You may remember a time, not too long ago, when everyone had a Microsoft PC, no one had an iPad or iPod, Bill Gates was the richest man in the world, and Microsoft was 20 times the size of a struggling Apple. You may also remember a time when Nokia was the largest mobile manufacturer on the planet – a $250bn business (way bigger than Apple) – practically everyone owned a Nokia. This was just 13 years ago at the start of the millennium – not very long back. But in 13 years Apple over- came Microsoft, overtaking them in market capitalization (size of business) from being 1/20th the size of Microsoft to becoming twice their size, and completely defeating their products in terms of quality.
Then with the iPhone starting a smartphone revolution – Microsoft was thought to be finished – especially after Windows 8 failed. Nokia too was demolished when the smartphones came – the phone industry became the center of the new tech/computer race – Google vs Apple took over the mobile software sector, and Samsung displaced Nokia as the king of phone manufacturing. Then, last week, Microsoft bought Nokia – and paid a meager $7bn for a company that was once worth $300bn.
Perhaps all is not lost for these “Fallen Giants”, as the Wall Street Journal put it – far from it – the merger may signal the beginning of a new set of computer wars between the rivals, Apple and Microsoft, also including Google and its An- droid software. Microsoft has now officially entered the smartphone market with their own hardware (Nokia) and software (Windows Phone) – let’s see if they can stop the unstoppable Android or bring down the reigning giant – Apple.
Photo Credits: Thomas Ricker / www.engadget.com
References: The WSJ, The Guardian, Wikipedia