A platform, to computer people, is the software code on which third-party applications function. There are scores of big platforms out there . . .
. . .it's been riveting to watch three of the most innovative companies in Silicon Valley--each representing a fundamental phase of the information era--battle it out. Apple, Google and Facebook are, respectively, an icon from the pioneering days of personal computers; the biggest, most profitable company yet born on the Web; and a feisty upstart whose name is synonymous with the current migration to social networks.
The article describes the differing approaches of the three Internet giants:
Google, for instance, advocates an "open" Web and tends to push for open standards and alliances among developers. Facebook, with its gated community of 70 million active users, offers a more controlled experience and, so far at least, wants to keep its users safely within its walls. Apple comes from the old world. Its elegant products cocoon customers from the chaos of the information age, but the Apple experience tends to be highly controlled, with Apple hardware at the end points and Apple software and services, like the iTunes Music Store, in between.
Read the entire article here.