one man's journey into creating gibblybits

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sony's rootkit fiasco spells the beginning of the end

At least, for Sony. Google "sony" and "rootkit" for more info. I'm surprised by the people I've met who have NO idea what's going on with this one. And it shows you the way info can get isolated. I'm not going to recap the whole story, but I did want to point out how Sony will become a joke in the next 5-10 years.

1. They will continue to try this idiotic nonsense, because they are a content/tech company. Unfortunately, they aren't that great at either.

2. The corporate bigwigs in charge still don't "get it." That new guy, the first white dude to rule Sony, yeah, he still doesn't get it. He doesn't get it the way Ballmer doesn't get it...

3. The future roadmap for Sony continues with mistakes of the past: create walled gardens, isolate the product, and never innovate.

Let's face it, Sony has lost it's edge. What's going on? For one thing, they are obsessing over protecting their content. This rootkit fiasco is like an angry bum clutching the last sliver of whiskey, perhaps even dying over it in a rusty knife fight. Think I'm kidding? They could wind up losing millions of dollars in damages because the idiots thought this would prevent copying. Stupid. There you go Sony, you just did millions in damage to yourself trying to squeeze yet more profits from a dying medium (CD's).

As for not getting it, let's think about a claim I heard the other day: PS3 games will not be for rent. Do whu? You mean I'm going to just have to take the word of reviewers (which Sony has fabricated in the past, remember that one?) to plunk down $50 on a game??? Yeah, right. Nice move Sony. Make your system expensive, make the games inaccessible, and keep locking down the PSP... Gee, I'm starting to get the feeling the people at the top of Sony are control freaks. You think?

Last point: closing the borders. Ah, Sony is a history of failed attempts to create a new standard. Beta (which I loved), MD (which I didn't care about), ATRAC (which I hated)... Now UMD's are busting a closed-system loop for the befuddled masses. Fun! I don't see any great ideas on their horizon either. The PS3? It's going to tank.

What can Sony do? Take a page from Apple's book. SIMPLIFY your product line. Only the hardest core geeks remember names like UM-2401. Your product lines should form a neat little 4x4 matrix, and separate the pro and consumer lines clearly. Apple color codes them! White plastic for consumer, aircraft aluminum for pro. See, wasn't that easy? Start "leveraging" (what a buzzword) that damn content too!

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