Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Future forecast for big IT companies

You may or may not have heard this before. In a way, I think it does hold true to some extent (I'm personally growing more and more dissatisfied - and sometimes downright annoyed - with Apple products).

On the other, I can't help but point out that this whole shift of perception is only really going to apply to techie zealots. I mean, we live in a world where people think the E icon on the desktop is the Internet, that Macs are just pretty white PCs, and where a lot of people who think "Microsoft sucks" never used anything but Windows (and continue to use it, for that matter).

I don't think it's the size of the company that makes it less likable, it's how well it lives up to expectations. Microsoft has failed numerous times, notoriously in the security realm. I can see Apple failing on the customizability front, since virtually all of its products are monopolistic vendor lock-ins, but I don't see Google losing face because of privacy.

The thing about privacy, as it relates to advertising, is that what advertisers know about you affect the relevance and quality of their ads in a positive way. What could theoretically break Google is pushiness (like the Google search toolbar in Firefox, which I personally never meant to install), but their latest dip in stock prices shows they aren't as concerned with money as they are with not pissing off their users.

In summary: I expect Apple to end up somewhere close to Microsoft when it gathers a bigger client base, but I think Google is a bit smarter and forward-thinking than that.

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