Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been taking on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in a big way for dominance in the mobile world. While Apple once reigned supreme because it offered the first smartphone, Google got in on the action and stands in a good position to take over. As Fred Vogelstein points out in his upcoming book, this battle is similar to the one Apple lost against Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) back in the 1980s.

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Apple battled Microsoft

In that decades-ago battle, Microsoft dominated Apple because it was able to distribute its software more widely. The more it pushed its offerings out into the market, the more people used them. And the more people used them, the more others were convinced to use them because a computer is only useful if the documents created on it can be used on other machines.

Convincing consumers to switch platforms was also a problem for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) because back then it was very expensive to switch.

Fast forward to Apple battling Google

Now we face a similar war between Apple and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). Google is following pretty much the same strategy Microsoft. It’s pushing the Android platform out fast and furious in an effort to offer as many different kinds of devices running the platform as possible. After all, a one size fits all strategy just doesn’t work anymore when it comes to mobile devices, and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is only starting to realize this.

The Android platform is growing rapidly because Google made it open source, meaning anyone could use it to build a mobile phone. And with the growing number of Android devices available, Google seems bent on controlling the market through sheer numbers, just like Microsoft did decades ago.

Other battles in the tech world

But this is one battle that’s doomed to repeat over and over again as tech companies battle for dominance in their particular part of the industry.

Source: Excerpt from Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution (via Wired).