Jan 102012

There is a battle going on now among technology companies. They all want to be the online entry point for consumers, the operating system for everything we do digitally. I’ve written previously on this topic, calling it an updated version of the old portal strategy from early Web days.

I think that comparison is accurate conceptually. But today’s fierce competition has many more facets, and the ammunition is non stop innovation. John Battelle wrote an excellent piece last week breaking down this competition into product lines. He looked at five companies — Apple,  Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Facebook – and their strengths/weaknesses in each area:

Image courtesy of John Battelle's Search Blog - click to enlarge

Even if you don’t agree with every ranking, this way of visualizing the struggle is very useful. At the very least, it can help make you a more educated purchaser of these services, either consumer or enterprise. As Battelle points out in his post, this representation also hints at the acquisition strategies that would make sense for the Big Five.

The overall quality of technology coverage has declined due to the decimation of the tech trades. So this type of strategic perspective is very refreshing, and probably why Battelle is a successful author and businessman. Too often these companies are portrayed as behemoths owning their respective niches.

By portraying the Big Five’s product lines, Battelle brings into sharp relief the cage match going on right now for Internet supremacy.

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