Image via: http://vidartop.blogspot.com/
I don’t actually have a dog in this fight. I make it a policy to be platform agnostic. When I first started working in entertainment and games you had Unix boxes, PC’s and Macs. Depending on who I was working for, or what project I had in hand at the time, I had to be able to use all three fluently, a fluency I’ve managed to maintain.
But, for the next iteration of computer users, the ones who, in 10-15 years are going to be running the new tech startups, the future is going to be Google.
Once upon a time, Apple did something really clever. They introduced computers into the elementary schools and by doing so they laid the groundwork for their branding and their technology, they had some hiccups along the way, but for a long time anyone who didn’t need higher-order access (like programmers) preferred Apple.
Now it’s Google that’s in the classrooms. The Chromebook is rapidly becoming the standard for hands-on computer learning in classes. Now, granted, these are cloud-based “dumb-terminals”, you “can’t” (notwithstanding the cleverness of students) load anything new onto them, you can only run the apps made available by the school.
So you have a large, upcoming population intimately familiar with Google and Chrome. They are going to be familiar with how those systems work, how to work with objects in the cloud. They will be comfortably ensconced within Google’s own walled garden (granted, the wall is only knee-high compared to Apple’s battlements) and they are going to be comfortable with the Google ecosystem. They will be used to having a single account to access everything from any device, and the price points will make sure that Google derived-technology remains accessible to everyone.
They aren’t going to take out Apple’s market by going head-to head in smartphones, or even in laptops. Instead they have targeted the future, and unless Apple starts to move back towards accessibility via education, one day they are going to wake up and find that they are trapped back in the boutique market they worked so hard to escape from.