With internet technology changing every day, we as marketers need to understand what the driving forces behind the technology are and where it is heading. Google and Apple are currently the biggest players in this domain. Although the spaces in which they innovate are distinct, at a broader level they are still competing.
Google is the biggest innovator in the cloud computing space and server applications. Search being the largest, there are several other applications like Google Docs, Google Maps, Google Adwords and the list goes on. Also, Google Wave might change the way we collaborate online. Google is basically providing numerous services to users online and most of it is free.
The expertise of Apple lies in providing rich clients. iPhone users can use a variety of apps. These apps although developed by third parties, iPhone has very superior clients which enable these apps. For instance, the maps app on iPhone uses the same API provided by Google Maps; however, the maps app on iPhone is much more sophisticated than Google Maps because of the rich client that iPhone uses.
So, what does this mean for online marketers? Basically, online marketers need to analyze where the future of online services is. Will all the applications be in the cloud or will we use local rich clients? For instance, will Google Docs replace Apple and Microsoft Office or will it be a mere supplement? With the changing internet infrastructure, the possibilities for server side applications are expanding exponentially. At the same time companies are focusing on developing richer and richer clients. An example of that would be Microsoft Surface which will be launched in a few years from now.
Both these technologies – server and client side – are expanding rapidly. The question is, in the future, will one take over the other or will both technologies coexist?