What a difference a decade makes.
Back in the late-'90s, Microsoft was widely regarded as the biggest bully in tech -- and understandably so. Commanding unbeatable market shares in operating systems, computer gaming, and web browsing, Gates and Co. were able to rule the Silicon Valley playground from Redmond, Washington -- choosing who it lends its toys to and who even gets to play at all. Development was sloppy, support fell by the wayside, and user requests were barely noticed.
While Microsoft still leads in the computing sectors, its persistent consumer neglect over the last few years has led much of its fan base away to greener pastures -- mainly to a company that claims to hold convenience and usability as its highest regards. The thorn in Microsoft's side for years is currently referred to as the company to beat, the one with the muscle, the leading name in tech.
And now, Apple (AAPL) is well on its way of becoming the headstrong, yet vulnerable Microsoft of the late-'90s.
With its Google grudge match, FCC investigation, App Store dictatorship, and senseless product abandonment, Apple has adopted the similar air of untouchable superiority -- dictating which companies and products pass through its walls at the expense of accessibility and, ultimately, the user.