Sunday, May 15, 2011

The best Technology never wins in the market place ?

This (Sunday) morning I was using a tablet during breakfast. It was not to carry in the goodies - I was happily reading articles from New York Times, Wall Street journal and Der SPIEGEL (a large German weekly magazine) on it. Before that (still in bed) I had checked my Facebook account. If you are either a Digital Native or a Digital Immigrant, you might have done very similar things this morning. [[see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_native#Origins for the terms Digital Immigrant/Native if you haven’t heard them]]

However, the “tablet” I used was neither an iPad nor a Motorola Xoom nor a smart phone. I was using a long-forgotten device named Nokia N800 which was released in 2007 by Nokia. The tablet has wireless, USB, Bluetooth; it’s larger sister (N810) has GPS and a keyboard. It can do Web browsing, Skype, PDF reading, … Back then Nokia toted the device as “Internet tablet”.

Four years later, Nokia has an image of having “missed the boat” both on smart phones as well as “tablet devices” – this clearly having envisioned the market for tablets four years ago and being among the clear market leaders in the smart phone area for a long time. I listened to a speaker the other day that showed his iPhone to the audience saying “this is a very bad phone”, only to add that this is in fact the phone he uses and that “this device has defined the term smart phone forever and we can never go back”.

Now where is the relevance of all this to the NonStop market ?

How about replacing N800 with NonStop S-Series and iPad with pick-any-platform-which-today-touts-itself-as-being-mission-critical-including-HP-Integrity-Unix ? Will the NonStop and the HP NonStop Enterprise division share the fate of the N800 (“great device but no-one knows it”) and Nokia (“they missed the boat”) ?

Here are some further examples of my personal hypothesis “the best technology never wins in the marketplace”:

  • MS-DOS vs. CP/M
  • Windows vs. very early Mac platform
  • Betamax vs. VHS
  • Do you have other examples to share?

So: What has Apple done right in creating the "tablet" market and what did Nokia do wrong?

More importantly, how do you think can the NonStop platform avoid becoming the Nokia N800?

1 comment:

  1. Thomas,

    MS-Dos won because IBM adopted it.
    Windows won (by then) because Bill made a deal with IBM again and because of the marketing.
    VHS won because they made some deals with the sex industrie (which Philips didn't; with their much better Video 2000 system!).

    And NonStop? You know: hardly any deals are made in the market. It's all about the APPs... No application, no uers; no users no market.

    The question is whether the world (still) needs a NonStop, that focus in hardware and software. Since the APPs need it. And if so, if it still exists when everybody realizes this.

    Bye, Jeroen Bakker

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