Sunday, January 15, 2006

Strategy of Microsft and Apple

Both Steve Jobs' and Bill Gates' keynote addresses showed that both companies are pursuing a stategy of empowering the edge of the network. A strategy that places users front and centre of the companies' focus.

How they pursuing this empowerment differs. Microsoft's strategy is to create seemless connectivity between all the devices at the edge of the network in order for users to be more productive. While Microsoft sees a growing importance for other devices, they still see the PC remaining an important part of the edge of the network. Why centeralise the PC's functions when you are trying to push power to the edge? No thin clients for them.

Apple's strategy differs as they are pursuing a strategy of seemless creation, publishing and distribution of content at the edge of the network. Their focus is less on productivity and more on creativity. Again the idea is to push as much power and functionality to the edge of the network, not to centeralise it.

Both Apple and Microsoft see the edge of the network as becoming the dominate paradigm for the future. Centeralise services and products will still exist but only as the support or compliment edge services and products. A good example is Steve Jobs' demonstration of Photocasting. All the creativity was done on the iMac and distribution was accomplished by a RSS feed mediated across .Mac. The centeralised service, .Mac, support the creativity by providing the user the means to distribute their creativity. Expect to see the same for music and video through iTunes and .Mac in the future.

Noteworthy, is that both strategies of the companies are not mutually exculsive. Both strategies while competing are still complementary. How Microsoft and Apple manage the competitive/coperative relationship between the two companies will be interesting.

THe keynote addresses signaled a shift to the edge of the network. They also signalled that both the telco industry and content industries are now facing two companies that thrive on rapid innovation. Few companies in these industries are up to the pace of change. Perhaps even more worringly for the telcos and content companies is the shift in power balance to Microsoft and Apple.

Links: Steve Jobs' Keynote Address
Bill Gates' Keynote Address

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1 comments: said...

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