Apple, Google, Amazon – Three tech horsemen – who is the Fourth?
If you consider CNN Money survey it is IBM which has beaten Microsoft by a whisker. They did not consider Facebook as it is not publically traded.
If you listen to Eric Schmidt, it is off course Facebook. Off course anybody from Google will consider Facebook in the list because Larry Page is turning Google upside down to compete with Facebook.
However, if you go by what Jeff Bezos say then it has to be Microsoft. According to him “…they’ve done a lot of innovative things, some of which get overshadowed by their big existing businesses…”
So, who will it be – IBM, Facebook or Microsoft?
Consider the following facts and possibilities
- Since 2009, IBM share has outperformed Microsoft (see this).
- In the same period Google and Microsoft stocks have performed about the same (see this).
- Facebook IPO, when it comes, is expected to round up anywhere between 50 billion to 100 billion US$ (see this).
- Facebook’s IPO would be 6X bigger than Google’s (see this).
- IBM has replaced expensive workers in North America with low-cost laborers abroad, which has helped keep margins and profits growing (see this).
- By the end of 2012, Google+ may become the second most popular social media site (see this).
- Google surpasses Facebook to become the most visited site of 2011 (see this).
- Microsoft has a habit of coming from way behind and winning the war (see this).
- IBM has bet big on analytics including cloud analytics & “Big Data”. The icing on the cake is when Watson won Jeopardy! (see this).
- Microsoft has created the MetroUI for Windows 8, which has the potential of becoming a game changer like Kinect (see this). Or, will it be a flop like Vista.
- The fate of Nokia and possibly Intel depends on the success of the next generation Windows OS (see this).
- An x86 tablet with Windows 8 running all the legacy applications … anyone (see this)?
Ultimately it boils down to these 3 questions…
- How successful will Windows 8 be, especially for the Tablet?
- Will Facebook come up with an IPO and if it does how successful will it be?
- Is “Big Data” the next big thing in cloud or is it a solution in search of a problem?
If you have been following then you would probably have guessed that I feel that the first question is going to be a game changer.
If Windows 8 succeeds then it would be as disruptive as iPad or Android – it would have blurred the distinction between PC and Tablet.
On the other hand if it fails then posterity may consider this event as the starting point of the end of PC era.