Apple, Microsoft And Facebook Face Tough Questions in 2013
It’s time to wake up and smell the roses, people. Shake off what’s left of the weekend’s hangover, get back to work, and brace yourselves for the upcoming year of new tech. The past five years or so have experienced a rapid and tumultuous innovation of mobile tech, and the days of smart technology fitting in the size of a deck of cards is no longer an idea of the future; it’s reality.
Tech giants are still fighting to see who will become top dog, and it’s going to take more than just big screens and fast processors to determine the victor. Here are some tough questions we need to ask Apple, Microsoft and Facebook in 2013:
Can Apple still keep innovating?
It’s been over a year since the passing of Steve Jobs, and with Tim Cook now at the helm of the tech giant, we’ve all been waiting to see if the boat will remain afloat. He has been the commander in chief for the release of two iPhones thus far (arguably the “face” of Apple), and its technological wonder has been hampered with great speculation and software snafus that kept us all wanting.
The iPhone 5, for example, was riddled with design leaks up to its formal announcement, that, when finally revealed, tasted kind of stale. No one was surprised because the dark corners of the internet and hushed whispering led to premature delivery of the punch line.
Not to mention that first party app development has been less than stellar lately (leather stitching on the Find My Friends App… really?) Apple Maps treated us to a Picasso-esque view of land navigation, and Google Maps had to come in riding the white horse to save everyone’s sanity with their navigation app.
With the ousting of Scott Forstall (the leader for Find My Friends and Apple Maps), Jony Ive is now at the helm of software and hardware development. This year will tell us if Apple can keep the magic touch.
Can Microsoft dig deep for the future?
Let’s be real: Microsoft was late to the game with mobile tech. Apple released the iPhone three years before Microsoft could get Windows Phone to the market. (Does anyone even remember the abominations that were the Microsoft Kin?) They are now in a mad dash to play catch up in the tablet market with the Surface, which runs Windows RT and 8. Once again, Microsoft is far behind the likes of Apple (and even Amazon. Ouch.)
The PC era is over, and Microsoft still has to produce worthwhile competitors for the tablet and smartphone worlds. That would require more first party support for apps, more apps in the app store, and better integration of third party apps with the Live Tiles interface. In the meantime, we can all enjoy playing Halo 4 until the announcement of the next Xbox.
Will Facebook mature?
With the recent IPO, this year will be Facebook’s first year as a public company. Can they please their investors while not enraging their entire user base? This will be no easy task; people are nitpicky about Facebook. I can still hear the cries over the forced switch to Timeline, and that wasn’t even really a big deal.
Even bigger issues that affect all users are privacy policies and the looming bombardment of targeted advertisements. The problem is, Facebook figured out how to generate ad revenue just before many of its users downloaded the mobile app. Square one, boys. Facebook now has to figure out how to target ads on mobile platforms without overstepping the privacy boundary. Now Mark Zuckerberg has to answer to investors, and everyday they will pressure him to cross that boundary.
Who do you think will make the biggest breakthrough in 2013? Let us know in the comments below.