The latest fiasco is the recent revelation that Sony’s Blu-ray player for the PC will not have the ability to play HD movies on the PC. This is to protect the interests of the movie makers somehow. Are they kidding us?
At least Dvorak gets the explanation for Sony’s failures right:
The true beginning of the end for Sony actually started in 1988, when it paid $2 billion for CBS Records and in the next year bought Columbia and Tri-Star pictures. Instead of being an innovative electronics company, Sony got into the content business. Worse, it got into that business during the beginnings of the digital revolution, when content would be cheapened in true value by virtue of the fact that it could be easily turned into bits and sent around networks by the public.
So did Sony want to be the company making the devices to do this digital thing? Or was it more interested in the content that it needed to protect from the reality of a digital world? In this way, Sony created a conflict of interest between its future as an electronics innovator and its association with an old business that would be threatened by the digital landscape.
Of course, Sony could have led the way into new business models that might have revolutionized the movie and record businesses, but it didn’t. Instead it adopted a conservative ideology that would not serve its innovative soul in any way. In fact, the company obviously killed whatever innovative soul it had. And now Sony languishes while exhibiting an odd, inexplicable arrogance that cocoons everything it does and every decision it makes. It’s a shame.