Whether your interest or work is in web design or entertainment, sport or science, research or writing, the activities of Google, Apple and Microsoft will have a bearing on your life. So what makes them so influential and how are they able to compete, as they clearly do, yet go from strength to strength?
What Google, Apple & Microsoft Have In Common
These three giants are fierce competitors in a number of fields including computing software, mobile devices, applications and advertising. Last year they all brought to the market a tablet, a phone, a tv based operating system and a desktop one. Each of them in turn, however, has made sure that they take a stylized and individual approach in how they run their day to day business and product launches.
In financial terms, as at the end of 2015, they were relatively close rivals and formed the biggest three companies in the world. Apple is the current the leader (market cap circa $640 billion), Google second (circa $450 billion) and Microsoft third ($376 billion).
What Sets Them Apart
They have each been diligent in recognising their strengths and maintaining market share. For Google it has been free or low-cost services aligned with its unquestionably popular search engine that have kept customers loyal. For Apple the driving force of their ever increasing market has been sheer innovation. Steve Jobs has probably had the greatest influence on the technology sector of any one individual to date. Microsoft by contrast has used its enviable, well established relationship with business and licensing software to full advantage.
A different organizational structure and business ethos are, however, the biggest factors in what sets them apart the most. Google is focused on expanding its free services. Microsoft is looking to move into new areas such as the Cloud and Skype usage. Apple seems to be the biggest risk taker. Around 75% of its staggering revenue in 2015 came from iPhone sales alone. Maintaining that is a big ask but with such a dominance they will probably do it, especially given the ease with which people can integrate their products and the difficulty there is in moving away from them. This approach to locking in customers is, however, not unique to Apple. Read Wikipedia’s page about Vendor Lock-In and the three headings are ….. Microsoft, Apple and Google 🙂