Microsoft: As you know, Microsoft is behind Windows – the world’s most popular operating system by far, which is installed on billions of computers worldwide. In addition to that, we also have MS Dos and the Office suite, which are hardly historical brackets.
Apple: Apple has certainly also had a big impact on the operating system market, but their big success is rather on the mobile side. The iPhone was introduced in 2007 and paved the way for the entire smartphone industry.
Winner: Nowadays, most of us walk around with a smartphone in our pocket, but still – the importance of Windows and MS Dos for our technological development cannot be overestimated. Microsoft takes home this category.
Microsoft: Years after Apple succeeded in the market for mp3 players, Microsoft embarked on the same track with its own Zune music player. The problem? The Zune was inferior to the iPod in pretty much everything, and anyone who wanted to listen to music on the go had already bought an iPod. There was really no argument whatsoever for a switch when the Zune sloth, with weak marketing in tow, rolled out across the world.
Read more: Microsoft’s biggest peaks and flops of all time
Apple: In the nineties, a battered Apple tried to break into the hot video game market with the console Pippin, which was a collaboration with Japanese Bandai. It went completely wrong. Technically, Pippin may not have been a disaster, but in the fierce competition, very few game developers jumped on the bandwagon, which meant that the venture never took off. It was also expensive. Barely half of a total of approximately 100,000 copies of Pippin are said to have de facto been sold.
Read more: All the Apple flops we remember
Winner: Here we turn the tables and select the company that has succeeded best in avoiding excellence. And given that the Zune ended up in an equally embarrassing and crushing defeat to Apple’s counterpart, the iPod, Microsoft’s flop is the worst. The victory is thus achieved Apple.
Microsoft: Throughout its long history, Microsoft has been good at trying to find new business opportunities. Among other things, we have seen the game console Xbox, the pocket computer Windows CE and the programming language Visual Basic. You can’t blame Microsoft for a lack of innovation, even if everything didn’t turn out well.
Apple: In the wake of the iPhone, Apple suddenly emerged as the world’s most exciting technology company. Ipad and Apple Watch were not the first products in their respective categories, but still came to create some sort of standard.
Winner: Few companies have tried as hard (and failed as often) as Microsoft? Apple is not far behind, but still has to see itself defeated here.
The company leaders
Microsoft: The most iconic Microsoft leader is of course Bill Gates, who since his resignation has devoted himself mostly to charitable projects. Microsoft has certainly had a hard time filling his shoes, but we’ve certainly enjoyed the various antics of successor Steve Ballmer. Nowadays, the company is controlled by the more anonymous Satya Nadella.
Apple: Of course, it is impossible to talk about Apple without mentioning Steve Jobs, who, long after his untimely death, still influences the way the company thinks. Current CEO Tim Cook does not have the same charisma, but still manages to take up significantly more space than Microsoft’s ditto.
Winner: Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer in all glory, but the technology world will probably never see a bigger icon than Steve Jobs. Easy partial victory for Apple.
Microsoft: Microsoft has learned from its mistakes. These days, clumsy Windows launches (although updates have been a bit sloppy lately) and questionable hardware releases seem to be a thing of the past. Microsoft is also moving towards becoming a purely software company, although Xbox still seems to be something that sees a future in it.
Apple: We hardly need to mention that Apple collects huge sums of money from iPhone sales. However, it is starting to fall somewhat, which has caused the company to start looking for new market areas. Among other things, the streaming service Apple TV Plus is at the door.
Winner: Both giants are alive and thriving – we are still talking about two of the world’s most valued companies. The giants have also been beaten at the top for a long time, and have taken turns to subscribe to the throne. Right now, however, leads Microsoft. However, history has taught us that this can change quickly.
The final winner
It’s a fierce battle between two of the most significant IT companies ever. And in the end, a goal line is needed to decide the outcome. By the slimmest possible margin, the dent ends up in Seattle. Congratulations, Microsoft!