Why the Future of Hardware Is Services

4 thoughts on “Why the Future of Hardware Is Services”

  1. I think I’d add a modifier to this proposition – the services involved must be open and extensible, or else if proprietary they must be attached to a provider that is well-trusted and with an expectation of longevity. Amazon and Apple supply devices connected to their proprietary services, but there’s sufficient brand trust there for customers to overcome caution. Enough people have been burnt in the past with devices that were closely tied to DRM-laden ecosystems that have since expired.

    The other path (and I don’t think we’ve seen this yet, but we will) is for devices with interconnectivity and the flexibility to connect to web services of your choice, whether it’s the fabled “smart fridge” or just plain ol’ IPTV services on your TV.

    Until we see this, the preference of smart customers will continue to lie with buying ‘dumb’ hardware, with smart bolt-ons that can be changed more frequently – for example, a 50″ flatscreen with no integrated services or flexibility, but to which we attach Xbox, Tivo, AppleTV and so on.

  2. Om,

    Great Article. The concept extends beyond consumer machines. I am in the vending machine business and our industry is moving rapidly to a model where software enhances the vending machine experience.

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