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Digital wars are over

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In his 1911 classic book, ‘The science of Getting Rich’, Wallace D. Wattles said that the struggle to get rich on the competitive plane is Godless scramble for power over other men. He further warned anybody who cared to listen to beware of the insidious temptation to seek power over other men. Until now, the technology world has been refusing to take that piece of great advice.

We have had fierce battles for chip dollar between Intel and AMD. Intel’s huge financial muscle managed to squeeze the neck of AMD and the latter is gasping for air now. AMD did sue Intel; but that is where the problem started. Instead of putting money on research and development for clever computer chips, AMD’s money was being used to pay lawyers. Meanwhile Intel was happy that AMD’s attention was distracted.

Peaceful coexistence of Intel and AMD gifted the computer world wider choices. Whilst AMD was good with gaming processors, Intel remained king of processors for serious workstations and servers. The problem here was what I call the economics of the pie which insinuates that the more successful one company is, the less is left for the rest.

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The same can be said about the cold wars between Apple and Google. Google is the father of Android operating system software for mobile phones. This software is licensed to companies like Samsung. Apple has its iOS for its iPhones and iPads. Apple attacked Google indirectly by taking Samsung to court over patent issues. Once again courts and not science labs became busy.

But all this is now behind us. Microsoft and Google announced last Friday that they would each withdraw all the patent cases currently in the courts. The companies further announced that they would work together in some areas for the good of technology.

I paused and checked the date just to make sure I was not reading some fool’s day article on the BBC website; this was real, Microsoft and Google had surely decided to bury the patent hatchet.

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The patent issues between the two companies climaxed when Google bought Motorola Mobile some years ago. Google stripped Motorola off its many wonderful patents and later sold the shell to Lenovo. Some of those pieces of intellectual property were tied to Microsoft’s Xbox.

Apple did the same thing late last year when it withdrew the patent cases against Samsung. Where is all this corroboration coming from? Perhaps the big players in the technology space have now realized that the economics of the pie is derailing progress.

The technology world today is different; companies have to work had to give the buying public enough reason to buy new products to replace the existing ones. This requires a lot of research and corroboration. In such times companies have to harness the power of synergy.

Before the announcement, there were twenty patent cases between the two companies and courts were beginning to display boredom over such matters.

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