Feb 22nd 2012, 14:54 by The Economist online
A history of personal computing
A GOOD way to think of the computer industry is to see it as a series of “platform wars”. When a new computing platform is still young, many different systems fight it out—until one or two standards emerge. Data from Asymco, a consultancy, illustrates that this was the case with the personal computer and is now happening in the market for smartphones and other mobile devices. It is still too early to call the winner(s), but the outcome may be similar to the one in the PC industry: Android, an operating system maintained by Google, could play the role of Microsoft’s Windows (or DOS, its predecessor) and Apple’s iPhone the one of the Macintosh, its older and bigger brother (albeit with a much bigger market share). Only one thing seems certain: the PC’s dominance in the computer industry is coming to an end.