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本文摘要:Imagine its 1999. Scratch that, its 2006.想象现在是1999年。

Imagine its 1999. Scratch that, its 2006.想象现在是1999年。不对,想象它是2006年。The computer in your office is made by ... well, it doesnt matter who its made by. Unless you are in a creative profession, that computer is run on Microsoft Windows. And the phone in your pocket is made by Nokia (NOK), or -- if youre feeling stylish -- Motorola. Apple (AAPL) made your mp3 player (yeah, back when we still called them mp3 players), and Samsung made your display screen, or your TV screen, or both.你办公室里电脑的牌子是……好吧,牌子并不最重要。除非你专门从事的是创造性职业,否则你的电脑上运营的认同是微软公司(Microsoft)的Windows操作系统。



Just close your eyes and go back to that crazy 2006 mindset (heres a link to help, if you need it). Apple was killing it on iPods and iTunes, not in its original mission of personal computers. Google (GOOG) was just a search engine, a filthy rich search engine. Nokia still ruled mobile phones, although Motorolas Razr owned popular culture. And Microsoft (MSFT)? It was still Microsoft, the grating white noise of personal computing that Bill Gates designed the company to be.闭上眼睛,返回那个可怕的2006年的状态(如果必须协助回想,请求页面这里)。这一年,苹果大获得顺利,建构奇迹的是iPods和iTunes,而不是个人电脑这个最初的愿景。


而微软公司?它还是那个微软公司,那个正如比尔盖茨设想的,在个人电脑上收到刺耳白躁声的公司。In the seven years since, so much has changed, which in the tech world isnt notable. Whats strange is how it changed. Apples mp3 player mutated into a mobile phone that changed everything. And it mutated again into the iPad, changing the personal computer. Yet somehow Samsung sold more smartphones using an operating system powered by, of all companies, Google.此后七年来,许多事再次发生了变化,不过这在科技界算不上大不了的事。让人实在奇怪的是,这些变化是怎样再次发生的。

苹果的mp3播放器再次发生变异,一下出了手机,转变了一切;进而它又变异沦为iPad,政治宣传了个人电脑。而三星的智能手机却莫名其妙地买得更佳了,用于的还是谷歌的操作系统。And Motorola? Its mobile-device business was bought by Google. And Nokia? Its core devices business has been bought by Microsoft. The software companies began to eat the hardware companies because they needed to act like Apple, which married software to hardware ... oh, three decades ago. And search ate Motorola smartphones. And Windows consumed Nokia smartphones. And Samsung, the maker of those excellent TV screens in 2006, sat there sticking its tongue out at everyone else.至于摩托罗拉?它的移动设备业务早已被谷歌并购了。



至于三星,这家在2006年就以生产优质屏幕而大获得顺利的生产商,躺在那向所有其他公司吐舌头。And no one -- no great master of the chess board that is the technology landscape -- saw this coming. Maybe one part of it, yes, but not all of it. Because if you live in the past or the present, none of it could possibly make sense. This is all about a bunch of wild guesses about the future.不过,没有人——科技格局棋盘上没哪位大师——预见了这样的局面。


这都只是一些关于未来的胡乱庞加莱。So what are we to make of Microsoft and Nokia? In the past day or so, there has been so much to say. Opinions on the deal run the gamut from approval to scoffing to the purely perplexed. (Mostly scoffing, however.) But how are we really to know? The evolution of the mobile web has surprised longtime web observers the same way the desktop web surprised everyone involved with the tech industry that preceded it. Only, in some ways, the mobile web has offered even more surprises.那么,我们要怎么解读微软公司和诺基亚呢?过去的一天里,四处都在辩论他们。对于这项交易的观点,从赞同、取笑到纯粹摸不着头脑,层出不穷。(不过大多数所持取笑态度。

)但是我们知道不懂多少呢?正如桌面网站当年出乎意料所有顶尖技术产业内人士的意料一样,移动互联网的演变也令其长年研究网络的人士深感惊讶。只不过移动网络在一些方面带给的吃惊甚至更加多。People who in 2006 couldnt predict what 2013 would bring to tech giants like Microsoft, Google, Apple, Samsung, Nokia, and Motorola are now confidently tweeting the future of Microsoft and Nokia. People who could make no good sense of Google-Motorola two years ago (Id wager Larry Page was among them) have a sure view of where Microsoft-Nokia will go. And good for them.那些在2006年无法意识到2013年会给像微软公司、谷歌、苹果、三星、诺基亚和摩托罗拉这些科技巨头带给什么的人,正在有十足把握地用Twitter评论着微软公司和诺基亚的未来。

两年前无法解读谷歌和摩托罗拉的人们(我开玩笑当时的拉里佩奇也是其中一位),现在对微软公司和诺基亚将怎样发展早已有了确认的观点。这对他们来说是好事。Yes, this deal may very well amount to tying two sinking bricks together, etc. And both Microsoft and Nokia face uphill battles. But at the same time, in the early days of September 2013, the only honest analysis you can give is that a mobile web everyone saw coming yielded a competitive landscape few expected. And if we cant foresee which company will be on top in another several years, the best we can do is look at similar deals that have happened in recent years.是的,这项交易很有可能被当作是把两个沉降的砖块被绑在一起,或者类似于的众说纷纭。



Which brings us to Googles purchase of Motorola, announced a little more than two years ago. At the time, people struggled to understand the sense of it. People speculated, as they do with Microsofts Nokia investment, it had to do with patents. That Google would simply spin offMotorolas manufacturing operations. At the time, it seemed like the most likely explanation.这就使我们去看两年多前宣告的,谷歌对摩托罗拉的并购。当时,人们无法解读这么做到的原因。



当时,这看起来看起来最有可能的理由。But Larry Page, Googles new CEO, took a different direction. He held onto the Motorola devices that had been outmoded by Apples iPhone. Although Motorola has been a drag on Googles earnings since then, the move seems prescient now. Software hasnt just supplanted hardware in the past decade. It needs hardware as an ancillary business. Microsofts unexpected introduction of the Surface underscored that idea. And now its Nokia deal makes it seem that much more inevitable.但谷歌的新CEO拉里佩奇自由选择了不一样的方向。他保有了摩托罗拉被苹果的iPhone领先于的产品。


而如今,它与诺基亚的交易使这一概念变得更为确认。In other words, many companies can produce software on their own, but once you get big enough, you need hardware in the mix to stay on top of the game. The old cliché that the line between hardware and software was blurring has become an industry maxim. Software giants are doubling as hardware companies -- Google 2010 (Motorola), Microsoft 2012 (Surface) and 2013 (Nokia). Others going it alone -- like Amazon (AMZN) and Samsung -- will have to adapt. Still others, like Apple (early 1980s), took this route years ago.换言之,许多公司都需要自己生产软件。


其他单打独斗的公司,如亚马逊(Amazon)和三星,它们被迫适应环境这一趋势。还有另一些公司,如20世纪80年代初期的苹果,多年前就踏上了这条路。The mobile revolution at the center of technology innovation today may be protean and hard to predict, but one thing is certain: The old lines -- like what is a PC and what is a portable device, or what is a software company and what is a hardware maker -- are dissolving. Yes, Microsoft and Nokia may be several years late to this game, but at least theyre there.于是以处在如今技术创新中心的移动革命有可能是千变万化、难以预测。

但有一件事是认同的:以前的界线——如电脑和便携设备之间的界线,或是软件公司和硬件厂商的界线——正在消溶。是的,在这场游戏中,微软公司和诺基亚有可能早已晚了几年,但最少它们现在重新加入了游戏。And this mobile game isnt finished offering up its surprises.而这场移动游戏带给的惊艳还预想完结。