More Thoughts on The Everything Wars

I've written about the Everything Wars a few times, and frankly, some of it seems to be sneaking up on me.

You may remember when I said that I felt the core of the Everything Wars was Microsoft, Google, and Apple, with tangents in the e-book area and gaming.

I think I was being kind.  It started that way, but the more I watch what's going on in the news, I think the Everything Wars have rapidly expanded.  Yes, Google, Microsoft, and Apple are core players, but it seems EVERYONE is jumping into the fray directly or tangentially (usually the latter).

I'm especially concerned about these "tangental" areas of the everything wars, the out-of-left field stuff that doesn't involve Operating Systems or massive search engines.  Wal-mart versus Amazon in books, DLC on the rise, Nexon's great success in gaming and different pay models.

I'm concerned that a lot of us trying to analyze this stuff are missing the bigger picture because of all the small pieces.

Microsoft versus Google versus Apple is easy.  It's obvious.  It's guaranteed.  We know they're all going to tussle.  If any major shifts happen it will be Google's Android and Chrome OS gaining technical share, Apple making more inroads into Windows users, and Microsoft becoming more consumer-electronics (Sony with an OS).

But the tangental areas, of game downloads, e-books, etc.?  That's an area composed of many small factors and battles – 30 different e-book readers tussling, every other game seems to be freemium or some alternate pricing plan, we're already used to DLC for games, sure comics are changing and might be electronic . . .

But all these smaller areas of change in the Everything wars can add up considerably, and present opportunities that CAN be game-changers.  With Nexon's great windows games could Apple make a deal to put them on partitioned systems ("play the great free Windows games with one visit to the Genius Bar)?  With Kodansha bringing in old titles, will they sign any e-book or distribution deals that could change whose gizmo displays what comic?  With battles for mindshare among media companies, what deals will they make with big companies and distributors?

I'm not saying take the eye off of the Battling Big Three.  But the more I watch what's happening around the edges, I think a lot of changes going on don't involve Microsoft, Google, or Apple directly.  I'm going to be paying more attention to what's on the periphery of the Everything Wars.

Because the more I look at it, the more seems to be going on, and the easier it is to ignore it when it's not any of the Big Three.

– Steven Savage