This week I read in the newspaper that Sony are firing 10.000 people. After visiting Sony's showroom in Ginza I can see why: they have nothing that excites me. Nothing. Believe me, I actually tried to find something that could excite me. I made an honest effort.
The closest you get to something that is even vaguely interesting is the Sony NEX cameras -- but why would you want one? It is not as small as a compact camera because decent optics actually have to be bulky. Then again, if you are going to have a camera with a beefy lens, you might as well get a regular sized DSLR because you do want the ergonomics of a proper camera. The NEX solves no problems. None. It represents zero innovation. The images are great, but there are thousands of cameras that can make decent images.
Sony used to make stuff that was designed to look and feel like quality products. Superior products. They don't do that anymore. I found several laptops at BIC Camera from cheap brands that looked a lot better than any laptop Sony currently makes. Yes, really. There are Taiwanese companies that make better stuff than Sony.
And the Sony Tablet P ... I don't understand how they even dared telling the world about this junk -- much less actually put it on the market. Images don't do it justice. You actually have to try it out to realize how amazingly useless this product is. And at $550? It is more expensive than an iPad with a retina display!
If the people responsible for the decision to put the Tablet P on the market are not among the 10.000 fired, then Sony are firing the wrong people.
To some degree Sony have a problem in that their product design is mediocre in comparison to the competition: Sony still do decent design work, but the competitors have gotten so much better that the bar has been raised.
Sony do not do software. Nor do they do systems. Or "open".
But worst of all: they completely alienate the user -- a trend they started 15 years ago when they decided to push their own proprietary digital music rubbish and managed to lose an entire market where they used to be the undisputed kings. Sony may have admitted they screwed up, but they did not seem to learn a single thing from it.
Sony have bad karma in the eyes of the user. Really bad karma.
It is so sad to see a company that was once great kill itself.