Apple’s impressive presentation yesterday offered many new features that the firm’s new mobile operating system, iOS 6, is to come equipped with. Many have suggested that some features, like the growing relationship between desktop and mobile, have been implemented to preempt the release of Windows 8 later this year.
One thing is clear from the presentation yesterday. The battle lines are being drawn between three huge players in the electronics market, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and some smaller players like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:MZN.
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Apple has shunned Google’s mapping service in favour of its own, highlighting a drop in cross platform integration and independence of the major players. News today, from wpcentral.com suggests a deeper integration of Microsoft’s Bing Maps with Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) mapping technology. Those Maps are to be branded under the name Nokia Maps on all Windows Phone devices.
Google meanwhile is attempting to invest more heavily in desktop operating systems, either through its ChromeOS or implementation within the Chrome browser on Apple and Microsoft computers. All three of the major players are active across the computing spectrum.
Microsoft has yet to really throw itself into the game. It’s Windows Phone 7.5 has not been as great of a success as was hoped, thus far. Windows 8, the operating system for desktops, notebooks, and tablets, as well as a range of hybrids, is due to be released later this year.
Next week on June 20, Microsoft will hold a conference that will offer some insight into the features of Windows Phone 8. That could be the biggest move for some time in the evolution of this battle. If the product surprises and impresses Apple and Google will be left nervous about their own offerings.
As the consumer electronics device market has matured it has become much more about selling an ecosystem than it has about selling a device. Microsoft will have no trouble pushing Windows 8, though the upgrade in enterprise will undoubtedly be slow. It is for them to prove that the Desktop OS has the integration with mobile that will cause users to forgo their next iPhone purchase for a Nokia.
Microsoft also holds another card in the form of its gaming console the Xbox 360. Implementation of integration across all of its systems, and possibly its next console offering, will give Microsoft something unique in the battle to establish an ecosystem.
2013 will be the year when this battle truly comes to pass. Each year after that will leave the three major contenders updating their products and trying to outdo the competition. From Microsoft, Google has the most to worry as its developers and hardware manufacturer’s efforts may be leached away by the firm.
Technology wars have been a point of interest for some years and this will surely be one of the biggest. iOS 6 has delivered, on schedule, a shoring up of Apple’s ecosystem in order to compete with the coming storm. This war is sure to rattle on for some years to come.