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Subject: [IP] PC Makers Facing a Flop In Home Entertainment {corrected}

  • From: David Farber <>
  • To:
  • Date: Wed, 02 Nov 2005 21:30:58 -0500

Begin forwarded message:

From: Bob Frankston <>
Date: November 2, 2005 8:36:03 PM EST
To: Dave Farber <>
Subject: PC Makers Facing a Flop In Home Entertainment {corrected}

Stupid Outlook sent this before I was able to finish writing it!!!

This shouldn&#x2019;t be a surprise because while these companies think they were going to bring their experience into a new marketplace they failed to understand the real reason for their success &#x2013; the marketplace dynamic I keep referring to as &#x201C;opportunity&#x201D; vs &#x201C;solutions&#x201D;.

In particular, confirming to the DRM requirements guaranteed failure because the had all the complexity of connectivity elements of consumer electronics systems PLUS all the complexities of making PCs work. It&#x2019;s a formula that guarantees failure. This is why all this DRM nonsense is doomed.

Unfortunately it&#x2019;s hard for these companies to really understand consumer electronics. I was amazed when I was at Microsoft how little they understood consumers and computers and they seemed to take the worst elements of each marketplace and combine them. Again and again.

I&#x2019;ve been writing about this for a long time as in http:// Consumer electronics companies need to cede control to the consumers and computer companies must stop trying to fix complexity by trying to make their myopic scenarios work and thus making every other scenario problematic.

They need to recognize their success comes from providing opportunities not solutions. But, of course, they aren&#x2019;t capable of hearing this

PC Makers Facing a Flop In Home Entertainment
Dell's Retreat Is Latest Sign
That Consumers Still Prefer
More Traditional Offerings

November 2, 2005; Page A1

The personal-computer industry's march into the living room is proving to be a slog.

A few years ago, the nation's Big Three PC makers charged into the market for big-screen TVs and digital cameras and music players, counting on their PC prowess to catapult them from the home office into home entertainment. They planned to exploit PC-style economics -- based on off-the-shelf components, low markups and high turnover -- to give consumers new choices and offer the big electronics retailers a lesson in low-cost selling.


Bob Frankston

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