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COMMENT: For many years, there have been two models of how to make computers and other digital devices. One is the component model, championed by Microsoft. The other is the end-to-end model, championed by Apple.

For many years, there have been two models of how to make computers and other digital devices. One is the component model, championed by Microsoft. The other is the end-to-end model, championed by Apple.

In the component model, many companies make hardware and software that run on a standard platform, creating inexpensive commodity devices that don’t always work perfectly together, but get the job done. In the end-to-end model, one company designs both the hardware and software, which work smoothly together, but the products cost more and limit choice.

In the first war between these models, the war for dominance of the personal-computer market, Microsoft’s approach won decisively. Aided by efficient assemblers like Dell, and by corporate IT departments employed to integrate the components, Microsoft’s component-based Windows platform crushed Apple’s end-to-end Macintosh platform.

Walter S Mossberg writes for the Wall Street Journal. see rest of story at: http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/ptech-20060511.html

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