August 26, 2012

10 Biggest Tech Battles Ever

iOS vs. Android

iOS vs. Android have been battling since the latter’s birth eyeing the future of mobile industry as the prize. The most admired CEO in history, the late Steve Jobs once blasted saying, “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go to thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death because they know they are guilty”. The two companies are competing so closely in the mobile arena that it's hard to tell them apart at times.

PC vs. Mac

This is the greatest tech battle ever, since PCs and Macs hit the market. The debate has existed over which is best and is often even hotter than politics or religion. While you have many who are die hard Microsoft PC users, another group exists that are just as dedicated to Apple's Mac. TV ads which became very popular pitied the geeks against the cool kids. It is the battle from which all other battles have been judged. The words "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac" have become part of our culture. Windows which clearly led the market in the 90s is facing a stiff competition from Mac. The ratio of Windows-based computers to Macs has tightened now and is closer than it has been in a decade and a half. Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak even said in 2010 that the PC vs Mac war is over as Mac-based iPads are going to take over the whole PC market.

Facebook vs. MySpace

In the competition between Facebook and Myspace it is very clear that Facebook has won it. But Myspace was once the undisputed leader of Social Networking sites. Facebook started at a dorm grew fast to eat up Myspace to become the largest ever social networking site in the world. In the early days of Facebook, it was spare and organized, while MySpace pages were given to flashy fonts and images. Facebook went out of its way to appeal to the parents and grandparents but MySpace was still dominated by high-schoolers, to the point that if any grown-up joined, it seemed like he probably hung out in a van offering candy to schoolchildren. MySpace stagnated as Facebook exploded to 900 million active users. MySpace gave up on its social media leadership dreams and narrowed its focus to the niche of being a “social entertainment destination.” In Jan 2011, Gigaom.com reported, “MySpace Versus Facebook – There Can Be Only One”.

VHS vs. Beta

The war between VHS and Beta is pretty much gone now, with VHS emerging the victor. In 1975 Sony introduced its Beta system and JVC introduced its own VHS system the following year. The two systems were immediately in competition because they used different tape-handling mechanisms and cassette sizes as well as coding systems that varied just enough so that the tapes were not interchangeable. At first Beta was the industry leader with its compact, inexpensive, and reliable VCR. It accounted for most of the sales from 1975-77 and increased in sales until 1985. However in 1975 it fell behind VHS in market share and continued to loose its share every year thereafter. By the end of the 1980s Sony had stopped producing Beta models and switched to a smaller 8mm tape used primarily for home movies.

In nutshell, VHS offered a bigger choice of hardware at lower cost, the tapes were cheaper and more easily available, and there were a lot more movies to rent.

Internet Explorer vs. Netscape Navigator

Internet Exploree vs Netscape Navigator was the first browser war and resulted in the dominance of Internet Explorer and the downfall of Netscape Navigator.After the first internet browser (World Wide Web) launched, numerous companies launched their own internet browsers. Netscape came in 1994, and became the leading internet browser by 1995. In that same year, Microsoft launched Internet Explorer, and it looked as though Netscape would overshadow it just as it did all its other competitors.Internet Explorer was first launched in disk format compatible with Windows 95, but the second version was the first recorded web browser available for free download. However, IE2 couldn’t do much and not even IE3.

Internet Explorer 4 which was released in September 1997, got Microsoft had 60% market share by March 1999. With that, Internet Explorer started beating out Netscape. After Internet Explorer defeated Netscape it became the top browser

Database war

The great database war between Oracle, Sybase, Informix, IBM, and others has been there since a decade. The battleground has majorly been the cost.Oracle president Charles Phillips made a comment about MySQL, its open source rival, “We’re both in the transportation business. We have a 747 and they have a Toyota.” The competition intensified when In April2009, IBM partnered with EnterpriseDB came up with IBM’s DB2 9.7 database that enabled Oracle customers to migrate to DB2 freely. The same year in May, Ingres partnered with RedHat to offer the Ingres Development Stack for JBoss, a pre-integrated package comprising the Ingres database, Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux OS and its JBoss open source middleware product.

Oracle, IBM and Microsoft have all claimed over the time that their products are the market leaders. Any user plotting their database and server strategy has heard many warning voices, but getting the balance between performance and cost was never easy

Bookstores vs. Amazon

When Amazon was founded in 1994, the book market was antiquated. Books take up a lot of space, and even the biggest brick and mortar stores can only hold so many titles. And stores typically relied on walk-in customers to buy those titles.By cutting out the distributors, Amazon connected readers with publishers. And because a book isn't ordered until it's actually purchased by the consumer, so it can hold millions of titles.

And then in 2007 Amazon released the Kindle and took a 90% stake in the eBook market. Amazon dropped the prices to $9.99 per book. And now not only does Amazon dominate eBooks, but a brick and mortar store selling printed books at $25 is having a hard time standing up against it.

The advantage is availability, discounting, and fast shipping. One can get an eBook within seconds while sitting on the beach or waiting at the airport.

Google vs. Yahoo

The war between Google and Yahoo has been since long. Yahoo lost to Google in the first place. At some stage Yahoo began to put the advertiser first. It stopped seeing customers as people it needed to help find what they wanted quickly.The Yahoo homepage started off as a directory of the Web and for many years it stayed like that. However, sometime after 2000 it began to get more and more complicated and advertiser-focused. By 2004, there were 255 links on the Yahoo homepage.

Yahoo's customer is the advertiser. Google's customer is you and me. That's why Google has been more successful. Google has put the needs of the customer, not the advertiser, first. Yahoo and Google have the same advertising revenue model. However, Google isn't focused on increasing page views and ad placements but rather on increasing relevance. It is focused on making ads useful.

Games War (Nintendo, Xbox, and Playstation)

Nintendo, Xbox, and PlayStation have been battling it out in the gaming industry for years, from home video consoles to mobile platforms. A half decade ago, many analysts projected a close race between the Sony’s PlayStation 2, Microsoft’s original Xbox, and Nintendo’s GameCube, but their prediction turned out to be wrong: Sony simply blew away the competition with its PS2, although Nintendo’s 2001 GameCube was the cheapest among them.

Today everyone’s watching to see how this battle plays out, because each company is pursuing a very different strategy. Sony and Microsoft are gunning for pure performance systems, while Nintendo is shooting at fun, playable games that rely more on its unique controllers than impressive graphics hardware.A lot of features also have changed in the Console Battle. Some things which largely influenced the purchase decisions of consumers before aren't as important anymore, like wireless Internet connectivity was a battle won by the Nintendo Wii early on. Both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 required an additional accessory while the Wii featured it built-in.

Google Apps vs. Microsoft Office

Google’s acquisition of QuickOffice shows the seriousness with which Google is pursuing the Office market. QuickOffice allows offline editing of files, something that Google will integrate within their own Docs products. On the other hand, Microsoft is rumored to soon be coming out with an iPad Office app. This means that Google and Microsoft will be competing across every platform: online, the desktop and mobile. Google will have to struggle hard against Microsoft, but they can gain a significant portion of the Office market, which is Microsoft's biggest profit-earner.

Microsoft Office has a lot of complex feature which is not relevant to most people. So there is a possibility that Google Apps may be able to gain a large share by making the simple things a little better. Another potential advantage for Google is that it has search, which can be connected to the Docs to make it more efficient.

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