Battelle's Big 5: Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-12-08 Print this article Print

John Battelle is doing some nice culling for his next book, "What We Hath Wrought."

Normally, I'd shun any book with a title like that because it invokes the dreaded Triple P threat: portentous, pompous and pretentious. But this is Battelle, baby. Even if the title sounds like something an Ivy League essayist wrote, I'll eat it up. So will many others.

To wit, Battelle is looking at the Internet Big 5 as the five companies shaping the Web for years to come. They are, in order of current market capitalization, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Facebook. Read the post and check out the chart after the jump:

Bat Big 5.png

Once again, Battelle provides the 30,000-foot view of the space. When I looked at the chart above, it hit me that while I joined eWEEK primarily to cover Google, I've done some considerable writing on the other companies here, too. After all, they are all, to varying degrees, Google's chief competition.

I suppose this is the part where I should write that Facebook should have Google quaking. I'd like to think that as potentially monstrously huge as Facebook could get, it's not going to turn Google into the next Yahoo or MySpace.

Sure, Facebook has the social network to cut great swathes out of Google's eyeball share, and advertising dollars by extension, but there are far too many Google users and loyalists to let the company dry up. People will still search Google, just like they use Windows PCs.

But I also recognize that people are also spending more time with Apple, Microsoft and Amazon, whose array of content and services I find myself increasingly using--from Windows computers and Android machines no less.

In fact, I would argue that all of these companies will coexist because these are top Internet brands driving huge user engagement. Incredible to think that 15 years ago most people were just using Microsoft and Apple computers.

As I sit here at home, I realize that I'm typing this on a Windows 7 Professional laptop in front of a TV augmented by Google's Android platform (Google TV), from which I stream Amazon Instant Video and make purchases and check Facebook status updates.

Connected to and charging from my laptop is an Android-based Motorola Droid X smartphone, from which I also check Facebook updates and have photos uploaded instantly to my Google+ account.

Over on our charging stand sits my daughter's iPod Touch 4 and there is an iPhone 4 in my wife's purse at work. Upstairs in the bedroom lies an Android-based Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and a Windows XP-based Eee PC from Asus.

I realize I may not be the average tech consumer, but I bet most houses on my street have at least a Windows or Mac-based desktop or laptop, and iPhone or Android smartphone and/or iPad. Most likely their kids are using Facebook.

I doubt anyone else has Google TV, but maybe they already stream Netflix and other stuff through Microsoft Xbox 360 or plan to get a full Apple TV when it comes out next year.

You get the idea. The point is that Battelle's Big 5 are shepherding the Web, gobbling up smaller companies, trampling others, and beating each other up in various segments of our disparate, yet still evolving market.

His post does a fine job setting the stage for the battles being fought and the battles to come in addition to serving as a preview of his book when it's published next year. |

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