90% of Sony Products to be Networked By 2010

We reported last week on Sony's initiative with bold business plans to carry through 2010 and beyond. What got lost in the shuffle was Sony's commitment to make 90% of its electronics network-enabled by 2010. That means your computer talks to your television which will talk to your digital camera, wirelessly. Not a bad thing at all. It looks good on paper, but how will they actually make it happen?

The nice people over at Gizmodo sat down with Stan Glasgow, president and Chief Operating Officer of Sony Electronics Inc. for dinner and had a casual conversation about the plan. He said connectivity would happen automatically or with the click of a button. Let's hope it's just that simple.

Glasgow_stan_no_tie_outdoors_lg Here's what Gizmodo reported about the talk:

"The VAIO was mentioned as a focal point of the strategy, and by that method, Windows. But Glasgow also mentioned that there would be additional software to help them achieve this goal and differentiate themselves from other computer makers, hopefully without the bloat you see in today's VAIOs. I have some concerns about their software expertise but they have been addressing that recently. I am more concerned about their expertise in hosting services, like Xbox Live versus the maturity of the Playstation store. Glaslow also went into slightly more detailed answers as to how their cross product connectivity is being shaped, continuing past what president Howard Stringer said about each group no longer being insulated from each other during development. He said that software development would start from the beginning of product cycles and that specific designers were in charge of setting up the UI similarities and setting up the common kernels. There were central groups that supposedly connect all the other groups.

"I should hope the networking efforts happen within the next generation of product because this gen's examples are not that strong; Hancock will be, this fall, the first title available on the Bravia internet link streaming system released ahead of disc releases. But given the $299 price tag and the bad reviews of the movie, they need to do a lot better. As far as content streaming goes, I don't think that Sony's internet video strategy will fly until they build this hardware into every Bravia TV. Speaking of connectivity, Glaslow also mentioned that a Sony Reader E-book with wireless connectivity was being developed."

Unless Sony brings out more products that appeal to more users, all the connectivity in the world won't matter. But, if they can bring their digital audio player market together with the mobile phone division, provide more popular titles and perhaps lower the cost of the Bravia Internet Link, it's all just more hype at yet another business dinner. Someone pass the salt. -Leslie Shapiro

The entire business plan can be read here.