Which company is going to win in the end?

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Win what?

The tech war. Who's going to outlast the other?

Over what specifc part of the "tech war"? They're going after the consumer market in different ways with somewhat different products. And the consumer market is SO not going to be the deciding factor in any "tech war".

This doesn't have to be so complicated. Microsoft and Apple are huge competitors across the board. I'm just asking for speculation as to who is essentially going to be the victor in the end. Will Windows beat out Mac? Yes, no, why, why not? What products do you guys prefer over the other?

My bad. I see this as a way more involved question. :)

Linux for basic usage, Windoze 7 for games, and Droid for mobile usage.

My first computer ran some old version of Mandrake. There was a lot of French documentation and I ended up switching to Red Hat. Ah, the memories. The frustrating, wtf is my computer doing memories. ;)

I'm dubious that either one is going to vanish, unless one or the other is phenomenally stupid in their business dealings.  Such is not an outrageous proposition as regards either Apple or Microsoft, either.

The PC amounts to the "everyman" machine and for the large portion has succeeded in being that machine, though in fits and starts and some occasionally colossal faux pas (Windows ME, anyone?).  Though it is not perfect, Windows 7 has been stable and reasonably facile since I installed it, a vast improvement over Vista in terms of memory management at the very least, and in terms of robustness, I am doubtful that Windows 8 will much improve on that factor.

Apple is by and large a niche product, as regards its computers, but an important niche.  My daughter started out her undergraduate career in broadcast journalism on a PC but switched to an Apple Powerbook because of its superior (to her, anyway) video editing and other related utilities.  I have heard similar stories from those involved in graphical design and related disciplines of Apple's greater facility as regards graphics.  I actually cut my teeth in computerized drawing on Apple's MacDraw software, though that application is crude by today's standards, and I might have stuck with it had I not discovered Micrografx Designer, which ran on my Windows 3.1 machine back then and curiously enough, on my 32-bit Windows 7 machine now!

My suspicion is that, so long as both companies recognize, respect and service the needs of their constituent users, that both will  maintain themselves in fairly fine style.  I suppose it is possible that Microsoft might one day attempt (yet again) to run over Apple, but I think that is a past lesson learned and for the time, heeded.

However, past lessons learned can be forgotten.

Damn, your similarly-themed post came in just as I was finishing typing up mine. Damned smartphone interfaces.
Why do you think one is going to eventually 'win'? There's plenty of room in the market for multiple platforms. Sure, you do eventually lose a few competitors when you have too many. We saw that in the gaming console wars. It seems that three platforms can coexist. Adding a fourth system will drive one of the other three out of the system.

We may see that situation soon with smartphones. There's plenty of room for both Droid and iOS. We've got WinPhones and Facebook phones coming onto the market sometime soon, though. If Blackberry makes a resurgence, that will make it even worse. When you have 5 platforms on the market, app developers will begin saying "Fuck that," and exclude platforms with less market saturation.

There are only three major PC OS families. There's plenty of room in the industry for both Windoze-based and iOS markets, in perpetuity. Unix/Linux will never go away, because it doesn't have to compete in the same way. It doesn't use a profit-based distribution model.

Maybe you guys are right. Maybe there won't be a winner. Coke and Pepsi are good examples of that. Then again maybe not. I was actually thinking about the console wars when I posted this. Sega specifically (Nintendo next?).

Yes, the Dreamcast is the console that lost when Microsoft became the fourth competitor on the console market. That's the situation I was referring to.

And no, Nintendo isn't going anywhere. They're doing just fine.

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