Will Apple Become The New Microsoft?
Much has been written about the epic battle between Apple and the Microsoft/Intel alliance. Window's eventually triumphed in that battle..at least in terms of market share, and Apple was left on life support in the 1990's. Â But times have changed and Apple has emerged from its slumber to be the one to beat. Â The question now becomes...has Apple learned from its past mistakes or is Steve Jobs and company doomed to repeat them?
Recent moves by AppleÂ show it is very aware and is attempting to aggressively persuade the world that Apple is the new standard for the mobile web that is in the process of being formed. Â Two recent announcements particularly stand out. Â TheÂ change to the agreement that developers must agree to in order to submit apps to the iTunes store and the emphasis on games for the iPhone and iPad.
Gaming and applications are where the money is in software. Â But they are two very different types of programs. Â While people want an endless variety of different games to play, they have the opposite view on applications. Â Most people want a standard set of office applications like a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation software and database application that can be relied upon to be standardized and dependable. Â When it comes to their work people want dependability and familiarity. Â In games, just the opposite. Â They want new experiences and cutting edge technology.
This is why Microsoft originally won out in the pc wars. Â By having an open system that encouraged low cost hardware and an infinite number of developers to make games, they simply overwhelmed Apple which with its closed system couldn't compete with massive scale of the competition. Â Microsoft then used its monopoly of the operating system to make its office suite the standard.
What is interesting about what Apple is doing now is that it seems to be aware of the negatives of a closed OS and hardware platform like it has, and yet it is trying to create a new paradigm where the closed system becomes the new standard. Â How is it doing this? Â By staying several steps ahead of its competitors it is hoping that others will simply not be able to catch up. Â Additionally, they are shrewdly encouraging the gaming community to develop for the platform to ensure that this time it is Apple that will have the most and best games and not the 'open architecture' competition which is being spearheaded by google's android.
In addition, Apple has made changes to its developer agreement to ensure that applications that are made for the iPhone OS platform adhere to a certain quality level and can't be easily ported over to competitors. Â Some are complaining that this is anticompetitive but that's Apple's right. Â With the amount of money at stake in the future mobile web all the major players, google, Microsoft and Apple are each trying to out-think and out-strategize each other in order to get the lion's share of future advertising as well as software and hardware revenues.
Will Apple's approach work? Â Can it really control all three areas, hardware, software and advertising (with Apple's iAd) and come out on top or will an open platform eventually prove too competitive. Â In the end the question becomes is it possible for premium to become standard or do low cost...but lower standards always win out. Â Can there be both? Â Nobody knows exactly what is going on in Steve Jobs head. Â In fact, he probably doesn't know how this will all play out either. Â One thing will be for sure however. Â The war for the mobile space is on and it's sure to be a bloody fight before we're through.
Make sure to stop by http://www.ipadstore.com for all the latest Apple mobile news.