The last couple of decades, and the more recent years in particular, have seen a remarkable advances and achievements in all fields of consumer technology. Hardly a day passes without a news article about some new breakout gadget, website, or software being launched. The struggle in the market for the hearts and minds of the increasingly tech-savvy and interconnected users is assuming, with only a slight exaggeration, epic proportions. At stake are not only new markets and new product opportunities, but the very nature of how we live, work and interact with each other. And yet, at the core of these "digital wars" are just a handful of companies that exert an oversize influence on the rest of the tech sector. Three of these - Apple, Google, and Microsoft - have by now become the defining and dominant players, and this book explores their rise over the past fifteen years (or in the case of Microsoft a gradual decline and struggle for relevance).
There have been many books written about each one of these three tech giants, but this is the first one that I know of which explores their interactions and strategic maneuvers with the respect to the others. The book is written in a very accessible journalistic style, but it still manages to go in depth when needed explaining certain relevant technological terms and concepts. The author clearly understands the relevant technological trends and the ways that these companies have managed to capitalize on those - or not. Although I am a huge fan of technology and follow these companies and their products much more closely than the average person, this book was still able to provide me with a lot of new information and insights.
I would have liked, thought, that in addition to the three giants this book covered a few more "minor" players in the tech arena. Amazon and Facebook in particular come to mind, as well as a host of other interesting companies whose products and services are having a major impact on the way I work, interact and amuse myself - Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Netflix, etc. I would have also liked that instead of focusing on companies this book dealt more with the tech trends in their own right. Granted, many of these trends are single-handedly defined (or used to be defined) by the three profiled companies (search and Google, smartphone and Apple), but I think that the broader approach would have been more informative and provided us with an idea of what we can expect in the next decade or so of high-tech innovation.
Weather you are a seasoned tech-aficionado or just someone who is interested in learning more about the most prominent tech giants of today, this book will have a lot to offer. But you might want to hurry and read it very soon - many of the trends and insights from this book may become dated already a year form now, if not sooner.