The Battle for Control of our Technological Future

by Matt Klassen on November 1, 2011

Recently I found myself re-watching the 90’s Sylvester Stallone dystopian action flick “Demolition Man,” a movie that I discovered didn’t quite elicit the same testosterone-fuelled excitement it did when I was a teenager, but I digress. What got me thinking in this movie was its somewhat off-the-cuff vision of a future where Taco Bell will be the only restaurant still in business, the unlikely winner of the “Franchise Wars.”

Now I have to say that while I don’t particularly care what restaurant dominates our future—so long as it has decent hot wings—the question that arose in my mind was what will the technology market look like in 2050?

Will Apple be able to continue its market dominance? Will Microsoft emerge as a true mobile competitor or simply fade away? Will Google continue its Android success, or will its disparate focus lead the company astray? Will Facebook morph into some SkyNet-like project that ends up controlling the entire world?

Who will win the fight for the technological dominance of our future?

Since the unfortunate passing of Steve Jobs I’ve written several speculative articles over the future of Apple, all of them asking the same question, will Apple be able to maintain its momentum under new leadership? There’s little question in my mind that in the fight for the technological future Apple will have the hardest row to hoe, as it will likely be unable to replace the je ne sais quoi that Jobs brought to the company, that intangible quality that allowed him to sell a technological lifestyle instead of just cool gadgets.

As TechNewsWorld’s Rob Enderle writes, “Atari, Commodore, Netscape, Palm, Motorola and now Research in Motion (RIM) have all demonstrated that today’s champion can easily be tomorrow’s bozo,” and Apple needs to recognize that its current success says nothing about the company’s ability to last.

What will Microsoft look like in 40 years? While under the leadership of Steve Ballmer the company has managed to stick around, making the lion’s share of its money in the current mobile market off strategic licensing agreements, it ultimately suffers from a lack of passion, an apparent lack of awareness of consumer desires, and a lack of purpose. Microsoft has innumerable projects on the go, a problem that results in a distinct lack of focus and insufficient R&D resources to actually make any of them achieve success.

If Microsoft is to dominate our technological future, it needs to find purpose and it needs to pursue it with both focus and finances.

That brings us to the Microsoft clone, the search engine giant Google. Although it’s free open source mobile project Android has reached every corner of the mobile market, the problems for Google are what they have always been: a focus on quantity over quality and unreliable cost centres. Again as Enderle writes, “By separating the revenue from the product (it funds everything indirectly through advertising), it does what any product company knows is death: It makes its developers a cost center.” Will Google be able to last without securing its revenue stream directly to Android?

Finally that brings us to Facebook, already the foci of many people’s entire digital existence. What can I say about Facebook except that the company all but created social networking as we know it and unlike the other companies vying for technological dominance, its dominance is connected to people, to human interactions, and not to products?

While that invariably means that Facebook’s success hinges on our social networking whims, it certainly helps that Facebook is simultaneously dictating those whims to us.

Ultimately unless Facebook fails to maintain its uncanny control over our social networking habits, it remains, in my mind, the most likely candidate to eventually dominate this technological battle, a veritable Taco Bell of our dystopian technological future. God help us all.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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IVR Services December 8, 2011 at 6:00 am

Well Future is uncertain and no body can know what is next going to happen you are talking about 2050, 40 years ahead 8 years before nobody know about facebook

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