Re: AC @ 12:49 - Google vs Microsoft
MS big contribtuion was a general operating system that was not tied to proprietary hardware. It allowed huge competition from compenent and PC companies that drove prices down. Without MS, the Apple model would have domintated and $500 computers would be $5k each and without the current capability.
Personally not a big MS fan but you have to acknowledge that their operating systems which were compatible with such a wide range of equipment was key in shaping the market. Making OS that were compatible with a huge range of hardware, tossed together by DIYers all over the world is not a mean achievement. Much easier if you control the hardware and write the OS for that equipment.