Sony: Not the Greatest Brand

Campaign magazine just published a survey that indicated Sony was the top brand in Asia (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14009880). My perspective on them is quite different. It’s a negative brand. When I hear “Sony” I think:

  • Too many proprietary interfaces and file formats,in everything from consumer to pro video equipment
  • Flimsy VAIO laptops and PCs loaded with shovelware
  • The PlayStation 3, a monument to complacency and hubris
  • Poorly-managed online games (Star Wars NGE, anybody?)
  • edit: how could I forget about the DRM rootkit on Sony audio CDs?

I will never buy Sony video hardware. There are just too many instances of “Super XDCAM PRO II EX” formats that are “really just motion JPEG, but changed just enough so that none of your existing software tools work with it.”

Engineer: “Listen, I know this sounds crazy, but wouldn’t it be cool if our awesome new HD camera actually made, you know,¬†Quicktime¬†movies?”

Boss: “A camera that records in a non-proprietary format? Come on now, you’ve got to be kidding. Go back to your desk and design us a proprietary variant of MPEG-4, then hire some fly-by-night sweatshop off elance.com to develop us a crummy Windows driver for it. That’s The Sony Way!”

Thank goodness somebody at Canon had the INSANE idea of making a camera that actually records in a directly editable format. They rightfully deserve to own the video hardware market.

Now, how about some great Taiwanese brands? ASUS and Giant Bicycles are known world-wide, 85 Degrees is getting big in China now, and domestically Uni-President and Eslite go a long way…

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