18 September 2006

Closed platforms and digital music

You might have spotted this article, as I did today. Nicholas Carr must have as well, because he had this thoughtful reflection on his blog. This topic also caught the attention of Arik Hesseldahl at BusinessWeek, who has this interesting article to complement the others. I have studied standards and standards development, phenomena that are a way to acheive interoperability among products from competing suppliers. What is interesting is that we are moving into a "battle of the systems" model, rather than a "battle of the components" model.

Is this a transitory phenomenon, or is there something about the information industries that is pulling in this direction? Do you see similar phenomena in other instances of the information industries?

You might also be interested in this article at ZDNet, which mentions some of the consequences of the shifting sands of industry structure. Can you think of other times that were similar, or do you think this is without precedent?

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1 comment:

Pat said...

I think a trend in computers industry is, first, somebody invented and launched the product. They would enjoy huge profit at this state. Then standardized came along, they tried best to protect their proprietary products or tried to make their standard be “standard”. Last but not least, competitive rivals were born.

We have witnessed this trend as it happened with DEC and Microsoft or Macintosh and Windows. Similar trend might happen with iPod-iTunes and Sandisk-Real or Zune Music Player. We can't deny that one factor that make iPod so successful is the design. Its design is so attractive. This helped iPod easily penetrate the market and became one of people’s accessories.

It should be last noted here that Zune too looks like its predecessor, iPod, and even $10 cheaper. The next issue might be how customers will actually benefit from the competition.