Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Game of Thrones

It's amazing how fast things change.  Industry leaders can quickly become laggards.  Those that are thrown aside can return with a vengeance.  New technologies are brought to market by one company, popularized by another, and made profitable by yet others. Partnerships and mergers dramatically change the landscape and define who is a strategic partner and who is a mortal enemy.

It's a Game of Thrones.

HP and Dell were once battling each other for the crown of PCs. They had surging stock prices and strong alliances.  Now they are both working very hard to establish and expand in other areas.

HP is a long time stalwart of Silicon Valley and has been up and down many times.  It will likely return yet again as a leader based on its history and extensive ties in the Valley.

Dell is a Kingdom born out of the x86 world that was brash in it's younger days but has now matured is trying to figure out how to get out of its first really big down cycle.

The Microsoft / Intel alliance was once one of the most powerful combinations, but has suffered from assaults on all fronts.  The alliance is still there but both parties have new alliances that are conflicting with the others interests.  Intel provides chips for Apple. Microsoft has a new version of Windows for ARM processors.

Apple is one of the best tales.  It's king was banished.  Apple fell and almost disappeared entirely.  But the old king had created new kingdoms and was finally asked to return.  He makes all the right decisions, including an almost unbelievable alliance with Microsoft, and Apple becomes greater than it every was before.

There is the old bear IBM.  It has been around since the beginning of time.  It has splintered off many companies and consumed many companies.  It has invented technology and markets.  It is has gone through many ups and downs.

And this is just a small region called Hardware.  Winter is coming...

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