The Wall St. Journal's influential tech reviewer Walt Mossberg today pens a column (sub. req.) outlining how Apple's (AAPL) end-to-end hardware and software model may well overcome Microsoft's (MSFT) components model. Excerpt:
In the first war between these models, the war for dominance of the personal-computer market, Microsoft's approach won decisively. Aided by efficient assemblers like Dell, and by corporate IT departments employed to integrate the components, Microsoft's component-based Windows platform crushed Apple's end-to-end Macintosh platform.
But in the post-PC era we're in today, where the focus is on things like music players, game consoles and cellphones, the end-to-end model is the early winner. Tightly linking hardware, software and Web services propelled Apple to a huge success with its iPod. Microsoft, meanwhile, has struggled to make its component model work on these devices and, in a telling sign, is using the Apple end-to-end model itself in its Xbox game-console business... I think the end-to-end model can prevail this time, both for Apple and other companies. Consumers want choice and low prices. But they also crave the kind of simplicity and integration that the end-to-end model delivers best.
Mossberg has long been a fan of Apple -- and the company returned the favor with a new TV ad built around Mossberg's praise. To view it, go to Apple's ads page and click on the 'WSJ' icon in the lower right.