The Nielsen Company released data on who is winning the U.S. smartphone battle. The following graphic illustrates that it depends if you look by operating system Android holds a slight lead but it shows Apple and Blackberry as companies make their own devices so are they winning?
Enter Mark Zuckerberg and his fresh company, Facebook. Android phones have started to incorporate more seamless apps and experiences with Facebook on their phones but Google and Facebook are competing. So we may not be far off from a Facebook operating system. Either that or a merger of sorts between Apple and Facebook are possibilities. John Dvorak, a writer for Wall Street Journal, writes:
Let’s assume that Facebook does not want to develop a new phone OS from scratch. This leaves open the possibility that Apple Inc. could do a specially branded iPhone that is Facebook-centric. It could be a blue model, for example, and have the Facebook brand burned into the body. This is not a stretch for Apple, since it has done special versions of the iPod in the past.
This all leads to some very interesting situations in the mobile computing market and beyond. The post-PC era is dawning on us and these four tech giants are competing for the right to change the way we use technology to communicate. Beyond smartphones and tablets the options are limitless for these digital leaders.
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