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There’s an app for that: Why Software Is Eating Our Lunch 2011/08/20

Posted by nydawg in Digital Archives, Information Technology (IT), Intellectual Property, Media.
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Those of us who can remember the early days of the “browser wars“, there used to be a small “start-up” type company called Netscape. . . . and before Internet Explorer or Safari (or Firefox or Chrome, etc.), the new browser offered an easy way for people to get online, surf the world wide web and bridge the digital divide.  Today MARC ANDREESSEN the co-founder, weighs in with analysis ignoring how HP is jettisoning the webOS and buying Autonomy . . . .

“This week, Hewlett-Packard (where I am on the board) announced that it is exploring jettisoning its struggling PC business in favor of investing more heavily in software, where it sees better potential for growth. Meanwhile, Google plans to buy up the cellphone handset maker Motorola Mobility [aka Googorola]. Both moves surprised the tech world. But both moves are also in line with a trend I’ve observed, one that makes me optimistic about the future growth of the American and world economies, despite the recent turmoil in the stock market.”

Well, I guess he doesn’t really get into the webOS problem, but I found this bit about Borders and Amazon particularly interesting: “Perhaps the single most dramatic example of this phenomenon of software eating a traditional business is the suicide of Borders and corresponding rise of Amazon. In 2001, Borders agreed to hand over its online business to Amazon under the theory that online book sales were non-strategic and unimportant.

Oops.

Today, the world’s largest bookseller, Amazon, is a software company—its core capability is its amazing software engine for selling virtually everything online, no retail stores necessary. On top of that, while Borders was thrashing in the throes of impending bankruptcy, Amazon rearranged its web site to promote its Kindle digital books over physical books for the first time. Now even the books themselves are software.”

The reality is that the books themselves are a medium, not a software, but they will be dependent on hardware to read it.  If it’s a flash video on iPad, you won’t be able to, but if it’s a DVD, you won’t be able to watch it on the iPad either!

Andreesen goes on to remind us that video and content with data caps are ultimately the future cash cow.
“Today’s largest video service by number of subscribers is a software company: Netflix. How Netflix eviscerated Blockbuster is an old story, but now other traditional entertainment providers are facing the same threat. Comcast, Time Warner and others are responding by transforming themselves into software companies with efforts such as TV Everywhere, which liberates content from the physical cable and connects it to smartphones and tablets.”

Read all about it : “Why Software Is Eating the World” from WallStreetJournal

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