In a talk earlier this year to employees, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop asked a question that many were probably afraid to answer truthfully, given how Nokia is struggling to combat the iPhone. As BusinessWeek described it:
Microsoft is a bit like Tiger Woods at the moment - industry darling that became too dominant, then had a fall accompanied by a thick layer of schadenfreude, and now is trying a come-back. Microsoft is being replaced in the big-bad-wolf department by Google and Apple and finds itself in the odd position of being an underdog, and people love to root for underdogs. In fact I'd say that Microsoft is further ahead on the come-back trail than Tiger is if you look at some of its recent announcements: Bing, Windows Phone 7, the Courier journal concept, and the just-announced IE9. Something interesting is brewing in Redmond.
Recently I wrote about why Google needed to take control of both hardware and OS for Android with the Nexus One. Others making hardware on top of Android had just not been able to create the quality of user experience that Google wanted, and, as the old saying goes, if you want something done right you have to do it yourself.
An interesting article on Gizmodo makes the same argument about Microsoft and Windows Phone 7:
The launch of the iPad yesterday put an exclamation mark on an increasingly obvious point: Apple is the company that has captured the cultural zeitgeist. The massive hype leading up to the event - apparently achieved in a groundswell with very little effort on Apple's part - shows that they really are the "It" company right now.
Interesting article by Diane Mermigas at Seeking Alpha about the challenges Google is facing as it diversifies into more and more areas, and it rumbles over the line dividing plucky upstart to hated giant monopolist: