Microsoft-Google-Apple 3-way cage fight

Microsoft-Google-Apple 3-way cage fight

Summary: The battle lines have been drawn. The war chests are stocked with tens of billions of dollars in cash. Microsoft, Apple and Google are ready to compete with their integrated technology stacks connecting mobile devices to cloud services. Who is best placed to win?

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TOPICS: Apple, Google, Microsoft
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The battle lines have been drawn. The war chests are stocked with tens of billions of dollars in cash. Microsoft, Apple and Google are ready to compete with their integrated technology stacks connecting mobile devices to cloud services. Who is best placed to win?

In the last two weeks, all three companies have reported strong quarterly revenue growth. Apple announced record revenues yet again, in fact, and the market seemed unperturbed by Steve Jobs going on medical leave. Microsoft announced record revenues too, boasting successes with Kinect, Windows 7 and Office 2010. Google saw solid revenue growth of 26 per cent year-on-year, and the market seemed to respond well to its own leadership changes.

On Patch Monday this week, our panel of experts discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each company's position. Sam Higgins is research director at Brisbane-based ICT research and advisory company Longhaus. Derry Finkeldey is a principal research analyst with Gartner specialising in branding and marketing issues. And Keith Ahern is founder of one of Australia's leading mobile application developers, Mogeneration.

As usual, Patch Monday also includes my random look at last week's IT news.

To leave an audio comment for Patch Monday, Skype to stilgherrian, or phone Sydney 02 8011 3733.

Running time: 29 minutes, 50 seconds

Topics: Apple, Google, Microsoft

About

Stilgherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and podcaster interested in big-picture internet issues, especially security, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust.

He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide-ranging media career and a stint at running an IT business. He can write iptables firewall rules, set a rabbit trap, clear a jam in an IBM model 026 card punch and mix a mean whiskey sour.

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  • And you forget about HP, which has its HP Palm launch in about a week. Of all those companies you mentioned, the only one that can take you from a phone to serious computer systems and also has cloud services.

    May not be major player at the moment, but certainly worth watching.
    siobhanellis@...
  • " Microsoft, Apple and Google are ready to compete with their integrated technology stacks connecting mobile devices to cloud services."

    This surely grossly exaggerates the position of Google and Apple.

    Microsoft does have very well-stablished multi-platform cloud integration. Apple and Google, if we look through the hype, do not even come close.

    Examples.

    * MS Office is the software used by almost everybody who uses software of this nature, and it is fully integrated with SkyDrive and Windows Live.

    * On tablets, laptops and desktops Windows 7 (the fastest-selling OS in history, selling more than 7 copies every second) provides Windows Live Essentials for free. The Windows Live toolbar integrates the browser with the cloud. The Azure SDK integrates new project created by developers with the cloud, and the Azure Management Console allows developers to deploy and control cloud services from within the web browser.

    * On phones, Windows Mobile has seamless integration with Windows Live accross a full range of services and features.

    * On Xbox, the best-selling games platform console for six consecutive months, there is seamless integration with Xbox Live.

    Part of Microsoft's problem is the integration is so seamless, people barely notice or mention it, while Apple and Google generate great hype about very limited success in the cloud and very limited integration with it.

    Commentators seem hysterical tablets, especially the iPad, and "apps" at present, as though the concept of installing software applications on a base OS was somehow new or invented by Apple.

    IF tablets catch on enough to really affect sales of PCs and laptops, Microsoft will dominate the tablet market:

    http://www.timacheson.com/Blog/2011/jan/windows_will_dominate_tablets
    Tim Acheson
  • Who wants "seamless" clouding anyway? I like to know WHERE my data is. I also like the fact that I can unplug the computer and that data is now inaccessable to anyone else out there.

    No, I do not want to read three-page emails on a 2-inch mobile phone screen. No I do not want to browse eBay on that same screen with the associated hyper-inflated data costs.

    Maybe it's just a good excuse to take an (ugh!) Xbox (gak!) to work in your little IT cubicle.
    Treknology