Bookscan -- Week Ending 2/12/06
Interesting New Book Sales Service

Maybe Sony Can Learn New Tricks After All…

Wasn’t it just a few years ago that Sony had some of the best consumer electronics products on the planet? Their picture clarity used to make their TV’s stand out, well above the others in the store. They seem to blend in with all the rest today. Their original Walkman revolutionized the music industry. I don’t think I’ve even looked at a Sony music device in the last 10 years.

It would be far too easy to take a cheap shot at them for their highly publicized and failed attempt to use a rootkit solution for DRM. Nah, I’m not going there… But maybe that whole debacle represents their lowest point, one from which they can only go up.  After all, as I mentioned in an earlier post, they’re about to release a new eBook reader and it got a lot of attention at CES.

As I mentioned in that earlier post, I still think the price is too high and the functionality is too limited. But, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, maybe Sony has learned from some of their mistakes and won’t be so fixated on proprietary solutions this time around. The device will be able to read PDFs and Word files?!  It’s going to use SD memory cards instead of the Sony Memory Stick?!  How revolutionary!  Seriously, these should be considered major philosophical shifts for a company that has been incredibly insular for far too long.

On a related note… I just bought a new digital camera through Amazon (Canon Powershot SD550). I shopped around quite a bit and looked at many different products. Sony wasn’t even close to making the short list. It’s hard to believe they were once such a dominant player in the electronics arena.


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