The Future of Computer

Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple – Who will Win?

« To state this as clearly as possible: The four American companies that have come to define 21st-century information technology and entertainment are on the verge of war. Over the next two years, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google will increasingly collide in the markets for mobile phones and tablets, mobile apps, social networking, and more. This competition will be intense. Each of the four has shown competitive excellence, strategic genius, and superb execution that have left the rest of the world in the dust. HP, for example, tried to take a run at Apple head-on, with its TouchPad, the product of its $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm. HP bailed out after an embarrassingly short 49-day run, and it cost CEO Léo Apotheker his job. Microsoft’s every move must be viewed as a reaction to the initiatives of these smarter, nimbler, and now, in the case of Apple, richer companies. When a company like Hulu goes on the block, these four companies are immediately seen as possible acquirers, and why not? They have the best weapons–weapons that will now be turned on one another as they seek more room to grow.

There was a time, not long ago, when you could sum up each company quite neatly: Apple made consumer electronics, Google ran a search engine, Amazon was a web store, and Facebook was a social network. How quaint that assessment seems today. »

From Nilofer Merchant’s blog

« Each company has embraced what Jobs has branded the « post-PC world »–a vision of daily life that is enabled by, and comes to depend on, smartphones, tablets, and other small, mobile, easy-to-use computers. Each of these companies has already benefited more than others from this proliferation of mobile, a shift that underlies their extraordinary gains in revenue, cash reserves, and market cap. »

Fast Company: The Great Tech War Of 2012

From left: The late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Larry Page, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. | Photos courtesy of David Paul Morris/Getty Images (Jobs); Justin Sullivan/Getty Images (Zuckerberg); Chip East/Reuters (Page); Mario Tama/Getty Images (Bezos). [When a woman in the picture?]

Related link

The Economist, Beyond the PC: Mobile digital gadgets are overshadowing the personal computer, says Martin Giles. Their impact will be far-reaching

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