However, today's article is not actually about either GM or Microsoft -- it's about Toyota Motors
Now, we've written here often on the Fool about the budding war for fuel-efficiency-conscious customers among the automakers: about the mounting consumer demand for the products; Nissan's
This is a battle that must be won, or at least fought, for any car company that wants to remain relevant in the current high-priced-gasoline era. Which creates an obvious incentive for each company to "rush to market" a hybrid -- any hybrid -- to grab some market share before it is too late. And Toyota's market share will almost certainly suffer when it cedes to Ford the first-mover advantage in marketing a hybrid SUV.
Which is exactly the point. Toyota is willing to let someone else be first in order to ensure that Toyota will be best. It will use the extra months to make sure the SUV is working in "perfect order" (Toyota's words, my emphasis) before releasing it. And it will build up inventory to ensure that once the SUV does go to market, there will be enough to go around. That's the kind of devotion to quality, and to customers, that Microsoft has never really understood.
Fool contributor Rich Smith owns no shares in any company mentioned in this article.