Tech war coming in 2012

Writing at Fast Company, Farhad Manjoo sees a big battle involving Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon in the coming year:

The four American companies that have come to define 21st-century information technology and entertainment are on the verge of war. Over the next two years, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google will increasingly collide in the markets for mobile phones and tablets, mobile apps, social networking, and more. This competition will be intense.

It is interesting that Microsoft is missing from the list of combatants.

The article is substantial and I found it worth a read.

Via GigaOm.

How Apple became a music company

In a short time Apple has changed the music industry and become the largest distributor of digital music. At Gizmodo, Donald A. Norman discusses how Apple achieved this through the integration of its products, design and service. There were many different threads that had to be tied together and here is an excerpt from the description of how it was brought off:

When Apple entered the market with its products, it created a revolution in the distribution of music. Apple soon took over, not only dominating the sale of digital music players, but also changing the way the music companies thought of their products. Everyone believes that Apple took over the music-player business through its superior design of its device, the iPod, introduced in 2001. No, the iPod, although a truly excellent product, is not the secret to Apple’s success. The secret is that they understood that the core problem was not just the design of the product: it was to simplify the entire system of finding, buying, getting, and playing music, and also to overcome the legal issues.

Microblogging with Tumblr

Somewhere between the very short 140-character messages of Twitter and full-blown posts on a regular blog are the microblogs like Tumblr. While short of a conventional blog post, the messages on these sites may contain graphics. The distinction is a little blurred but, whatever they are, microblogs are becoming more popular. In fact, some well-known media seem to have decided that Tumblr is a good platform. Newsweek, The Atlantic, and the New Yorker are among the publications with a presence on Tumblr. Even the New York Times is starting a Tumblr site.

With regular web sites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and now Tumblr, many media are spread all over. I am not sure where it is all heading but there is discussion of the media presence on Tumblr at Business Insider .