We have seen these companies and their platforms battle for dominance for years. But to look at the future relationships of these companies we should look into their past.
Back to the future
Back in the 80’s and 90’s, Apple and Microsoft were those cousins you only really see at holidays or family events, they didnt really get on but they still talked to each other and even shared ideas. Google was still a glint in Larry page’s eye back then.
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates always had a love/hate relationship which soured even more after Bill “stole” some IP off Steve (which he previously “stole” from Xerox – yes that right the old Nana’s at Xerox didn’t think a mouse & desktop metaphor would work as an interface, so they basically gave it to Apple). So Steve and Bill remained major competitors for many years. During the turmoil at Apple in the 90’s, they did come to an agreement which included shipping Mac’s with Internet Explorer and Microsoft actually brought shares in Apple at one point (side note – after that I noticed MS office worked much better on my Mac). So these two companies are closer than you think.
Google has become the biggest advertising company and one of the biggest mobile players in the world. Google has amazing technology and exceptional web/mobile services. This “younger brother” started in search initially and expanded from there. Along with the others Google have pioneered some technologies and emulated/copied or improved on others. In time they have created many apps that people love (except when the kill off one). Many of these apps encroach on Microsoft’s and Apple’s domain – corporate, creative, mobile and small business.
The playing field
Historically Microsoft dominated the corporate and “smart” mobile space, Apple the Creative space and the cloud belonged to Google. These days the lines have blurred and in some cases users use all or a mixture of the three platforms together. I fit into this category (I call it “digitally agnostic”), I find all three useful but it would be nice to see some better integration or some standards like universal messaging etc.
From what we have seen in recent history and the in the coming updates, Microsoft are in the cloud and mobile, they have enhanced their search and maps. Apple have been battling Google in the mobile space and have stopped integrating Google products into IOS (e.g. Maps are now native and Bing will provide Siri with search) even though Google’s IOS apps are better than Apple’s in many cases (and in my experience the Google IOS apps also worked better than on Android).
The landscape is forever changing, Google and Apple worked well together but now we can see Microsoft and Apple working closer together. Google are being side lined but they have some interesting things in their workshop too, for example Google Glass, Google Keep, Google Earth, self driving cars and many more. There are very interesting times ahead.
And so the dance continues
These days all three fight on one front and support each others platforms on another. They all take ideas from each other as they always have. What I find interesting is that the companies have nurtured Fanboyism (or Fangirlism) so that they also fight on that front. The funny thing is that they all do the same things in the end.
What would be the perfect mash up of all the platforms and services for you? Or would you prefer to stay only on one platform?
More details on each company can be found here: