sábado, febrero 04, 2012

Apple: cambio tecnológico, otra hegemonía

Tim Worstall, en Forbes, comenta el hecho histórico del cambio en la posición relativa de Apple frente a Microsoft: sólo el negocio de Iphone es mayor que todas las líneas de negocios de Microsoft combinadas. Y estima que este hecho marca hasta qué punto a cambiado el alcance de la informática de escritorio y del consumidor final:
But to someone like me who started paying attention to the computer industry around 1988, 89, this is a gross affront to the established worldview. Apple’s the plucky little upstart with a niche business and Microsoft is the globally encompassing near monopolist of the desktop.
Not that either of those were entirely and wholly true at any point but that has been, until just these last few years of iPods, iPhones and iPads, the general background to any story comparing the two firms.
So the world has changed since my youth then: possibly not the most perceptive observation anyone has ever made I agree.
Lo que resalta Worstall es que el avance de Apple es producido por el desplazamiento del centro de gravedad de la tecnología, y la presencia de de un nuevo universo, fuera del alcance del competidor hegemónico. Algo que ya le pasó a IBM antes, frente a Microsoft precisamente:
Back in the very early days of personal computing it was possible to think that this might come true: that Apple, making both hardware and operating systems would beat the highly fragmented world of the IBM compatible PC. Then for about 25, 30 years it wasn’t, in fact it was near inconceivable that Apple would ever in any way “beat” the Beast of Redmond and yet now they are.
But as I’ve remarked before, they’ve not done it by replacing Windows or Office, the things that tie the PC to Microsoft. They’ve done an end run around the end and edge of the whole PC technology. Which is also as I’ve said before. Monopolies tend to fall not when they are beaten in their own market but when their market becomes only a subset of a wider one, when advancing technology makes the monopolist’s position almost irrelevant.