14 Classic Tech Rivalries

Nintendo or Sega? Intel or AMD? Laptop eraserhead or touchpad? We present 14 timeless tech face-offs, and your votes decide the winners.

The greatest rivalries are fascinating to observe — and they invite everyone to choose sides and argue the merits of their favorite. Think Athens vs. Sparta. Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees. Coke vs. Pepsi. Wile E. Coyote vs. the Roadrunner.

Technology has its feuds, too — some of them to the death. The most recent example is Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD. (Did you bet on the outcome while it was still in doubt and end up with an on-its-way-to-being-obsolete player?) Here's a proper requiem for that clash of titans: "HD DVD Falls to Blu-ray Disc."

Luckily I hadn't committed to either side in that duel. Narrow escape! But the epic struggle got me pondering great technology rivalries of the past. Which are better: Macs or PCs? Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer? Laptop eraserheads or notebook touchpads? In the instances where a clear winner emerged, did might triumph over right (Lotus 1-2-3 vs. Microsoft Office Excel)?

Other rivalries may never achieve a satisfactory resolution, which make them all the more entertaining — or frustrating. Each of our picks of classic tech rivalries in recent history identifies the main combatants, and then invites you to vote on your favorite. Accept our apologies if we left out one of your favorites (PC World vs. PC Magazine, anyone?).

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Scott Spanbauer

PC World
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