The Economist Magazine this week has published an IT survey, which declares the single message of simplicity Apple to have preached since its inception as "the next big thing".

"The next thing in technology is not just big but truly huge: the conquest of complexity", the Economist explains. It talks about how "most of us" find technology frustrating, infuriating and sometimes tortuous at times. The title is trying to assess the work done by the IT industry to simplify matters.

The survey looks at two recent consumer-technology successes: Apple's iPod and Google. Writer, Andreas Kluth, said: "Google and the iPod are successful because each rescues consumers from a particular black hole of complexity".

The iPod does this by living up to its promise - letting music fans carry their entire CD collection with them, while Google does this by putting a white page over the hundreds of thousands of potential Web pages, making navigating the Web easier.

The survey goes on to look in detail at the ways in which companies such as IBM and Microsoft are getting better at hiding complexity from users, and observes that email became ubiquitous only when mums and dads learnt how to use it.

With the new focus on simplicity, The Economist asks which companies will suffer and which are likely to thrive. Microsoft, it claims, faces 'the innovator's dilemma'.

"Firms that succeed in one generation of innovation almost inevitably become hamstrung by their own success and are doomed to lose out in the next wave of innovation", explains Kluth.

The Economist concludes that, from now on, "genius will be measured not in how fancy, big or powerful somebody makes something or other, but how simple".