20 junio 2008

Who is competing to whom?

Reading a post on Martin Varsavsky's blog and clicking one of the links, I came across an article where Nokia's CEO recognized that Microsoft, Google and Apple are their competitors. One expects to hear Nokia's competition is one or all of SonyEricsson, Samsung, Motorola and LG but it looks like Nokia is positioning itself in another market or maybe the gang of three moved from their original niche to somewhere else.
Let us go throught it.

Just a few years ago, Microsoft was a software vendor, just making money out of selling Windows, Office and other product's licences. They added messenger, msn.com and hotmail services and entered in the internet sector, but still having their focuss in software market.
Just a few years ago, Apple was failing in their strategy of competing against Microsoft for a stake in the PC market. However, they launched very succesfully iPod and, more recently, iPhone and became a big fish in the mobile entertainment sector.
Just a few years ago, Google began providing best-in-class search engine based on PageRank, they launched adwords service to monetarize their success and, as a result of the 20-80 employee policy, http://www.gmail.com/, maps.google.com services were also launched becoming a reference in the internet market.

But all that happened a few years ago and situation has changed.

Microsoft needs to compete against Google in their terms (and here is where the bid for Yahoo! makes sense), as proprietary licensed software market for PCs seems to be slowing down as Linux, Firefox and other open source projects are a tangible and sound alternative.
Apple is still re-creating itself as the mobile entertainment leader but in terms of revenue, they are quite behind any other mobile manufacturer.
Google has a numerous bunch of services and most (or all) are quite sucessful: code.google.com, sites.google.com, docs.google.com (I am using the latter one to write this post). Most of the internet players are following Google's strategy as all cyclist follow the maillot jeaune at the Tour de France, knowing that when he moves everybody must respond quickly.

Nokia seems to know what is wisely stated in Alice in the Wonderland: "to stay where you are, you must run fast and, if you want to move, you must double the speed"

While writting this post, I saw there is material to write much more, but for the sake of article's length, I will stop here and keep the remainder for upcoming posts.
Should you want more, come back to this blog in a few days.
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