Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Changes in Sony

From MacWorld article

Sony's Chairman and CEO Nobuyuki Idei and President Kunitake Ando are stepping down as the heads of the company.

Idei will be replaced by Howard Stringer, vice chairman and chief operating officer (COO). Ando will be replaced by Ryoji Chubachi, executive deputy president and COO.

Several other positions will also change.

Many had foreseen this happening. After all, only thing that never changed ... change itself. And only thing that is ever certain is uncertainty. However, I guess not many had foreseen it happening this fast, and now.

While Sony remains one of the biggest players in world business, in electronic devices and entertainment (mainly Music), Sony failed to materialize the digital entertainment market. Considering its power and ability, its share in music market (especially after merging with BMG) and digital devices, Sony failed miserably to let the digital music market (currently dominated by Apple's iTune Music Store and its iPod) slipped through its own fingers.

Also, talking about Computer industry. I quite like Sony Vaio's recent product lines. The design is pretty impressive for most models, the hardware spec is pretty good, even though comparing with other PC makers, seem expensive (even when comparing to Apple). However, Sony is about the only PC maker that had attempted to provide more than hardware for users.

Computer is not (only) about hardware, it's (also) software, stupid! [If you want to make it very extreme, take out things in the () ]

Sony had been trying to create user experience for Vaio, by bundling loads of software that should make life of Vaio users better than other PC users.

I don't own any current Vaio model, but I always playing with them (with their software, of course). While I don't really think Sony bundling is doing as a good job (providing good user experience) as software on the Mac, it's not that bad either (but the software on Vaio feel heavy...). Relying on Windows and making moderate wrapper to Windows system won't, and cant' be as good as all the native things, built from ground up, of the Mac.

Nevermind what I think and say here, I have no number with me, but I don't really think Vaio is contributing much factor to Sony's entire business core. After all, Sony wasn't a computer company, but an entertainment and home electronic devices and music company.

I don't really know what this shift in power inside Sony might mean. Would it bring Sony up again against Apple in the dawn digital entertainment era? Or would Sony instead make alliance with Apple in the DRM war with Microsoft (+ the rest, i.e., Napster and Real)? Will .... [whatever]?

Wait and see.