By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
The Great Debate UK
2010 is a great time for the web. Innovation is thriving as new services and content flourish on smartphones and laptops, thanks in good part to industry leaders like Apple and Facebook.
from Reuters Investigates:
The world's biggest software maker once inspired fear in tech land. Today it's mostly yawns. Is Microsoft no longer a growth company? Should Google be nervous, too? And are Steve Ballmer's days at the helm numbered?
The iPad's destructive reach seems to be extending further and faster. Apple's tablet is taking off at a breakneck rate. Analysts now predict up to 40 million will be sold in 2011. With personal incomes and spending stagnant, it's looking like a zero-sum game in consumer electronics. Forget PCs and netbooks. The iPad will eat into camera and GPS device sales too.
At Apple the gadget, not content, is still king. Nearly every day brings a new contestant in the emerging battle for the attention of the American couch potato. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and YouTube all want to serve up content. While Apple also rents out video, its new TV device allows users to stream rival services. Unlike the other players in the fast-moving video web arena, Apple's still all about the hardware.