I've got a 2 part story coming up here, a story of reinvention, of dreams lost, and of dreams reborn. This is the first part.
Microsoft. In the last forever...
It's a known fact, that almost 10 years ago, Microsoft had already defined office productivity software. Microsoft Office is the most widely used office productivity software in the world, by far, and is Microsoft's bread and butter. It allows Macs to do "work stuff" too. In the last 10 years however, Microsoft have not done too much to improve upon their formular. They've "sat upon their laurels," as it were.
Up until some time between March 2001 and April 2005, Microsoft (arguably) had also defined what a computer operating system was, and how you could expect to interact with it. The largest detractors to this theory are those who use Mac OS X. Apple had successfuly proven year in and year out up until OS X's release, how you could take a box of useless hardware and make it even worse. OS X, especially the Tiger release (which is the only release I've used that I don't get the feeling is missing things), was a big leap forward for operating systems and graphical user interfaces. Apple was ahead of the curve, as it usually is. However, the Apple community (while growing swiftly, we're told) is still a niche market. Microsoft Windows - in its various flavours - is the most widely used operating system in the world. Subsequently, Microsoft Windows is the most attacked and hacked operating system in the world, and Microsoft has shown time and again an inability to keep in step with security measures necesary to keep their child safe.
Up until November 2002, Sony had fairly well defined what a video game console was, and what you could expect to do with it. Nintendo built consoles that people loved, and has played ahead of the curve like Apple, but Sony had the winning mix of games and a stable controller layout, which made the Playstation the defacto standard. It has enjoyed significant market share for a good long time.
And - this will cause fallout on a nuclear scale - I believe that up till now, but perhaps only a little while longer, Apple has defined the MP3 player. iPod, with it's recognizable white earphones, is the bidniss.
To be continued...