The busy week that just went by witnessed both Google and Microsoft crossing the line between Software and Hardware.
The question is whether Apple will be left behind in the race.
The IT industry has been busy this week with Microsoft, Google and Apple making exciting announcements at their launch events. Microsoft has revealed its new Surface Studio PC, which is a 28 inches desktop that can also be converted into a digital table. Apple held the MacBook event the next day, with the newly transformed version coming with an OLED touch bar offering contextual options for controlling volume, sending instant emojis and so on. Earlier, Google had launched the Pixel phones coming with the Google Assistant, which is by far the best AI software to date.
Such launches are not surprising in the world of information technology, but both Microsoft and Google have begun a competition with direct customers. All smartphone manufacturers, bar Apple, make use of the Android OS. The previous Nexus phones were manufactured and marketed by a third party, such as HTC and LG. However, the Pixel phones are completely Google’s babies.
As for Microsoft, all desktops make use of Windows OS, except the Mac. The company is now stepping away from the software section and attempting to step into hardware with its new Surface Studio.
When Google and Microsoft have decided to cross the line separating hardware from software, it will surely result in one thing. This is almost like Intel starting its own laptops, whereby companies like Dell and HP would be enraged. However, Intel has not done this.
Google and Microsoft have decided to break from the software heritage and enter the hardware section, where they don’t have much experience. It could result in alienating their customers.
Google adopted an open setting allowing Android to be free and it is in this way that Google managed to cross the iOS in its market share. Heavyweights, such as Samsung and HTC among others, assisted in establishing Google’s software as an excellent alternative to the iOS by Apple. Similarly, Microsoft offered the Windows OS available for Dell computers and others. Both these companies now feel that hardware is the strategic priority.
Bad News for Apple
All this seems to be bad news for Apple. Earlier, Apple had the advantage of integrating hardware and software with industrial design and Microsoft and Google are now copying the same. The new AI is also looming large and though Apple does have a pioneering spirit, it is a device manufacturing company and not a software juggernaut like Microsoft or Google. The processing of artificial intelligence in case of Apple devices is conducted on the device and not on the cloud. Thus, the data remains under the control of the user.
This was done by Apple to protect the privacy of the user, but it means that Apple will be lagging behind what is offered by Microsoft and Google, though it is an admirable stand.