The three major players in our technology today, Apple, Google, and Microsoft have given us a lot to look at, think about, and own in 2012.  Here is a look back, a glance forward, and wrap up of where the companies are at.

Apple, Google and Microsoft in 2012

Apple

Apple has lived through some big changes in its first full year without Steve Jobs at the helm.  The company has introduced the first 7” tablet in the iPad Mini, a concept that Jobs was against.  However, it has done reasonably well in its first few weeks on the market.

There is also the new iPhone 5 that was released to the public with plenty of excitement and hoopla.  Unfortunately, the issues with Apple Maps have dampened the enthusiasm to some extent.

Apple still leads the world of technology, but has lost some of its sense of direction.  It needs to get that back to remain the definitive leader of what consumers should want to own.

 

Google

Google arrived on the scene of the tablet market and has won numerous fans with its Nexus 7 this year.  It has also gained ground on Apple’s iPhone dominance with the new Samsung devices.  Google has gotten involved in almost every area of technology and has proven to be a worthy competitor.  It has also shown it can compete in software with Microsoft thanks to Google Docs.

Apple, Google and Microsoft in 2012

Google hasn’t stopped with traditional technology but has been developing the concepts of Google Glasses and driverless cars to combine technology with everyday objects.

 

Microsoft

Microsoft has been in the background as the other companies battle it out on the mobile phone and tablet competition for some time.  However, it has decided that late is better than never to throw its hat in the ring.  And while there have been some criticisms of the new Surface, Microsoft’s first attempt at a tablet has been relatively successful in showing that the company can evolve.  The Windows Phone has also demonstrated that it can be competitive.

Apple, Google and Microsoft in 2012

The competition is going to be fierce in the next few months and on into next year.  Google and Microsoft will be working to topple Apple’s reign while the leader will finding new ways to stay on top.  In the end, it’s the customers who benefit most from the competition with new and innovative products.

 

[Images via gigaom & electrosome]