Hardware industry, today, doesn’t have many Open Source players. Few of them are Big like Sun Microsystems( now, Oracle).
The popular Hardware player, Sony is quietly pushing forward with a minor revolution, based on open source, across its product divisions. You might not have heard about it that even Sony has already stepped into Open Source.
Since becoming a conglomerate in the 1990s Sony has been managed as a collection of fiefdoms, not a coherent whole. Yet many of those fiefdoms now seem headed in the same direction.
- Sony chose an open source format, EPUB, for its e-book reader.
- Sony-Ericsson is apparently taking command of the Open Source Symbian movement as Nokia backs-out from it. (Nokia is moving ahead with Microsoft Windows Mobile.)
- Sony Pictures Imageworks is launching an open source program. Available Here.
- Sony’s Open Source Code Distribution Service. This includes variety of Projects listed here – LocationFree® TV, Set-top Box, Television, Bravia Internet Video Link.
- Sony Ericsson’s move towards Google Android with Sony XPERIA X3 — Android Custom UI.
Under leading Akio Morita, who resigned as chairman in 1994 and died in 1999, Sony was a lot like Steve Job’s Apple — iconoclastic, entrepreneurial, proprietary, secretive. These moves indicate the company is now headed in the opposite direction.
It’s easy to say that Howard Stringer, the former CBS head who has been chairman of Sony since 2005, is behind a grand turn toward open source. Interesting if true. But the who is not nearly as important here as the what.
The what seems to be an attempt by Sony to regain market share by embracing open source across the board. With PS3 Fat (original PS3) Linux support was integrated. But are they moving away from it in PS3 Slim? Or it would be a minor software hack to re-gain possibility of Linux? We will have to wait to see.