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Sony Projects Record Losses of $6.4 Billion 290

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the crash-and-burn dept.
redletterdave writes "Not 24 hours after Sony announced it would slash about 10,000 jobs by the end of the year, the Japanese electronics maker announced on Tuesday that it has again doubled its annual net loss to a record $6.4 billion. The new annual estimate is Sony's fourth revision of its original forecast. The company had already more than doubled its loss forecast for fiscal 2011 on April 5 to $2.9 billion, blaming floods in Thailand, poor foreign exchange rates, and a failed partnership with Samsung... Kazuo Hirai, the company's new president and CEO hired 10 days ago, will take 'painful steps' to revive Sony, and will unveil a 'revival strategy' at a Thursday press briefing."
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Sony Projects Record Losses of $6.4 Billion

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  • by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby&comcast,net> on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:13AM (#39643695)

    Sony, how is that war against your customers going for you? At some point you need to wake up and realize that your customers are not your enemies, they are your boss.

    Wake up Sony, you could be one of the greatest and most profitable companies on earth with a few policies changes.

    • by evilRhino (638506) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:22AM (#39643793)
      I broke my boycott of Sony due to shipping CDs with root-kits to get a PS3 when the slim model was released. Soon after, the network was hacked, and I lost the ability to use the console without agreeing to waive my rights to sue them if they get hacked again.
      Breaking my boycott was a mistake. The company is dead to me now
      • by slaker (53818) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:35AM (#39643937)

        I stopped buying Sony products when I called for an RMA on a Sony tape drive and was told that they don't support computer products unless they're specifically connected to computers running desktop versions of Windows. In response, I asked if that included displays. The phone monkey hung up on me.

        Funny in retrospect but the level of unfriendliness suggested by that interaction is such that I've been looking forward to Sony's demise for a long, long time.

        • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @11:03AM (#39644287) Journal

          My boycott started when I had a notebook from them with a finicky touch pad and a power button that slid under the case occasionally, causing it to power cycle until you unwedged it.

          I sent it in, they told me it was water damage on the motherboard, and it would cost $1350 to replace it (it was a $1200 notebook). I was very careful to avoid water on that thing.

          I said no, they sent it back, and it wouldn't even power on, and the indicator lights didn't light up when I plugged it in. I'm guessing they just didn't bother reconnecting anything after disassembly, but the way the case was set up, even after unscrewing it, you still needed some special tool to open it up, which I couldn't find.

          Turns out I wasn't the only one I knew with a similar story... I too look forward to their demise from the world of electronics, and their war on the people who pay them money for their goods and supposedly "services" but in practice "disservices".

          • by broggyr (924379) <broggyr@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @11:18AM (#39644463)
            I used to work in the repair dept of a local camera shop about 16 years ago. Sent a sony camcorder to sony for repair; it was *5 days* out of warranty when I got it from the customer. Sony ended up charging full retail for the repair, which was about 75% of the camera cost. The customer declined the repair.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Raenex (947668)

              I don't have any sympathy for this case. What's the point of having warranty deadlines if the company is expected to arbitrarily extend them? If customers want an extended warranty, they should buy them.

              • by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @06:24PM (#39650473)

                Warranty deadlines should be used to defend the company against obvious abuse, and to delight customers by throwing them a bone once in a while. From a psychological standpoint, standing behind the product for an extra 5 lousy days would have acted as a form of intermittent reinforcement, one of the most effective conditioning techniques known.

                You don't need to be B. F. Skinner or Steve Jobs to grasp these concepts, you just need to not be a complete moron.

                Of course, I'm neither a psychologist experienced in behavioral training nor a CEO experienced at losing billions of dollars, so my advice probably shouldn't be considered authoritative.

          • by Gr8Apes (679165) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @01:43PM (#39646675)

            Boycott? I just started choosing the better product circa 1990. Then when they started doing stupid crap like the memory sticks, rootkits,BD "win" purchase, I chose in each case to buy a standard product, which wound up never being a Sony product, until the last couple of issues, in which I actively make sure I don't support Sony in any way possible, going as far as to recommend anything but Sony even when someone asks about a Sony product, usually by saying, "Well, have you seen product x by y? It does all that, and this extra thing, costs half, and the warranty is twice as long and customer satisfaction ratings are 20% higher" and in 99% of the cases, all of those statements are true,

            Sony is one of a few companies that deserves to die in their current incarnations, and it appears that their business practices are reaping just rewards.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:36AM (#39643953)

        Be honest now, if you break a boycott because a company releases a product you want then you were never really boycotting them in the first place, you were just trying to present your lack of interest in their products as a principled stance.

        • by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:42AM (#39644035) Homepage

          I was never in an active "boycott Sony" mode. Although I am not sure that it mattered. That's the problem really. Sony is suffering from a great deal of indifference in general I think rather than just the rage of a few well informed nerds.

          What's Sony got to offer us that would make us want to break a boycott even if we decided we were boycotting them? I think a lack of answer to that question is their real problem.

          Sony? Who cares?

          • by bsane (148894)

            This.

            I've made a point to not buy Sony for more than a decade. It only comes up when I need to buy a quick pair of headphones somewhere weird (airport for example) and the only decent ones for sale are Sony. Other than that its the easiest boycot ever. They make nothing I need or want, and are often the worst choice anyway.

            • by Gilmoure (18428)

              I bought a tv last year; floor model close out but that's about it. Have switched to Yamaha for my AV gear for last few years.

      • by aslanuk (949345)
        Like a number of other posts here, this news makes me smile. Since their DRM fiasco I have boycotted Sony and my resolve strengthened when the Play Station Network got hacked. I avoid their entire brand like the plague and the news their company is failing has brought a smile to an otherwise mundane day.
      • by OglinTatas (710589) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:59AM (#39644243)

        The company is dead to me now

        I have no sony!
        * rips garment *

      • Sony has lost thousands of dollars in sales from me alone over the past few years because of the way they slap their customers in the face, and stab them in the back. Whenever I have the opportunity I calmly explain the reasons why I refuse to purchase Sony's products. I am pleased now that for Sony it has come to this. Yes, Schadenfreude!

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Gozzin (2125020)

        Breaking my boycott was a mistake. The company is dead to me now

        After the root-kit bit,I've stuck to my guns and never purchased anything from that company. If they go out of business,I'll crack open a bottle of bubbly and celebrate their demise.

      • by Blue Stone (582566) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @02:19PM (#39647261) Homepage Journal

        I stopped buying Sony CDs with the rootkit thing. I watched from afar at the PS3 thing - swearing to never buy a Sony games console.

        I foolishly bought a Sony Bluray player (with xvid/mkv codecs) and was happy. They released firmware to improve it, regularly, then they pulled a PS3-style stunt and silently and without permission installed their shitty Cinavia DRM. Can't roll it back. I caught it one update too late unfortunately. I would never have bought an media player with that functionality built in to it, and yet, somehow, now I paid good money for one and own one!

        The lesson: if it has updatable firmware that you either have no control over or must install to continue functionality, NEVER EVER EVER buy Sony, because they will fuck you over for their own ends.

        I still own a Sony clock radio from the early 90's and it works perfectly. No updates possible, or course. Would buy one again. Maybe that's what Sony will become - a tiny company who isn't trusted to sell anything more complicated than a non-network connected clock radio.

        Oh well!

    • by firex726 (1188453) <firex726NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:24AM (#39643819)

      Their electronics side is doing quite well, its the other divisions you don't hear about that are really doing badly.
      The Chemical Processing Division is being sold off? and will account for about 3000 of those jobs.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:26AM (#39643841) Journal
      Unfortunately, the losses don't seem to be concentrated in their most anti-customer segments(arguably Sony/BMG, Sony Pictures Entertainment, or their gaming division, (with, arguably, their PC division also being included, if only for the sheer incompetence of the crapware bundled with them by default).

      Instead, they got Absolutely Fucking Hammered in their "Once reputable; but basically who gives a fuck anymore and Panasonic is cheaper and as good and whoever makes 'Vizio" is cheaper still and I don't notice the difference" segments.

      Is it arguable that arrogance is biting them in the ass? Sure. Along with generic failure-to-focus and commodification of what used to be quality-driven markets(with music and 'home theatre' gear, people have either gone hard upmarket to the boutique guys, or are basically buying on price. Sony is neither. Game over.

      However, all their truly malicious rather than merely arrogant and feckless, divisions remain viable.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Actually it is. People are pissed off from their existing purchases from those division (movies don't count, they not seen as Sony products). So these people are not buying new Sony screens, receivers, phones, and they're putting off others the brand while they're at it. Sony are probably the #1 most hated tech company these days.

        Haven't you noticed that their PSP Go was still born, and their Vita is almost as dead after the early adopters and fanboys got it on release?

        Each year, Sony is going to have a har

        • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:51AM (#39644129) Journal
          Oh, I'm certainly not going to argue that generating bad PR(along with genuine reductions in the quality delta between Sony and once-inferior competitor brands) has done anything but hurt the company, nor has their NIH approach helped them reduce either their own costs or the customer's total-cost-of-buying-a-sony-thing.

          My point is just that, division by division, Sony's departments of Evil are doing alright, while Sony's departments of overpriced-but-not-actually-luxury are getting absolutely hammered. Barring some sort of benevolent visionary, it seems likely that the more-or-less-neutral stuff is going to get 'rightsized' and cut back, while the evil will wax yet fouler.
      • by Junta (36770) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:47AM (#39644091)

        Also, Sony has been pretty hit and miss on quality. For example, their receivers have lots of reports of inadequate thermal design and solder failures. Generally lots of cases of Sony obviously trying to cut costs and sell on reputation, and that measure has come back to erode reputation.

        So we are left with a company that is making shoddy products, has a poor security record, is pretty anti-consumer in various technologies, and charging a premium on top of all of that. Sony has to do some drastic moves to stay relevant.

      • by jonwil (467024)

        Many people (myself included) who hate Sony because of what their music arm, movie/TV arm and gaming arm have done are boycotting all of Sony.

        I will not purchase ANY product that says Sony, Blu-Ray, BRAVIA, Sony Erricson, PlayStation, VIAO, CyberShot, Memory Stick or is otherwise connected to the Sony empire.

        I am also going to boycott Sony produced films coming out this year including 21 Jump Street, The Vow, Men In Black 3 (not hard to boycott that one given that I am also boycotting Will Smith because his

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Sony, how is that war against your customers going for you? At some point you need to wake up and realize that your customers are not your enemies, they are your boss.

      Wake up Sony, you could be one of the greatest and most profitable companies on earth with a few policies changes.

      Exactly. I have personally boycotted Sony for six or seven years now. I'm not an anti-Sony crusader, it's simply that after a company pisses me off repeatedly, they don't get any more of my money. Even if Sony did wake up, it's too late as far as I'm concerned.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by IcyNeko (891749)

      Don't worry. Kaz Hirai is on the case. He'll raise prices so painfully high that consumers will "need to get 10 jobs just to earn the right to use our products".

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @11:54AM (#39644927)

        True story: I was once drinking in a bar (I live in Tokyo) and was introduced to the businessman sitting next to me. He said he worked for SCE. Then he said "Please buy a PSP Go". I (being a bit drunk) replied with a slightly-too-direct "No, they're shit". He answered "Yeah, I know, lol".

        But it got even funnier from there. I asked him if he knew Kaz Hirai, and he said "Yeah, I work with him, and I see him on a daily basis."
        Then he said "Tell me, do you know about RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDGE RACERRRRRRRRRRRRRR?"
        After I'd stopped laughing, I was like "Of course... and 599 US DOLLARS etc."
        Then he told me that apparently Kaz is known as "Kaz 'RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDGE RACERRRRRRRRRRRRRR' Hirai" inside SCE Japan.

        This all ACTUALLY HAPPENED, and I still have the guy's business card right here.

    • by Oscaro (153645) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:50AM (#39644119) Homepage

      Quite surprising their mobile department is quite open. They published many driver source code and also they published an alpha and beta version of android ICS for some models. I guess the mobile department is still more Ericsson than Sony :-/

    • by PetiePooo (606423) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:50AM (#39644123)
      Remember Sony's heyday? When they came out the the coolest Walkman players and headphones?

      They used to be a great tech company. They built things that enthusiasts loved. I still remember fondly my WM-10. [walkmancentral.com] It was a sad day when I dropped it and broke the headphone jack.

      There are two things that I believe led them to the brink of the disaster they currently find themselves in:

      1) Proprietary technology: Sony's history with proprietary technology goes back decades. A partial list:
      - Betamax (VHS won even though technologically inferior)
      - MD (CDs were more versatile and sounded better)
      - Memory Sticks (an unneeded but pricy competitor to SD, CF, etc.)
      - Bluray (I still wish HD-DVD had won that war).

      IBM learned their lesson about proprietary commodity hardware when their PS/2 [wikipedia.org] attempt tanked.

      2) Purchase of Columbia Pictures (1989): With this purchase, their media arm became the tail that wagged the dog, and it continued with their purchase of BMG. They forgot about enabling their customers with technology, and used their technology to inhibit their customers instead, all in the name of protecting their media. This led them to blunders such as their use of XCP and MediaMax rootkits [wikipedia.org] They still haven't learned their lesson, as it continues with BD+ [wikipedia.org]

      Several cable companies are falling into this same trap. When a single entity owns both the media and the distribution channel, consumer trust evaporates as the entity inevitably tries to tie the two into a monopoly.

      When will it end? And can we as consumers ever trust them again?

      I seriously doubt it. I haven't bought any Sony gear for nearly a decade, and I don't think I'm the only one.

      RIP, Sony - 1946 - 201x
      • by localman57 (1340533) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @11:06AM (#39644323)
        The funny thing about this is that you occasionally see the Pre-Columbia-Pictures Sony in some products. Sony's eBook reader, for instance, is a model product. It uses the ePub format (the real, standardized one, not the hacked version that B&N sells). it uses a standard USB cable to transfer data, and charge. It doesn't have any backdoor via wireless or anything else that will let them pull a 1984 on books you've already purchased.

        Eventually, though, Sony may end up with a publishing company through some merger/aquisition, and they'll fuck this up too.
        • by SIGBUS (8236) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @11:35AM (#39644653) Homepage

          The funny thing about this is that you occasionally see the Pre-Columbia-Pictures Sony in some products

          Another example, surprisingly enough, is an audio recorder, the PCM-M10. Uncharacteristically for Sony, it accepts MicroSDHC cards as well as yet another variant of the Memory Stick. If I didn't already have an Olympus recorder that does all I need, I might consider it... except that I just can't bring myself to buy a Sony product.

          But, just when I thought that Sony might have picked up some Clue, along comes the PS Vita that doesn't even use Memory Stick, instead using a new flash memory format used by nothing else. DIAF, Sony.

          • Both of those examples are in consumer products where Sony is the underdog. They are happy to use common standards and formats when they are trying to compete with a more popular product. But in the products where Sony thinks itself king -- videos and games -- they ruthlessly use proprietary technologies in an attempt to make them the standard.

            That arrogance is the root cause of Sony's problem. When they're at the top they act like monopolists, but because they don't actually have a monopoly the market g

        • by digitig (1056110) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @11:59AM (#39644985)

          The funny thing about this is that you occasionally see the Pre-Columbia-Pictures Sony in some products. Sony's eBook reader, for instance, is a model product. It uses the ePub format (the real, standardized one, not the hacked version that B&N sells). it uses a standard USB cable to transfer data, and charge. It doesn't have any backdoor via wireless or anything else that will let them pull a 1984 on books you've already purchased.

          And it has the crappiest ebook management software you are ever likely to encounter, that Sony tries to force you to use by making it run whenever the reader is connected and so locking out alternative ebook management software such as Calibre. Yes, there are workarounds, but why does it need workarounds. Sorry, but I made the mistake of buying a Sony eReader and regret the waste of money. It is nowhere near being a "model product".

      • by antdude (79039)

        Yes, I miss old Sony. I still have old non-powered speakers that still work after a couple decades! I told my parents not to buy a Sony HDTV. I hope they follow my request. Speaking of avoiding Sony, who is the best electronic company these days? It seems many are bad and greedy. :(

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Wake up Sony, you could be one of the greatest and most profitable companies on earth with a few policies changes.

      After rooting my computer there's no way I'll ever be their customer again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. The first time he hits you you're a victim, the second time you're an accomplice.

      Record losses? Gee but I love seeing good news first thing in the morning. Die, Sony DIE!!!

      • by jamstar7 (694492)

        After rooting my computer there's no way I'll ever be their customer again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. The first time he hits you you're a victim, the second time you're an accomplice.

        Sony would argue there's no reason to put a CD/DVD of their content in your computer's tray unless you intended to pirate their content.

        6.4 billion in losses? Damn, them pirates are getting good at that shit...

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Their argument would be stupid. At the time, the only CD player we had in the apartment was the PC, and Sony had to know that it's how many people are. Also that I paid fo rthe damned CD (or rather my daughter did; she bought it at the store she worked in) and had every right to rip it to MP3 so she could listen to it on her iPod.

          I'd have been even more pissed if I'd been using the machine to record and burn my own compositions, as many do. That god damned trojan disabled my CD burner (necessary for any mus

    • Totally agree. They have an increasing number of tech savvy/politically aware customers *actively* turning their back on them in their buying choices. Sooner or later, that's going to bite,
    • Heresy! How dare you suggest that customers aren't the enemy. Customers are pirates, they must be treated like the criminals they are. RIAA, MPAA, Sony, and all major Hollywood studios know this.

    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      Eh, they just need to tighten their grip.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I hope their losses continue to increase. Die you greedy bastards. Before you do, however, give me back my "Other OS". Not that I'm bitter or anything.

  • Karma (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BenoitRen (998927)

    Karma is a bitch, isn't it, Sony? May you go down swiftly. I'd love nothing more after all the hostility and the recent rumours of tying PS4 games to the console with required online verification.

  • by benjfowler (239527) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:18AM (#39643735)

    Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of people.

    Hopefully they'll go out of business -- and show the world what happens to you when you treat your paying customers like fools and criminals.

    • by jamstar7 (694492)

      Hopefully they'll go out of business -- and show the world what happens to you when you treat your paying customers like fools and criminals.

      They're just acting like every government I've ever heard of.

  • by vovick (1397387) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:20AM (#39643759)

    Naturally, all blame should go to piracy and insufficient copy protection.

    • Actually, a lot of it did go down to that. The protection they used to keep hackers from copying shit off their network was clearly insufficent.
      • by hAckz0r (989977)
        All DRM is insufficient. Thats because it is 'logically' infeasable to create a "software" system that runs on general purpose hardware that can't be modified by a person having physical access to that machine. Anybody that tells you differently is just selling SnakeOil(tm), and apparently laughing all the way to the bank these days because of companies like Sony. All you need is one ticked-off uber hacker and all the millions you poured into the fancy DRM is all for naught. Its a waste of money if all you
    • With $6.4B in losses, its possible that actual pirates are attacking and pillaging their shipments, factories, etc. Or its a bit of creative bookkeeping - every downloaded Black Eyed Peas single represents a loss of $18,000 . . . so that's nearly $40,000 right there.
  • Big Enough To Fail (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kdansky (2591131) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:22AM (#39643781)
    When companies get big, they attract a lot of fat (such as overpaid CEOs) and the people that are actually responsible for the success have less influence. Replacing the CEO will not help, you've just exchanged one kind of cancer for another. Need I mention I'd like 500 million Yen a year for "taking responsibility" in a multi-billion-loss?
    • by rgbrenner (317308)

      500 million yen == 5 million dollars. A lot... but no comparison to many other overpaid American CEOs.

    • by jpmorgan (517966)

      If the quality of CEO has no impact on corporate success, that explains why Apple under Steve Jobs was never as successful as HP under Carly Fiorina.

  • C'mon Sony, You're not trying hard enough. If you alienate a whole other group of your users, you can slash 20,000 jobs.....

    Treat your customers like criminals that need to be controlled and this is what you get.

    Free Market is a bitch, ain't it.

  • by msobkow (48369) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:22AM (#39643785) Homepage Journal

    it would seem Sony boycotted themselves on the road to insolvency if they don't wake up to the realities of servicing a web-enabled market of distributed systems. Without security and data integrity, people will leave in droves, because they have no option but to put up with whatever lax security is in place this time.

    Without their corporate network model, there is nothing to distinguish Sony's hardware from anyone else's except for proprietary cabling, ports, and overpriced equipment as a result. The PS/3 was the first system they ever delivered that didn't go all out to be proprietary in every way conceivable.

    But a funny thing happened on the way to the standardized interconnect of digital protocols.

    It stopped mattering who you bought your devices from. They all implement the standards as best they can for a price point. Show me an LCD monitor that doesn't do 1080p nowadays, whether it's embedded in a laptop, a monitor, or a television.

    I'm just surprised we seem to have stopped at 1080p as a standard just when LCD manufacturing reliability got to the point where we could produce much higher resolution monitors quite easily.

    High end displays all compete on lumens and black levels as well as responsiveness (refresh rate.) As technology was cross-licensed and the manufacturing facilities consolidated, what did anyone think? That brand name would really matter all that much in the long run?

    People don't forget stupid marketing mistakes like insisting on reporting the Peak Power Level a Sony amplifier can handle instead of the Continuous Power Level ratings used by high-end amplifier manufacturers.

    People don't forget having their credit card information stolen.

    People don't forget about being without service for over a month.

    People won't buy your products just for the tag line "SO, New York!"

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Viol8 (599362)

      "I'm just surprised we seem to have stopped at 1080p as a standard just when LCD manufacturing reliability got to the point where we could produce much higher resolution monitors quite easily. "

      Whats the point? Its already impossible to resolve individual pixels on a 1080 unless your nose is right up against it or the display is something like 40+inchs in size.

      • by kimvette (919543)

        Really? Exaggerate much?

        http://www.apple.com/imac/specs.html [apple.com]

        2560 by 1440 on a 27" monitor.
        And, in a normal seated position I can make out the individual pixels.

        Right now I am on my Dell M6400 Precision Mobile Workstation with a 17" 1920x1200 display. I'm looking at it from about two feet away as a type and I can read it just fine, no problem whatsoever.

        Maybe you need glasses, but many of us do not. I'd like higher resolution screens, please!

      • by TheSync (5291)

        I'm just surprised we seem to have stopped at 1080p

        The issue is that the video delivery channels (broadcast, satellite, cable, Blu-Ray) got set up for HD @ 720p60 & 1080i30 & 1080p24. It took a lot of effort, and it would take a huge effort to move beyond this.

        However you DO see the consumer electronics folks now trying to push 4K displays. They are great for computers, but is there really going to be mass adoption soon for formats that you need double the data to use? Most people get a pretty lo

    • by Bucky24 (1943328)

      People don't forget having their credit card information stolen.

      People don't forget about being without service for over a month.

      Sadly enough, yes they do.

  • Some hints: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2@nOspAm.gdargaud.net> on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:23AM (#39643797) Homepage
    • Don't put rootkits on my computers
    • Don't sell crappy products and then refuse to honor the warranty when they break after 2 weeks.
    • Don't sponsor criminal organizations like RIAA/MPAA
    • Don't use parts that only _you_ make, such as special batteries and special memory 'sticks'

    Then maybe after 10 years, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and start purchasing some of your products again. In the meanwhile reap what you sow.

    • Re:Some hints: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bertok (226922) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @11:03AM (#39644293)

      This.

      Back around 2000, I had a Sony Trinitron 21" monitor, a Sony MP3 player, a Sony digital camera, and a Sony HiFi system. Back then, Sony was the best within a reasonable consumer price range. Then LCD monitors came along, and I got a 24" Dell and chucked the Trinitron. Sony was making LCDs too, but Dell was selling the biggest consumer monitors by far, and for several thousand cheaper too than anyone else. The "MP3" player actually required every track to be transcoded into some proprietary format, and was replaced with a generic Taiwanese-made player that cost a digit less and stored ten times more on a generic flash card that cost 1/3rd as much per megabyte as a memory stick. The camera was replaced with a model that had interchangeable lenses and compact flash, because most Sony digital cameras (up until recently) had a single fixed lens and didn't take anything other than memory sticks. I was using the HiFi amp until recently, when I discovered that even though I was using it with only digital inputs, the output has a lot more noise than the headphone jack on the motherboard of my PC, fed by a built-in sound "card" that's probably a single chip that cost $2.

      You watch, the same thing is going to happen to Apple too. Oh sure, they're making the best stuff now, but they'll go down the same way in a decade or so. Sure, an iPad is the best tablet on the market at the moment, but in a couple of years Asus or Samsung or whoever will be making something with twice the spec, half the price, and it won't be limited to Apple(r) Approved Quicktime Data Formats(tm) only.

      • by madro (221107)

        Steve Jobs admired Sony (before they went bad) and built Apple with a similar focus on the consumer. It's not a foregone conclusion that Apple will follow Sony's fate -- how well has the current Apple leadership learned from Jobs? will the next generation of innovators see Apple as a place to build cool things? (versus Google, or Amazon, or -urk- Facebook?)

        But the usual trajectory is: founder leaves, the immediate replacement does pretty well, but after that leadership is only able to see what worked in the

  • "revival" (Score:4, Interesting)

    by harvey the nerd (582806) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:27AM (#39643849)
    Sony was once a great company. I am afraid, like most big companies, they are long past their founders' vision and values. Even reviving Akio Morita might not revive the company.
  • Sony's decline began with purchase of a movie studio. The company that once was Betamax and Walkman (and championed fair use for the consumer!) is nomore. Since that time, has anyone purchased a solid sony consumer product that isn't laden with burdensome DRM?

    Burdensome in that your own mother simply cannot find a way to fairly enjoy a paid for piece of entertainment on a product meant to display or play entertainment from Sony? "my mom isn't a criminal, so stop treating her and all your other potential cus

  • by guidryp (702488) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:50AM (#39644121)

    While the media wing may not be what is losing money today, it is their Big Media stake that is ruining the electronics company.

    From lost focus on developing the best HW for consumers and Spending time on things that electronics enthusiasts have come to hate them for (Rootkits, DRM, supporting MPAA/RIAA).

    Being a part of the MPAA/RIAA, Sony electronics now thinks first about DRM and second about customers. So PS3 is the first device to get Cinavia, and yet it still won't play .MKV files. Making it somewhat crappy as a media player.

    If Sony hadn't jumped into the media game it would have been better focused on building devices people want, there would have been no Rootkits, no membership in MPAA/RIAA. If that Sony hit hard times, we might actually be sad. But instead Sony Media/Electronics is an unfocussed anti-consumer juggernaut that we get joy seeing go down the tubes.

    If rumors are true about PS4, Sony's war on consumers is going full force with zero backward compatibility and technology to block used games.

    IMO they deserve to go down the drain.

    • While the media wing may not be what is losing money today, it is their Big Media stake that is ruining the electronics company.

      Apple made billions and billions selling iPods. That could have been Sony instead, but their media business made sure that Sony music players couldn't play any music from Sony Media for fear there could be any illegal copying.

      Sony could have made ten times more by selling tons of music players and give away all Sony music for free to their customers.

  • by fallen1 (230220) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @11:17AM (#39644455) Homepage

    Sony CEO -
    "Effective immediately, Sony Industries will be shutting down our Entertainment division until such time as they can be taught never to sue another division of Sony or our customers. Ever. Our Electronics division will now be at the forefront of Sony's drive to become competitive again. We will be looking back to what made us a great company and learning from the mistakes we made from that time until today.

    We will be firing anyone with an MBA degree who does not understand that short term profits and suing our customers is not a good business model.

    Furthermore, we would like to apologize for fucking over our customer base these past ten years or so. We will be removing all DRM from our products as a way of apologizing and all of our electronics now come with a "Please, hack me!" symbol on them."

    Yeah, we can dream - can't we?

  • Moral of the story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by liquidweaver (1988660) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @11:27AM (#39644549)

    Profiteering at the expense of customer experience = short term gains, long term losses.

  • by ctusch (1221836) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @12:00PM (#39645013)

    (Adapted from the widely overused 'Footprints in the Sand' poem [footprints...e-sand.com].)

    One night I dreamed I was sitting in front of my computer next to Sony.
    Many scenes of past contact with Sony products flickered across the screen.
    In most scenes I noticed some form of DRM helping me managing my digital rights,
    but in some there appeared to be none at all.

    This bothered me because I couldn't understand why Sony wouldn't care for some of its intellectual properties.
    Especially music CDs seemed to be completely unprotected. So I said to Sony,

    "You promised me, that if I bought your products, you would always help me protect my digital rights.
    But I have noticed that especially IP in dire need of protection, like music CDs, has had no protection at all.
    Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?"

    Sony replied, "The times when you didn't notice any kind of DRM, my child, is when I rootkited you."

  • PSN going down for an entire month probably hurt a little. They refused to secure their network prior and then when it did go down they drug their feet through the crap they were shoveling to get it back up. Their customer support will continue to go down the crapper as they care more about the RIAA and MPAA than the customers.
  • An almost universal problem that Sony has on the consumer electronics side is their branded price premium. Item for item across their entire product spectrum they attempt to collect a price premium just because the name on the widget says "Sony" and while that might be true some of the time for some models of some products it's never universally true for everything. And even where the products they sell are premium price and they are better, are they THAT MUCH better? Usually no. Let's face facts, most PC's

  • Couldn't happen to a more deserving company.

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