Holy wars and internet empires

Holy wars and internet empires

A regular topic of this column over the years has been warning against the risk of vendor lock-in to business, the recent release of Apple’s internal memos as part of their patent dispute with Samsung illustrates why.

The dispute between Samsung and Apple is a small battle in the rise of the internet empires where companies like Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft want to lock customers into their products.

On the edges of these empires things can get ugly as the competing groups fight for supremacy and to capture users.

In these battles, no one was capable of getting uglier than Steve Jobs.

Which makes Steve Jobs’ declaration that 2011 would be a year of ‘holy war’ with Google unsurprising.

The statement was typical Jobsian hyperbole, but we should not underestimate just how serious Apple’s staff would take such a statement.

Apple’s intention to wage ‘holy war’ illustrates just how high the stakes as the online empires try to capture users.

Those holy wars and the reason they are being fought is something all of us should keep in mind when we’re asked to choose between Apple, Google or Microsoft.

Paul Wallbank is the publisher of Networked Globe, his personal blog Decoding The New Economy charts how our society is changing in the connected century.

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