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Apple, Google and Microsoft's Size Problem
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Apple, Google and Microsoft's Size Problem

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An exploration of the disruptions to the major makers of PC and mobile operating systems -- Microsoft, Apple, Google -- caused by Netbooks.

An exploration of the disruptions to the major makers of PC and mobile operating systems -- Microsoft, Apple, Google -- caused by Netbooks.

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  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
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  • @Chris: You are exactly right, though I didn't go into the timing/longevity issue in the deck. No-one really knows if Netbooks are here to stay, or if they are just a temporary solution until laptops can get cheap enough, light enough and with good enough battery life, or whether smartphones will be able to grow up enough to make Netbooks redundant (no-one really wants to carry a smartphone *and* a Netbook after all).

    I used to use a Psion 7 PDA, which I still think is one of the best devices I've ever had. It was a proto Netbook. But once I got a Mac laptop that was also instant on/off, it was just redundant to carry around both.

    @David: I think there's room for specific OSes, but the niches are reducing. I focused in this deck only on those that are doing cross-platform offerings.
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  • Nice concise analysis. I wonder however if Netbooks as a category are really here to stay. I think they are a category (Like a Yugo) that is borne more out of price than traditional user needs. If traditional laptops can encroach in the pricing territory--and they already are, I wonder if the whole category goes away, or gets replaced by a new type of device that we haven't seen yet.

    It's easy to ignore how much the price of PCs have fallen. We've all seen the data about how Apple owns the higher end of the market but what's lost in that analysis is that many computers that might have competed in that high end a year ago price wise no longer do. ThinkPad and Precision and Latitude lines in the world of PCs used to typically be north of $1.5 or even $2k are now priced in base configurations well below 1k. I won't comment on the financial implications that this has for OEMs but it's hard for me to see how many consumers will opts for a three pound netbook when they can get a 4 or 5 pound laptop at more or less the same pricepoint.

    The key driver for any platforms long success long term is who develops for it and how easy it is to develop for--which in our current or near future world means how easy is it to ultimately develop for one or two platforms at the same time using the same set of skills and assets. The other actors that have weight here are Nokia and RIM and perhap Palm
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  • thanx for this perspective. I'd like to throw another out there. The BeOS model. Be specific. Don't create a generic OS, but create a generic kernel that layers on top of it specific need interfaces:
    * focus on thin/web
    * focus on game
    * focus on entertainment
    * focus on social

    Find 1 that marries all of these, well enough.

    http://iact.in for 2 GUI perspectives on NetBook GUIs done by students at SCAD with the support of Freescale semiconductor (a Netbook chip manufacturer).
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  • Wow... maybe apple tablet will looks like a 'big & wide' iPhone?
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Apple, Google and Microsoft's Size Problem Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Apple, Google and Microsoft’s Size Problem Adam Richardson, Creative Director August 18, 2009
  • 2. Google, Microsoft and Apple are all facing a potentially game-changing disruption to their businesses. What lessons can we learn from how they are facing it? © 2009 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 2
  • 3. Chrome OS Vista Mac OS X Android Windows Mobile iPhone OS Google, Microsoft and Apple all make two OS’s: one geared for full-size PCs, one for small smartphones/PDAs. © 2009 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 3
  • 4. The possible disruption is caused by the rapid rise of popularity of Netbooks that sit in size between smartphones and laptops. © 2009 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 4
  • 5. The usage models for laptops and smartphones are more or less established, and the OS’s that drive these products are tuned to the usage models (variety of applications, duration of use, interaction types, connectivity...) © 2009 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 5
  • 6. But how people will use this middle-size device is unclear. That means its technical specs, desirable applications, and OS type are also unclear. © 2009 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 6
  • 7. What should the OS makers do? Scale up from a smartphone OS, or scale down from a PC OS? © 2009 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 7
  • 8. Chrome OS Windows 7 Mac OS X LARGER Desktop Laptop Tablet Netbook Smartphone SMALLER Android Windows Mobile iPhone OS Each company is taking a di erent approach. © 2009 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 8
  • 9. Chrome OS Windows 7 Mac OS X LARGER Desktop Laptop Tablet Netbook Smartphone SMALLER Android Windows Mobile iPhone OS With Chrome OS, Google is playing it from both ends by overlapping it with Android for Netbook-sized devices: This may cause confusion for developers: which platform should they invest in? © 2009 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 9
  • 10. Chrome OS Windows 7 Mac OS X LARGER Desktop Laptop Tablet Netbook Smartphone SMALLER Android Windows Mobile iPhone OS Neither of Microsoft’s current OS’s work for Netbooks. Windows 7 is intended to be more cross-platform, with di erent versions covering laptop to Netbook, leaving Windows Mobile for smartphones/PDAs. © 2009 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 10
  • 11. Chrome OS Windows 7 Mac OS X LARGER Desktop Laptop Tablet Netbook Smartphone SMALLER Android Windows Mobile iPhone OS Apple also has two clear OS options that lie at the extremes of device size and usage models. © 2009 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 11
  • 12. Chrome OS Vista Mac OS X LARGER Desktop Laptop Tablet Netbook Smartphone SMALLER Android Windows Mobile iPhone OS Apple wants to avoid Netbooks. With renewed rumors about a Tablet, the question is which OS Apple might use for it? And would it work more like a Mac or an iPhone? © 2009 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 12
  • 13. When facing uncertainties about platform disruptions in your own business, you can learn from the three strategies pursued by these three companies. © 2009 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 13
  • 14. Hedge your bets Make one of everything, even if there is overlap until a winner emerges. When facing uncertainties about platform disruptions in your own business, you can learn from the three strategies pursued by these three companies. © 2009 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 14
  • 15. Hedge your bets One size fits most Make one of everything, Try to cover multiple bases even if there is overlap until with one product, count on a winner emerges. appeal of cross-platform familiarity for users and developers When facing uncertainties about platform disruptions in your own business, you can learn from the three strategies pursued by these three companies. © 2009 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 15
  • 16. Hedge your bets One size fits most Pinch play Make one of everything, Try to cover multiple bases Optimize the extremes, and even if there is overlap until with one product, count on hope the middle goes away. a winner emerges. appeal of cross-platform familiarity for users and developers When facing uncertainties about platform disruptions in your own business, you can learn from the three strategies pursued by these three companies. © 2009 frog design. confidential & proprietary. 16