I am not a fan. I'm just shooting straight. I don't like your product. I think your quality is absolute garbage. Even more, I think you've put whatever reputation you have left, on on the line. This letter contains my arguments as to why.
First, your product. When will you get the clue that the world isn't interested in proprietary formats. When a standard is set, quit trying to reinvent the wheel. Points in case. First, beta. While superior to VHS, it just beat Beta to the punch, and took off much faster. There was no competition. Yet, you still push it, like there is. 8mm, Super8 and Digital8 are nothing but Beta in small packages. Why? What's so hard with VHS-C? Or MiniDV? They are the standard, and hold the market, yet you continue to ignore.
Next, MemoryStick. Are you kidding? What other product, besides Sony (or Sony affiliated) uses it? None! Sure, there are card readers built into laptops, and the such, but you are the only one who uses it. Trying to make everyone buy Sony? It isn't working.
Another failed and useless product it UMD. I mean, come on! Sure, the PSP is great, and doing well, but the UMD sales are nill. Zilch. Non-existent. Less than 1% of people who own a PSP purchase UMD movies. That sucks. Again, Beta is dead. Give it up for crying out loud.
Going further along this product nightmare, is ATRAC. Uh, where to begin with that one? Can we say 1980? It isn't selling. MP3 players sell. MiniDisc players don't. Which brings up another point: why are you selling that worthless medium? Again, only playable in Sony (or Sony affiliated) players. People don't want discs (the floppy is dead, need I remind you), they want RAM or internal hard disks. Look at the iPod. Think that would sell with discs that only held less than a hundred songs? Please.
Can we still continue to go down this road? Uh, yeah. Can we say Blue-Ray? Ok, you would think with your recent root-kit issues with DRM software on music CDs, you would have learned your lesson. Rather, instead, you think you still have game with DRM. Yet, it isn't biting. Gee, I wonder why.
Why stop there. SACD is horrible. Again, another worthless product, that could have been great, but fell short. DVD-Audio may not necessarily be better, but it became the standard. So why try to reinvent the wheel yet again? What is up with pushing proprietary standards?
Lastly, on your product, line, I take a stab at your computers, including laptops. First, as with everything else, they don't adhere to standards. Your cases are anything but ATX, and upgrading is a joke. Sure, there are few things in your computers that are standards, mainly because you don't have control over them. But holy crap. When buying computers, I advise everyone to steer clear of Sony product. One question, though. Why do call IEEE1394, aka "Firewire", iLink? Trying to claim the connection as your own? Good luck.
Okay, now I move to quality. First off, everything is garbage, including your television sets. This goes for your cameras, speakers, dvd players, home theater, car audio, etc., etc., etc. I used to be a Sony guy. Everything I purchased had to be Sony. In fact, my car audio system is still all Sony. Deck, amp, speakers and subs. However, when stuff started breaking down quite fast, and remarkably, right after the warranty expired, I began to lose faith. Especially when product from other manufacturers was holding strong.
I can't help but think the lack of quality in your product is a direct result of trying to spread yourself too thin. You are in every aspect of the home electronic arena. Even your relentlessly stupid and pointless Aibo dog. Why? What is the urge? Why not contcentrate on a certain arena? Take Nikon, for example. They build only cameras. Polk Audio builds only home audio, mainly speakers. Maytag builds only appliances. So why in every electronic market? I don't get it, and I don't think a lot of other people do either.
To finish off, you have put whatever reputation you used to have on the line. Your product and "ideas" have become synonymous with "Made in Taiwan" and "Big Lots". Sony doesn't remind people of high-end equipment, although it used to. The Sony brand has become, literally, penny gadgets, disposable electronics, and worthless junk. What's funny, is when I go to thrift stores, I see more Sony stuff than anything else.
Good luck to you and rebuilding the empire and getting your name back.
-- Aaron Toponce