Why Google will win
Google might not make much of its own tech
or power the planet’s PCs, but it does have one thing on its side: It knows
everything about everything in the world. It knows what you search for on the
internet, handles your email has maps of the globe and pictures of your house.
It’s pretty much running things – but, luckily, hasn’t turned evil yet – and
its gadgets are getting better by the week. Android has thrown the hardware
field wide open, pitching manufacturers head-to-head and giving us real choice.
Soon, discerning geeks will have an Android in their pocket, browse in Chrome,
work in GDocs and store their data in Drive. They might be using an iPad or PC
– but they’ll be using it to access Google’s apps.
Why Apple will win
To make a great pizza, you need to control
the production of both the base and the toppings. Outsource either, and the
experience is going to be disappointing. And the same goes for gadget hardware
and software, as Apple has continually proven. Microsoft and Google might be
trying for greater integration, but they’re still comparative novices when it
comes to cooking up cohesive Techsperiences. “Ah, but Apple will lock you into
its evil ‘closed’ ecosystem”, the open-source fans protest. Well, I’d rather be
locked inside a Michelin-starred restaurant than traipsing around a vast,
chaotic buffet, with a plate that could only hold food that’s six months old when
it comes to my digital life (and pizza), Apple quality will always trump
Apple will win
Why Microsoft will win
In Windows 8, Microsoft has borrowed the
beast bits from its rivals – live widgets from Android, hot corners and
carefully vetted apps from Apple, the magical search-everything bar from Ubuntu
– and added some flourishes to create an OS that’s much fresher than Apple’s
now-familiar design. It looks like a winner. But then MS as already won,
because it’s everywhere. OS X and Chrome run on a handful of pricey machines;
over a billion PCs are running Windows, and most will work with Win 8. Make a
Metro app and it’ll run on those PCs, all Surface tablets, and every WP8 phone.
Then there’s Xbox, the world’s most-played console and most-owned smart TV box.
Apple and Google are huge – but MS is about to show them what ‘huge’ really
Microsoft will win
Apple’s hardware remains unmatched as a
complete package – but done try to open it up. Windows 8 and Surface bring
Microsoft back on to the playing field, but it has a lot to prove. It’s Google
open ethos, ace new hardware, multi-platform cloud services and plans for the
future that make it the most exciting tech company on the planet right now.