Apple Online StoreKontra writes for counternotions, “Observing Microsoft’s dilemma against the iPod/iTunes juggernaut a few years ago, Steve Jobs offered this prediction: The problem is, the PC model doesn’t work in the consumer electronics industry, where you’ve got all these companies and some does one thing and another does another thing. It just doesn’t work. What’s going to happen is that Microsoft is going to have to get into the hardware business of making MP3 players. This year. X-player, or whatever.

“Soon Microsoft did get into the hardware business by introducing its own Zune player coupled with its un-licensed PlaysForSure platform, thereby leaving its erstwhile manufacturing partners high and dry,” Kontra writes. “The anti-Apple digital music camp hasn’t recovered since.”

Microsoft made its money in software. Its forays into hardware have been far more troublesome: its PC peripherals business has been profitable but non-strategic, Xbox a financial drain since its inception, Ultra-Mobile PC and Surface most forgettable, and Zune an unmitigated disaster,” Kontra writes. “Unlike Microsoft, Google had shied away from hardware until now (except for its lackluster enterprise search appliance). But with the circulating news about its Nexus One smartphone, Google may have decided to complete its ongoing emulation of its archenemy.”

Kontra writes, “I’m sure Google has recognized that 125,000 iPhone apps represent an emerging consumer behavior which obviates traditional browser-based navigation and search in favor of domain specific apps that access data and information in much faster and easier ways. Why go to a web browser, type a search term like it was the 1990s and wade through pages of search results, when you can click a button or flick a gesture to get an efficient answer with a dedicated app? Why suffer through Google-supplied ads when a native app costs next to nothing on the iPhone?”

Kontra writes, “So while the market is still relatively nascent, it looks like Google has decided to do what Microsoft couldn’t successfully pull off: Apple-style vertical integration of hardware, OS, apps and services…direct to customer.”

Kontra asks, “Will Google succeed where Microsoft failed?”

Full article – recommended – here.