Fat Books & Thin Women

#Longreads : Farhad Manjoo’s “The Great Tech War of 2012”

Check back every Wednesday for a link to a new longread. Your thoughts on this week’s read, and suggestions for future articles and essays, are always welcome!

Farhad Manjoo’s “The Great Tech War of 2012” has been making the rounds, and it’s not hard to see why. Reading this article as I flipped from websites and products operated or created by Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, it became painfully clear just how much of the average person’s life is influenced, even owned, by these companies. And with Steve Jobs gone, it’s hard not to wonder if Apple can continue leading innovations in technology (and make such a huge profit while doing so), or if another company is going to begin exerting greater influence over the technologies we use.

Manjoo looks at the reasons all four companies have succeeded to date, as well as the ways in which they are competing against each other (which aren’t always apparent to the average consumer) and the bets they’re placing on what sort of technologies and business models will work in the coming years. At this point, as Manjoo points out, Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook are four of the most high-profile companies in America. Average people are able to tell you who runs each company, who founded it, and what it does, in a way they can’t with companies that may earn more but aren’t a part of this high-stakes war for our technological future.

The best part of this article may well be the links to pages titled “Why Apple Will Win”, “Why Facebook Will Win”, etc., which briefly summarize the strengths of each company.

Who do you think will win the tech war of 2012 – Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, or a company that doesn’t even exist yet? Who do you want to see win?*

* I’m pinning my hopes on Apple, largely because I feel such affection for every Apple product I own. My quality of life improved immeasurably once I replaced my netbook with a Mac, and life without an iPod? Facebook, on the other hand, just seems creepy – I’ll keep my facebook page because having one is an unfortunate necessity for Life Today, but reluctantly and mostly because I want to stalk people I went to high school with, haven’t spoken to in seven years, and hope to never see again. (So maybe it’s not only that Facebook the company is creepy, but that it turns us all into creeps.)

Read Farhad Manjoo’s “The Great Tech War of 2012”


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