Four Companies Walk Into A Bar…

Starts like a joke … but it’s just reality.

One is an Advertising company, wants you to use their software and hardware so you can count as captive audience to their advertising clients. Hardware and software are a way to capture as much behavioral information as legally possible to be able to target advertising to you and whoever uses their devices. Profitability is determined by how effective they target those adds to you since their own devices hardly break even and OEMs make cents on the Dollar.

The second is a Retail company who wants you to use their hardware so you can purchase their retail products and licensed content. Hardware is a no-thrills, non-profitable means to get you to their ecosystem. Once in their ecosystem, they can profit from their retail margins and licensed content. Profitability is determined by cut-throat margins offered for their retail products and content licensing fees you will pay.

The third is a Hardware company who builds overly simplified software so you can feel at ease while using the hardware they hyped (and sold) to you. Software is merely a path for you to purchase their over-the-top hardware priced at elitist prices that profits out of the most commoditized components plus the percentage of its licensed content.

The fourth is a Software company who wants you to use their software but sees itself forced to build hardware that highlights their product. Profits will come out mostly from their software as their hardware is just a vehicle for you to adopt their software. Even when the hardware partners fail to produce attractive products, it is the software company that will be criticized for going against its partners, when it is only building a platform guidance product that should urge OEMs to compete for the top spot.

All companies make mistakes and even though all companies will produce similar hardware and software, their products will be quite different and yet:

  • The Advertising company will undercut its OEMs.
  • The Retail company will trim features and lower specs to be able to sell hardware at cost. This hurts users as they get a cheaper product obviously at a lower price.
  • The Hardware company will squeeze the manufacturers and dictate what content is appropriate claiming users do not know what they want.
  • The Software company is rumored to overprice its software… hurting only itself. Still, nothing is confirmed yet… one can only hope they will do what’s right for the consumer and in the process gain market share.


The market is absolutely screwed up… somehow, the hardware company, who basically sold the overpriced snake oil to the public is the one everyone around us seems to adore, the advertising company is the one that sells the most devices and the retail company is the one that everyone considers the up-and-coming company while offering nothing but cheap-also-ran hardware.

I am sorry, but I am rooting for the Software company, not out of loyalty; although I admit I have made a decent profit out of servicing and consulting for their products so far, but because it is the one that has catered to the requirements of its users and has been catering to the public and the enterprise for the most time.

Name the companies if you can… if you know who I am talking about, you will probably agree with me.

They are:

  • Advertising company: Google
  • Retail company: Amazon
  • Hardware company: Apple
  • Software company: Microsoft

About Diego Samuilov

Editor in Chief/Founder Diego Samuilov is an executive, consultant, IT strategist and book, e-book and web published author. Diego has worked in Microsoft’s environments since 1990. Since then, he has successfully filled many positions related to the Software Development lifecycle. Having worked as a developer, analyst, technical lead, project lead, auditor and, since 1996 a project manager, manager, director and VP in the Software Development, Server, Desktop and Mobile environments. Diego is very passionate about the software development process, which has played a great part in his skills development. Since the introduction of the first ever PDA (the Apple Newton MessagePad) in 1994 and Windows CE in 1998 he has pioneered and pushed the envelope in the field of mobile software development. He has developed many solutions used in mobile markets, desktop and server environments. He participates in public and private developer community events. He actively collaborates with the community at support forums and blogs. Diego is the author of "Windows Phone for Everyone" available [HERE].