As I've mentioned elsewhere in this blog, I used to work at IBM Australia for a quarter century, starting in 1970. During much of that period, before encountering difficult times in the late 1980s and early 1990s, IBM was regarded as the all-powerful IT company par excellence (with a few Anti-Trust decrees placed in its path at various times, affecting us as employees all around the world).
I find it quite fascinating, now as an independent outside observer still active in the IT industry, to watch things in a state of rapid flux.
This New York Times article published a few days ago is well worth a read:
Relax, Bill Gates; It's Google's Turn as the Villain
(you may have to register with the site prior to accessing the article).
A QUOTE FROM THIS ARTICLE:
In the 1990's, ... I.B.M. was widely perceived in Silicon Valley as a "gentle giant" that was easy to partner with while Microsoft was perceived as an "extraordinarily fearsome, competitive company wanting to be in as many businesses as possible and with the engineering talent capable of implementing effectively anything." ... Now, Microsoft is becoming I.B.M. and Google is becoming Microsoft.