(2011-10-20) Fastco Platform War Apple Facebook Google Amazon

Farhad Manjoo (in Fast Company) describes the growing Platform War. Over the next two years, Amazon, Apple Computer, FaceBook, and Google will increasingly collide in the markets for Mobile phones and Tablet-s, mobile AppStore-s, Social Networking, and more.

Everyone reading this article is a customer of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, or Google, and most probably count on all four. But will it stay this way, or will such a pattern become increasingly irritating as each platform becomes more hostile to the others?

So who could derail these best-laid plans? Well, let's start with the lawyers, of course. (Patent, Anti-Trust)

Dec'2012: Bruce Sterling suggests calling these players (plus Microsoft) "The Stacks". People assume that Stacks want to break the Internet into Balkanized pieces, but that's not what's going on. Basically, "Stacks" want to corral the Internet's anonymous "users" --"nobody knew they were dogs" -- and turn users into tagged, branded and privatized livestock. A Stack doesn't have to "break the Internet" to do this; it just has to set up the digital equivalent of a comprehensive family farm, so that the free-range cowboys of the Electronic Frontier (EFF) are left with crickets chirping and nothing much to do. A modern Stack will leverage stuff that has never been "Internet," such as Mobile devices, cell coverage and Operating System-s.

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