Thursday, 29 August 2013

Hi Tech malarkey

I am not a tech industry maven, so I am busy coming up to speed on the implications of the Ballmer resignation. What I’m about to say may be obvious to many. Still, I think it is worth saying: there is, once you look past the surface, a remarkable symmetry between Microsoft’s strategy in its heyday and Apple’s strategy today.

The Microsoft story is familiar. This dominance persists to this day. But Microsoft missed the boat on mobile devices, while Apple got temporarily ahead of the curve.

Now, unlike Microsoft, Apple isn’t selling an inferior product. But it’s selling products that are little if any better than competitors, at premium prices. How can it do that? Again, network externalities, mainly a much deeper bench of apps, or so I’m told [I actually don’t use any].

So how do the prospects for Apple’s reign look compared with those of Microsoft? Let us not forget that Microsoft is actually an incredible success story, it maintained its PC lock for decades, and in fact still retains that lock today, it is just that the market is changing.

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