Here is a quote from Scott Rosenberg’s insightful post, titled “Clash of titanic business-press cliches” (emphasis is mine):
Are Microsoft and Google in conflict? Of course. They have fundamentally different visions of where computing’s headed — visions that the Times article, by Steve Lohr and Miguel Helft, ably lays out. But it’s not as if they are feudal fiefdoms fighting over some fixed patch of ground. Their conflict will play out as each company builds its next generation of software and services, and the next one after that, and people make choices about what to buy and what to use.
Those choices are the key to the outcome. In a battle, civilians are mostly bystanders or casualties. In the software business, civilians — users — determine who wins.