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Apple preparing to make Microsoft irrelevant

Cringely has some interesting thoughts on this week’s Apple announcement: iCloud’s real purpose is to kill Windows.

This redefines digital incumbency. The incumbent platform today is Windows because it is in Windows machines that nearly all of our data and our ability to use that data have been trapped. But the Apple announcement changes all that. Suddenly the competition isn’t about platforms at all, but about data, with that data being crunched on a variety of platforms through the use of cheap downloaded apps.

What this requires from Apple is a bold move that Microsoft would never make: Jobs is going to sacrifice the Macintosh in order to kill Windows. He isn’t beating Windows, he’s making Windows inconsequential.

And Apple’s only the first. My thoughts exactly:

Having been shown the way by Apple, I expect Google to shortly do the same thing, adding automated backup, synchronization, and migration to Android and Chrome.

War on the horizon:

Both [Apple and Google] will be grabbing for data, claiming territory, and leaving Microsoft alone to defend a desktop that will soon cease to exist.

And what happens once all our data is in that iCloud, is there any easy way to get it back out? Nope. It’s in there forever and we are captive customers — trapped more completely than Microsoft ever imagined.

Apple and Google will compete like crazy for our data because once they have it we’ll be their customers forever.

This transition will take at most two hardware generations and we’re talking mobile generations, which means three years, total.

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