The four cornered fight – Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook

Here is a well-written article about the potential battle lines drawn between Apple vs Microsoft+Facebook. While there are dollops of facts in the article it clearly has a speculative touch to it. There is one glaring aspect missing in the article. And that is Google and its Chrome OS.

Apple’s Mountain Lion OS may turn out to be the most elegant looking Cloud Operating System, but it would not be the first one on the block. That credit goes to Google with its Chrome OS. So I was surprised at the lack of mention of Google in the article. What would not be surprising? Apple devices powered by Mountain Lion OS overtaking Google Chrome OS powered laptops in matter of days.

It is clear that the battle to win and retain consumers is four cornered between Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook. Here is my take on each of the gladiator in this high tech colosseum.

Apple

  • Consumers love Apple. And Apple delivers what consumers want.
  • Apple is clearly the path breaker and leader in this pack.
  • But Apple does not have Search, Social Network and content. It is probably the last among the four in this regard.

Google

  • Great search, great content but not yet made a mark on Social networks.
  • Pioneered the Cloud computing in real sense.
  • Chrome, Android are decent operating systems but not as cutting edge as Apple.
  • Fractured HW partners do not give Google the kind of loyalty that Apple receives.

Microsoft

  • A clear laggard when it comes to mobility and consumer oriented cloud applications.
  • While Apple and Google have moved onto Cloud Operating systems, Microsoft is building the OS for phones and tablets.
  • Strong points – absolute dominance in desktop OS, applications space.
  • If it integrates mobile platform well to its desktop environment, there is clear potential for leadership
  • Skype and potential partnerships with Facebook will provide the impetus required in Social Networking.

Facebook

  • Facebook is the darling of the masses.
  • All three behemoths mentioned above will love to have what Facebook has today – strong connection with a (very) large consumer base
  • As it stands today, Facebook users need devices from Apple, Microsoft or Google to log onto Facebook. And two out of those three are competitors in various areas.
  • The youngest kid on the block is also the most innovative and agile. And it will need every trick in the book to take on the other three gladiators.