Why are technology giants American?

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mech-eng
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Why are technology giants American? This question is limited to the are of referred firms in the following.

Google: The giant of search engine much more preferred than its rivals and probably the strongest rivals are also American Bing and Yahoo.

Microsoft: Dominanted the area of commercial operating systems. Only rival might be Apple's own O.S but Windows operating system is even used in Apple computers.

Amazon: Dominanted the area of internet shopping for years. Now there might be only a Chinese rival. But I think its the leader and will be more time.

Apple: This firm was very strong in portable media player area with its product Ipod now, I think, the best in the area of smart phone although there is a strong Korean rival.
I think this is the case for best and science programs such as CAD, CAS, Multiphysics.
Would you explain why this happens so?

Intel: The dominant PC CPU unit producer. Only rival AMD is also American and I think they are friends and have relationship. Intel might help AMD to be an actor in this field.

CISCO: world leader in its own area. I know it is created by three professors which is related to universities.

My answer for reasons: 1. The USA has the best universities and this means Americans have best and newest knowledge and best patents. 2.The Americans are one of the most hard-working and free-thinking nations. 3. Internet was already developed by Americans so they have internet infrastructure. 4. Silicon valley is the heart of these areas. 5. They have tools for developing such things but others don't. ( This is a guess I don't know what those tools are) 6. Their laws supports their rights.

Thank you.
 
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  • #2
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By discounting other folks contributions it looks like the US always leads the way. In the case of MS, you didn’t mention Linux which is the real threat to MS dominance. It has a look and feel of MS Windows but becuase it must be consciously installed by the user has yet to make an impact.

Dominance of US tech in China is hindered by the govt there who favors home grown copy cats who can better serve the people and who will conform to Chinese censorship policies.

If you consider the rise of malware and hackerdom, you can see many countries are dominant in that space as computer skills have spread around the world with the advent of microprocessor technology and the internet.

So I don’t think it’s as simple as you say.
 
  • #3
mech-eng
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If you consider the rise of malware and hackerdom, you can see many countries are dominant in that space as computer skills have spread around the world with the advent of microprocessor technology and the internet.

Yes, so I limited question, did you noticed? East Europe and Russia might have world's most skillsful PC security professionals but I excluded this area. But I think the USA is still the leader of Antivirus or other security firms. Even though Linux is free most people still prefer MS Windows because its easier to use. Firms might release a commercial one, even using cores of Linux, but they don't. Why? This is implies this is very hard. I forgot to add microprocessors. I will add it now.

Thank you.
 
  • #4
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People don’t prefer windows to Linux, they get it by default on nearly every prebuilt computer system. You can’t even request that Linux be provided as they vendor has made deals with MS to ship windows.

A common example, is you don’t choose your first language or culture. It’s what your parents taught you and so you tend to keep it especially if it works well as you grow up. Later you discover other languages and cultures but still you prefer your own because it’s what you learned first and you’ll always feel as an outsider in other cultures and languages.
 
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  • #5
mech-eng
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People don’t prefer windows to Linux, they get it by default on nearly every prebuilt computer system. You can’t even request that Linux be provided as they vendor has made deals with MS to ship windows.

A common example, is you don’t choose your first language or culture. It’s what your parents taught you and so you tend to keep it especially if it works well as you grow up. Later you discover other languages and cultures but still you prefer your own because it’s what you learned first and you’ll always feel as an outsider in other cultures and languages.

1. Do you mean if a person start with Linux first then encounter Windows he or she prefer Linux to Windows? This is strange why do people think Linux is hard and require too many skills?

2. Why does PC vendors make such a deal with MS to ship windows, even though they don't have to? They might sell their products without any O.S. This might make them chipper.

Thank you.
 
  • #6
berkeman
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Microsoft: Dominanted the area of commercial operating systems. Only rival might be Apple's own O.S but Windows operating system is even used in Apple computers.
For some insight into Apple and Microsoft and Silicon Valley, this is a very good book that I recommend:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1937785769/?tag=pfamazon01-20
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  • #7
Vanadium 50
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Skype, Spoitfy, Nokia, Blackberry, T-Mobile, Trivago, GlaxoSmithKline...
 
  • #8
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There is competitive pressure to provide machines that work with other vendor equipment. MS provides that glue as an assortment of device drivers and will even take on the help service aspect for new user problems.

Also people will tend toward a fully functioning machine over one they still have to configure. Gaming favors windows and vice versa although it wasn’t always that way as early games preferred PC Dos as it gave them greater access to graphics card control.

I can’t say why people think Linux is harder. It’s true that it’s a windowing system on top of a command line collection of arcane commands but so is windows but they now hide it better using GUI based system control.

Historically, there were mainframe OSee that used card language and then transitioned to timesharing. Unix came out of that complexity and got extended with its xwindows as others were exploring windowing technology. All these required knowing what commands to start up xwindows and configuring your machine to accept and use xwindows effectively.

MS windows came out of MS work with IBM on OS/2 where they felt IBM was addressing its corporate clients and was making the system too complex and so they stealthily built Windows and undermined OS/2 development all the while borrowing OS/2 code for windows. It was a bad alliance from the start.
 
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  • #9
mech-eng
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Skype, Spoitfy, Nokia, Blackberry, T-Mobile, Trivago, GlaxoSmithKline...

Smart phones might be a different area than classic handy phones. Nokia was collapsed because of Iphone and was bought by MS and its name once was Nokia Lumia now it might be only Lumia. Yes Scandinavians might once good at once cell phone area but now I think they are not.Nowadays I don't hear nothing about Blackberry. Is not Skype now American? I have never heard of Spoitfy even though I follow PC magazines and technology magazines. I heard T-mobile and GlaxoSmithKine but only their names, for me these too have not strong brand recognation.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13...stroyed-nokias-world-leading-symbian-platform

https://www.cultofmac.com/286285/steve-took-jobs-says-finnish-prime-minister/

Thank you.
 
  • #10
phinds
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People don’t prefer windows to Linux...
Uh ... SOME of us sure do. Been there, done that, and if it came with a T-shirt, I'd burn it. :-p
 
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  • #11
StoneTemplePython
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I feel out of sync with this thread.

@jedishrfu

In what meaningful sense could Linux (even with massively higher adoption) be considered a 'technology giant' like a company worth a half a trillion dollars which is what the original post is talking about -- I think.

I am not aware of any open source 'technology giants'... (Even the ubiquitous wikipedia doesn't seem like a tech giant to me -- they plead for cash every year and don't have muscle for R&D, acquisitions, or politics, like google or FB or MSFT)

- - - -
full disclaimer: I have a dual boot laptop and much prefer Ubuntu to windows on almost everything, but I don't think the shoe fits.

Maybe OP should have clarified what it means to be a tech giant.
 
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  • #12
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How about these companies? Linux is used extensively on server-side of the internet. There are many many servers:

https://www.tecmint.com/big-companies-and-devices-running-on-gnulinux/

Linux even has support companies like Redhat, Canonical and others...

MS was very worried about Linux overtaking Windows as they did with Netscape taking over the desktop. However, now that 90% of client machines use Windows and Netscape is no more and they have IExplorer, they feel their revenue stream is safe. for the moment.

Android is based on a stripped down form of Linux and it has beaten back MS windows mobile OS.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Phone
 
  • #13
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My initial comments to the OP were due to his/her view that it was America and Americans that brought about the revolution. The history though is more complex with many players from many countries and some things succeeding and others failing and then rising again.

Usually its proximity to new tech that inspires others as in the Palo Alto Computer club days.
 
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  • #14
StoneTemplePython
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I think there's a major issue of categories / definitions at play.

I'm even ambivalent about calling Twitter a tech giant. It is a pipsqueak in a lot of ways, though it has outsized influence in politics (in many countries, not just in US).

I would never call Glaxo a tech company.

But the scope really comes down to what OP meant here.
 
  • #15
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I’ll close my comments with this article on OS usage worldwide:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems

As you can see it’s very nuanced in its statistical breakdown.

Android (Linux-based) is big, Linux on servers is big so you could give the edge to Linux influence here overall.

Windows is big on client PCs, laptops and big but weak on Mobile.

I really hope we don’t hikack this thread anymore and instead close it if th OP agrees he/she got the answers they were looking for.
 
  • #16
Asymptotic
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This may be a case of fitting facts to support a premise, although I don't disagree with several of your conclusions.

Microsoft: Dominanted the area of commercial operating systems. Only rival might be Apple's own O.S but Windows operating system is even used in Apple computers.
I've read that Apple developed a dual boot capability between their OS and Windows. Is this what you are referring to? So far as I'm aware, Macs run on macOS which traces it's roots back to a merging of Unix and the NeXT operating systems.
Apple: This firm was very strong in portable media player area with its product Ipod now, I think, the best in the area of smart phone although there is a strong Korean rival.
Continuing with the operating system theme, iOS (Apple iPhone operating system) also traces back to UNIX and NeXT, and it's rival operating system Android and ChromeOS use Linux kernels.

If one were to compare OS dominance in desktop PCs (clear winner is Windows) versus everything else, then Linux is the champ. For example, as of last month all of the TOP500 supercomputers ran on the Linux kernel.

Intel: The dominant PC CPU unit producer. Only rival AMD is also American and I think they are friends and have relationship. Intel might help AMD to be an actor in this field.
IBM required second sourcing for their computer components, and AMD was licensed by Intel to build a functional equivalent to the 8088 for the IBM PC. When the 80386 was in the planning stages Intel decided to shut AMD out of development, and they've been bitter rivals ever since.

Part of this depends on what one chooses to call an (information) technology giant. Fully half of the top ten companies ranked by revenue are not based in the USA.
 
  • #17
mech-eng
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This may be a case of fitting facts to support a premise, although I don't disagree with several of your conclusions.

I've read that Apple developed a dual boot capability between their OS and Windows. Is this what you are referring to? So far as I'm aware, Macs run on macOS which traces it's roots back to a merging of Unix and the NeXT operating systems.
Continuing with the operating system theme, iOS (Apple iPhone operating system) also traces back to UNIX and NeXT, and it's rival operating system Android and ChromeOS use Linux kernels.


If one were to compare OS dominance in desktop PCs (clear winner is Windows) versus everything else, then Linux is the champ. For example, as of last month all of the TOP500 supercomputers ran on the Linux kernel.

Yes, windows might be used in Macs, what I referred to. Windows is weak in the area of smart phone operating systems. Are super computers commercial PCs? I referred to commercial PCs as windows dominates.
 
  • #18
ISamson
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America has too much money at free disposal and the companies are wealthy...
 
  • #19
mech-eng
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I feel out of sync with this thread.

@jedishrfu

In what meaningful sense could Linux (even with massively higher adoption) be considered a 'technology giant' like a company worth a half a trillion dollars which is what the original post is talking about -- I think.

I am not aware of any open source 'technology giants'... (Even the ubiquitous wikipedia doesn't seem like a tech giant to me -- they plead for cash every year and don't have muscle for R&D, acquisitions, or politics, like google or FB or MSFT) .

I am not aware of too. For me when they dominate the area in which they exist, they might be a technology giant.

Maybe OP should have clarified what it means to be a tech giant.

They are giants with respect to their preference by people, market and brand value, quality (quality part might be subjective and be argued, Linux fans claims Linux is much more better than windows) and domination of the are they exist. They have become completely or almost monopoly.

Thank you.
 
  • #20
mech-eng
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America has too much money at free disposal and the companies are wealthy...

This is one of the reasons. They give more money to their R&D.
 
  • #23
Tosh5457
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US has a big internal market, with low taxes and regulations compared to the rest of the developed World, which very much favors fast growth. It's also a place of excellence for national and foreign students to go to, which helps in hiring talent.
 
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  • #24
Asymptotic
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Are super computers commercial PCs? I referred to commercial PCs as windows dominates.
Are supercomputers used in commerce? Plenty of them ... for instance, BP uses one for fluid dynamics and to process seismic data. After a recent upgrade, BP supercomputer now world’s most powerful for commercial research. Windows beats everyone hands-down in the laptop/desktop arena, but Linux powers more than 95% of the world's web servers, and thus commerce generated by them.

As to how Windows became the predominant desktop OS opinions differ, but is at least in part a confluence of accident, history, and blind luck.
  • IBM's Don Estridge and his engineering team designed the original 5150 PC to compete in the emerging low cost "home computer" market, conceived it with extendability in mind, and opened the architecture so 3rd parties could easily build peripherals. The quad core beast on my desk is far removed from the 5150, but many of the basics are still in evidence - a simple, relatively noise immune bus, BIOS to bring it alive enough to find the boot loader, DMA controllers, and programmable interrupts. The one thing I miss is IBM's original keyboard and those that hewed to it. By several measures the wireless keyboard I'm typing on is far superior, but has a lousy feel for touch-typing, and I find myself fantasizing it's defenestration on a daily basis.
  • Microsoft was "in the right place at the right time". When IBM went looking for an operating system for the PC, Digital Research's founder Gary Kildall pretty much blew them off, and they instead approached Bill Gates at Microsoft. Microsoft in turn bought a 16 bit CP/M variant that had been developed by Tim Patterson, and reworked it into PC DOS v1.0.
Several steps later, @jedishrfu picks up the tale in post #8 with IBM & Microsoft's parting of the ways over OS/2.

I'd just as soon have used Linux, but much of the software for industrial purposes (PLC and motion controller programmers, test instrument config software, HMIs, and a host of others) are written for explicitly for Windows, and don't play well with Wine.
It's too early to write off Linux because one thing industrial users prize is both short and long term stability. Every new Windows version seems to break applications written for an older OS version, and company owners don't like it when they must spend tens of thousands every decade or so to keep equipment in their production lines running (or worse, for the purchasing department to discover an essential, Windows-based control system component is no longer readily available only after machinery has come to a screeching halt).
 
  • #25
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The United State's biggest competitors nearly annihilated each other in a big war about eighty or so years ago, which you may or may not have heard of. That sounds like a long time, but it's just one lifetime, not to mention that many consequences of that tumultuous period took many decades to fizzle out; Germany, the scariest competitor to the US in Europe, aside from being crushed by the war, was carved in twain until about thirty years ago, which is not even an eye blink in human history. Microsoft and Intel were both founded before the Berlin Wall fell, and barely into the economic reforms which made China competitive.

Other competitors also suffered: Japan also had to recover from the war, and the Soviet Union/China were engaged in a social experiment which, suffice it to say, did not turn out so well.
 
  • #26
Stavros Kiri
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Why are technology giants American? This question is limited to the are of referred firms in the following.
Interesting question and observation. And legitimate too, as stated. However, IMO, beware that in order to fully answer it might have to inevitably get us into politics, which is avoided in PF ...
 
  • #27
mech-eng
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Interesting question and observation. And legitimate too, as stated. However, IMO, beware that in order to fully answer it might have to inevitably get us into politics, which is avoided in PF ...

You could add your ideas excluding politic part, or mentioning politics softly.

Thank you.
 
  • #28
DaveC426913
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People don’t prefer windows to Linux, they get it by default on nearly every prebuilt computer system. You can’t even request that Linux be provided as they vendor has made deals with MS to ship windows.

A common example, is you don’t choose your first language or culture. It’s what your parents taught you and so you tend to keep it especially if it works well as you grow up. Later you discover other languages and cultures but still you prefer your own because it’s what you learned first and you’ll always feel as an outsider in other cultures and languages.

All this is merely rationalization about why Microsoft is the #1. OK, so they made shrewder strategic decisions.

But the fact remains, it is. Same with other megacorps. So the OP's question remains. What is the US doing right that it is #1 in so many areas?

Other countries my do better in other areas. I suppose US picked the right industry. The one that is chock full of money.
.


But there are industries of similar magnitude that the US does not lead in: non-computer electronics: (TV, stereos) as well as, automobiles, to name a few.
 
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  • #29
Stavros Kiri
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You could add your ideas excluding politic part, or mentioning politics softly.

Thank you.
Sure, I'll try. But I first of all agree with
So I don’t think it’s as simple as you say.
Then why just technology and not all scientific research too? (which perhaps happens too [?]), and then, furthermore, why not all industry too (e.g. cars)? (which doesn't happen). Is it because modern technology leads the way, and US is interested to be the first, or it is purely financial?
Before, 'made in Japan', now 'made in China' ...
USA 1st, but not made in the US ...
It looks like a mystery to me (although I might have some idea about it ...).
 
  • #30
f95toli
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But the fact remains, it is. Same with other megacorps. So the OP's question remains. What is the US doing right that it is #1 in so many areas?

Access to venture capital for high-risk project is most certainly one factor. The UK has some very good universities and good people but raising the capital needed to take a lab prototype to full commercial production is extremely difficult; unless you can more or less guarantee that you will be able to sell X number of units in less than 3-4 years no one is interested. There is a big "gap" in the TRL scale (for those who are familiar with it). This is a very familiar problem for everyone who works in the UK and -I believe- in most of Europe.
I know of at least a couple of cases in my own science area where research from British universities has been commercialized in the USA; in one recent case a company founded by two British professors was set up in Silicon Valley with a (mostly) British workforce (mainly their former PhD students). Some of the work is still done in the UK (at the university where they still work part time) but being physically located in the US is much better if you need venture capital.

There are of course exceptions; ARM would be a good example since they have probably sold more chips than Intel by now; although they don't actually fabricate anything themselves and have just been bought up by a Japanese company
 
  • #31
mech-eng
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Sure, I'll try. But I first of all agree with
Before, 'made in Japan', now 'made in China' ...
USA 1st, but not made in the US ...
It looks like a mystery to me (although I might have some idea about it ...).

Designed by Apple in California, assembled in China. Main reason might be workers' prices. The firms are very clever and they might want to reduce workers' costs so the best way might be making countries such as China, Indonesia, Vietnam etc do their assembly process in very low prices. Another reason as far as I know is that the developed countries don't want their environment to be more polluted. So they keep patents and production permissions but they make the developing countries produce their products.

Thank you.
 
  • #32
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and they run the risk of copycats or piggyback innovators later on as the product becomes more commoditized.
 
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  • #33
mech-eng
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and they run the risk of copycats or piggyback innovators later on as the product becomes more commoditized.

Does not patents stand for these cases?

Thank you.
 
  • #34
WWGD
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Why are technology giants American? This question is limited to the are of referred firms in the following.

Google: The giant of search engine much more preferred than its rivals and probably the strongest rivals are also American Bing and Yahoo.

.
Well, Google's creators (CEOs), as well as the CEOs of many high-tech startups are born and educated outside of the US. EDIT: Additionally, you have the obvious benefits of having an integrated market of some 330 million people with a high Per Capita GDP, i.e., high purchasing power. No borders nor different languages like in the EU.
 
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  • #35
WWGD
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