Sony can be considered a pioneer in the portable music player business, and if you lived through the cassette tape era, then there's a good chance you owned a Walkman. Believe it or not, Sony continued to manufacture cassette-based Walkmans in several different markets all the way up through near the end of 2010. While nowhere near as popular as they were in the 1980s an 1990s, Sony's Walkman brand is seeing a bit of a resurgence courtesy of its NWZ-ZX1, a high-resolution audio player for consumers with deep pockets.
Just a few months after selling off its Vaio PC division, Sony will further reduce costs by shutting down its Reader Store. It will close for good on June 16, 2014, up to which time you can continue to shop and make purchases at the Reader Store. That may seem like a silly thing to do with a closure just more than a month away, however Sony says you'll receive an email from Kobo with a personalized link that will allow you to transfer your library over.
Sony isn't taking any chances with potentially defective battery packs found in Vaio Fit 11A laptops
Sony is warning owners of Vaio Fit 11A laptops that the non-removable battery packs provided by a third party supplier could potentially present a burn hazard. In certain model Vaio Fit 11A notebooks released in February 2014, the built-in battery could malfunction and overheat, resulting in partial burns to the chassis and the PC. Since it's a non-removable battery, your only option is to stop using the PC and disconnect it from the AC adapter.
If you're wondering what comes next after Blu-ray, there's a good chance it could be the "Archival Disc," a new standard for professional use, next-generation optical discs that's been jointly developed by Sony and Panasonic. The objective is to expand the market for long-term digital data storage, and in the immediate future, that means 300GB write-once Archival Disc media, though that's just the beginning.
Big changes are in store for Sony as part of a restructuring effort
Sony this week announced plans to close down 20 retail stores scattered throughout the United States, which will leave the company with 11 stores in California, New York, Florida, and Texas. The closures are casualties of a restructuring effort intended to help Sony remain competitive in an "evolving consumer electronics market," the company said. Thousands of job cuts are also in Sony's future.
Big Changes at Microsoft, AMD unleashes Mantle, and more.
On this episode of the No BS Podcast #218, the staff spends a lot of time discussing Microsoft because we just can't quit them. First up we discuss its new CEO, Satya Nadella before moving on to upcoming changes to Windows 8.1, and finally the recent news of the company asking advanced users to help their friends get off Windows XP. Next we chat about AMD's Mantle API before closing by answering listener questions and delivering our picks of the week. Gordon then brings the podcast to a thundering conclusion with one of his signature rants.
VAIO PCs didn't fit in with Sony's reform strategy
There's a good chance you may never see a new Vaio PC sold in the United States ever again. We're not necessarily jumping to that conclusion, though it's a strong possibility since Sony just agreed to sell its Vaio PC business to Japan Industrial Partners Inc., a Japanese investment firm. By getting rid of its Vaio division, Sony frees itself up to focus on mobile, and specifically smartphones and tablets.
Rumor has it Lenovo is interested in Sony's Vaio PC business
Reports emerged over the weekend claiming Lenovo, the world's No. 1 PC maker in terms of shipments, has been in talks with Sony about a possible joint venture involving the sale of Sony's Vaio PC business. Considering that Sony's Vaio PC division is operating at a loss, not to mention Lenovo having just announced plans to purchase Motorola Mobility for $2.91 billion, investors are spooked.
Sony's selling each PlayStation 4at a slight loss according to an analysis by IHS. The preliminary findings list the total material cost at $372 with an additional $9 manufacturing cost. Add in other expenses (like marketing and shipping costs) and the PS4 isn’t profitable yet without the sale of additional accessories and games at its $399 price point.