Monday, 25 November 2013

Week 11: Apple vs.Google vs. Microsoft + The Future of the Internet

Posted by Beryl at 03:45
The eleventh post!!

This post will be split into 2 parts, so get ready for the ride!

APPLE vs. GOOGLE vs. MICROSOFT
Out of these 3, which would be your preferred choice?
Personally, I find it hard to decide.
I have Apple products (first-gen Nano, first-gen iPod touch, iPhone 3G which I am using as a music player), all the computers I had in my life (including now) consisted of Microsoft Windows and Windows Office, and I rely on Google for my searches, emails and group work.
With that said, each of these companies are indeed specialised in certain areas.
Apple is more well-known for it's technological devices, such as its iPhone, iPod and MacBook.
Microsoft on the other hand is well-known for its Windows operating system, Office, Internet Explorer and X Box.
Google is famous for its search engine and email functions, just to name a few.

Here is a simple chart to show what technology each company currently has:
Which of these do you own?
With that said, the differences between each company is summarised here:
I agree with the above comparisons, they are pretty accurate, such as the fact that Apple products are known to be cool but expensive.

While each company might be proficient at something, they still cannot afford to lose out on certain groups of people that could be potential customers. The more people that buy their products, the better. In this case, who emerges victorious?
Google comes out tops for search engines in the above countries, with Microsoft coming second in other areas.
It is a tough fight between Windows Internet Explorer and Google Chrome.
Microsoft is leading the OS race.
Google trumps the search engine competition.
The above chart seems unfair to Apple because it wasn't relevant in many areas. However, based on the chart below we can see that Apple is leading the pack in terms of operating margins, or to put it simply how much a company makes:
Google and Microsoft have to buck up!
This comic strip illustrates the acknowledgement of their competitors' strengths and their own weaknesses by each company:
Hopefully sometime in the future these companies would stop trying to compete with each other and fight over petty problems (look at Apple and Samsung) and instead work together to develop new technology that out-rivals everything else. 
Wouldn't this be awesome? It'll be the perfect thing, best of ALL worlds.
To end off, here's an interesting portrayal of the different tech companies:


If only they were real people!

FUTURE OF INTERNET
The future seems really far away, but now there are already many creative minds who are coming up with their visions for technology of the future, which could potentially come true.

While searching the web I came across this:
Enlarge me please!
This future seems like a pretty viable place to live in. There are so many eco-friendly technology, such as air pollution control, water quality control, radiation level detection and waste management. In this day and age when people are becoming more aware of the environment, it seems natural for society to move towards an environmentally-conscious future. Furthermore, there is technology that improves the quality of living. I particularly like the idea of intelligent shopping, because not everybody pays attention to details, so knowing expiration dates could be pretty useful. With our current technology, it is not impossible to achieve this future.

I came across this as well:
The future of online dating.
I think this idea is quite interesting! And with the technology we currently have (face recognition, optic scan, Web 2.0), it is possible that such identification technology will exist in the future too. Dating would never be the same. People could avoid the pain and trouble from dating potentially horrible partners.

While the future of the internet may seem really cool, and while I may have been fascinated by the future of technology, I am not particularly excited for it to actually happen at all, some (e.g. glass technology) more than others.
The countless videos of some glass panel technology that we've seen in class might espouse the benefits of incorporating this technology into our lives. I have to admit, they seem great. However, these videos are overplayed, with every other company creating a 'future' with their product. I get it already, so move on! 

Besides that, I have many bones to pick with the possible consequences of using that particular technology. Sure, the glass allows us to lead our lives even more efficiently and effectively. However, there's no mention of the disadvantages of using glass technology. My biggest bone to pick would be the fact that people will become lazier and even more dependent on technology. It may seem cool to have an all-in-one remote control to control the different functions of your house, such as the lights. But wouldn't it make one become lazier? It only takes a few steps to operate the switches, why must we kick back in a corner and only let our fingers do the exercise? I can just imagine the rise in the number of people ridden with first-world diseases such as obesity just because of some technology that claims to better your lives. In addition, we'll be straining our eyes staring at glass screens the whole day (regardless of anti-glare). I can imagine the rise of myopia too. Furthermore, wouldn't writing and paper and other stationery be obsolete due to the presence of glass tablets and keyboards? Think about it.

There was another scene in one of the video that shows how people are able to use the glass technology as tablets in a nature park, as well as view information about nature through the glass screens set up. 
I find that pretty ironic. Although the technology is useful in enriching us with new information, doesn't it defeat the purpose of going to a nature park? In the first place, people go to parks to enjoy nature AKA the wildness such as the greenery, the fresh air, the natural environment. With glass technology we might as well stay at home and watch a documentary because people will just get distracted by the tablets and screens to genuinely enjoy their surroundings. Roughing it out, which is a part of nature, is also pointless now since we rely on glass technology. 

Another point I would like to make is, if there is no electricity, NOTHING would work. There might be solar energy, but how long would it last? Wouldn't societies come to a standstill just because of a single fault? Coupled with the fact that people become overly-dependent on the technology, they would be clueless as to how to function without their glass technology. This hypothetical scenario can also be applied to other future technology, which I realise, require electricity to function as well.

How's that for advancement? Not that I like to be mean, but I really dislike the whole concept. I am an old-school girl who is wondering why people can't take it easy in life and constantly demand instant gratification through the development of new technology? Is what we have now not enough? When is it ever enough?

Leaving you to ponder over my questions and for me to calm down after the above passionate post about how I don't fancy new technology because I am satisfied with what I have now, I am signing off!

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