Why open standards are the future of consumer electronics.
Doc Searls wrote an interesting article entitled “Saving the Net” in Linux Journal. While he does present a dystopia in which the net is controlled by large corporation that understand how to use regulations as a weapon, I beg to differ on his vision of the future. My personal suspicion is that the net community will route around the problem once enough people become aware of what is going on. The rise of Linux as an alternative to deeply entrenched Windows is showing that something new is happening here. While SCO has started menacing litigation over intellectual property and Linux, the message from big companies is that they are not changing their strategy. What is important here is not the fact that companies are adopting Linux but the fact that companies are starting to look at the OS as a commodity, one that can easily be replaced at a later time. This is an important development because it lowers the potential for control. In order to fully control what consumers have access to, you need to be able to control the environment. With operating systems becoming a commodity, that control erodes. Control of the operating system is one of the…Read More
According to an article in the Washington Post, AOL is loosing market share to Road-Runner. The interesting thing is that both companies are owned by AOL-Time-Warner but are not playing together. This represents a huge problem for the company as it is the most visible area of potential synergy between AOL and Time-Warner. Here’s a crazy thought, why doesn’t the company break it all down into an access division (probably going to Road-Runner) and a content division (probably going to AOL). Using charge-backs, they would trade money back and forth and Road-Runner could keep focusing on access (inheriting a lower speed dial-up system in the process) and focus on converting dial-up users to broadband, while AOL would focus on developing content and tools (the AOL software) that would run on both system. Obviously Road-Runner has figured out how to sell access and AOL is good at building software that is easy to use for the average computer user. Let AOL get rid of the access layer (the client already does TCP/IP) and focus on improvements to IM, mail, and content and let Road-Runner focus on selling access and you have a pretty powerful combo.Read More