Hickson on Evolution of the Company “Species”
Excellent analysis by Ian Hickson of competition in the software industry. You hear a lot of throwaway comments about Microsoft versus Google, Apple versus Microsoft, Linux or Firefox against the rest, etc. This article is a sharp, big picture view of the competitive relationships between these companies. As John Gruber has often pointed out, you need to pay attention to how companies make money. For Microsoft it’s selling a lot of software. For Google it’s selling advertising space. For Apple it’s selling hardware at high profits in different markets. For the Mozilla Corporation it’s kickbacks from driving tons of traffic to Google’s advertisers, or to Amazon, etc. Hixie also considers whether the companies even need to make money for the products to survive as competitive entities. He reasons that Microsoft has used it’s size to compete, while the others have generally succeeded by making a better product, and that overall this “evolutionary” context is a good sign for the industry, and for end users. It’s a great read.