Thursday, May 27, 2010

Clash of the (Tech) Titans

It's kind of fascinating how, in a few short years, Apple has launced some of the most powerful and widely accepted devices in the world. The iP trio -- iPod, iPhone, iPad -- have become synonymous with high-tech cool. So much so that Apple has now surpassed Microsoft as the largest tech company. According to Reuters News Service, Apple surged past Microsoft as "...Apple's shares rose as much 2.8 percent on Nasdaq on Wednesday, as Microsoft shares floundered, briefly pushing its market value above $229 billion, ahead of its longtime rival.

"Both stocks ended down after a late-day sell-off, but Apple emerged ahead with a market value of about $222 billion, compared with Microsoft's $219 billion, according to Reuters data."


As an Apple user since the Mac first came out way before the turn of the century and in those strange Orwellian days of 1984, I have had a personal stake in Apple's success. (Like my stake means anything in the overall scheme of things. This and $5.00 will get me a cup of coffee at any coffee house in the country, but that's beside the point.) I really didn't want a one-operating system world. I loved watching David go against the ever-growing Goliath. I wanted to see a Newton-ian shift in power as the apple fell from its height and knocked Goliath down. Not out, but down. And I also realize that that proverbial apple would have had to have been thrown upwards because Apple never seemed to gain enough of a foothold to get above Microsoft. (We all know why, so why belabor that point.)

Now, the iWorld is all about Apple. People who badmouth Apple's computers clamor for Apple products of all sort. People who complain about the expense of Mac computers will pay heavy prices for phones, pads, pods, gizmos because of their 'wow' factor and because they have an 'i' in front of the name (hmmm...iWashers and iDryers and iStoves and iBeds and....Oh, enough already!). It's actually a sign of the times as we become more and more connected via smaller and smaller devices. Are we reaching the point where so-called normal computers will no longer exist in the consumer market? Will towers and laptops be relegated to the professional world where movies like Shrek IV and Toy Story IV are created and design firms spit out ads that will inevitably be seen on the i-Pad/Pod/Phone?

It sure looks that way. And it sure looks like, no matter its history, Apple has found a niche that even Bill Gates, et al, can't quite crack.

I can't wait to see what happens next as Goliath enters the colosseum to fight Goliath.

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