Bill Gates is not smart, his rivals are stupid


I have said that time and again. Apple, Netscape and Palm are three companies which started out with monopoly market share and were reduced to bit players mostly because of hubris, and some management cock-ups. If one believes what one reads on Engadget, then one should add Sony to this list. After being a leader in the consumer electronics world, the company’s internal politics has reduced it to an also ran which is yet to come out a dependable computer and a decent digital music player. How screwed up Sony is? Well here is an excerpt.

And that three different divisions, VAIO, Walkman, and SEL are all planning to introduce digital audio players and portable video players over the next few months….. He then goes on to say that the source of the problem lies in Japan, which wants to force products on consumers to buy products by only using standards that people need their special devices to listen to or view.

One fears that despite a horrendous product, I won’t wipe my ass with Windows Media Center Microsoft is going to end-up becoming a major player in the converged device market, which is going to be sad because for next 25 years we will be saddles with real blue screens of death and viruses (though one could argue lower prices.) Not quite sure about what Apple will do next, if anything, in the home entertainment market. TiVO is great. It lacks the rosy glow of a successful long term player. Ergo, we might be stuck with the big bad Microsoft.

Further Reading:
Happy 4th, Pocket PC
Get Ready for Ultra Personal Computing


Paul G.

Sony’s unit, incredibly stupidly designed to be ultra-proprietary and exclusionary, will fail on a huge basic level. Sony, whom I’ve loved in the past, thinks their name alone will bring the masses running to their isolated tropical island system. Wrong! It’s a totally different world today than the day of the Walkman. I love Apple, the Mac and iPods (and at least Apple’s systems run 4-5 different formats including basic mp3) but I do think they’re time in the sun now won’t last forever either. Microsoft? No I don’t think their system will go the distance either since most everything they make is swiss cheese crap.

I think the RIAA, once it gets it’s head out of it’s Luddite ass and joins the 21st century, will come up with a format that all stores must sell if they want a license. Then it’s a matter of manufacturers everywhere building players that meet those criteria. This though will fail if too restrictive. These guys got to get it in their thick heads that we need this stuff to be easy to use.

On the other hand CD’s are selling well again as the economy improves and maybe the best thing is for us all to buy the high resolution audio CD’s and rip ’em ourselves. Just like where we started.

Jim Royal

Just wondering.. when did Apple ever have a monopoly market share of anything?

As for corporate stupidity… Microsoft has that in spades, too (remember Bob?). However, their unique place in the market forgives them for their stupidity, and allows them a trial-and-error process that no one else in the market has the luxury of enjoying.

But as to your main point, I agree. Sony’s new music player will enjoy the same wild success of their MiniDisc format.

Chilton Webb

Apple’s never been a major player. And its core business isn’t going anywhere either. Marketshare . However, Sony is best poised to take them on, iPod wise. It will fail though. And you are correct, we will be left with MS.


Sony’s definitely in trouble and clearly doesn’t know how to get products out quickly anymore – I mean, 2 years to respond to the iPod. And Apple needs to come up with something else – iPods ain’t gonna carry them for much longer as their core business continues to deteriorate. TIVO will probably just be bought by another company – they can’t make it on their own and their latest content download strategy is only likely to further alienate the cable and satellite companies.

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