It’s hard to grasp the breathtaking scale of the epic war between Microsoft, Google and Apple. Billions upon billions of dollars. Entire industries at stake. This is the board. These are the pieces.
What’s at stake? Nothing less than the future. Microsoft wants computing to continue to be tied to the desktop—three screens and a cloud, as Ballmer is fond of saying. For Apple, it’s all about closed information appliances with lots of third-party apps, computers anybody can use. And for Google, all roads lead to the internet, and the internet is synonymous with Google.