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freehe
freehe
4/26/2016 9:14:54 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: which color
If vendors say they have a software-based gray box, but then require that service providers buy a special box to make it work "you put me right back in the model of hardware only," Hakl said.

Good point. I agree that standards should be updated and companies should make it easy for customers to use new technology with products and services offered. It you make it difficult for customers to access your new technology they will quickly get frustrated and switch to another provider.

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dlr5288
dlr5288
4/25/2016 7:56:32 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: which color
I agree. Very good points!

It' really all up to the consumers and whether they embrace this or not. I can see this being successful if people get behind it. However if things don't improve and consumers know that, they obviously won't back the product.

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dcawrey
dcawrey
4/25/2016 12:48:20 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: verizon gray boxes
One-off boxes simply don't make sense in this new world of open source networks. I'm acutally surprised to hear this worrying trend is coming from venture capital backed vendors. They are generally the ones most interested in disrupting by building more open systems. 

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mpouraryan
mpouraryan
4/24/2016 4:23:02 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: which color
..and I would add the following to them (among many others):  Sun & IBM.   Many may remember when Scott McNealy deemed Windows NT as (Not there)...or how I personally heard Ed McCracken of SGI note how he did not "know what Bill Gates was doing".  

Interesting times indeed we live in.

 

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
4/23/2016 1:36:21 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: which color
@mpouraryan,

I'm not sure it has to reach as far as paranoia, but an understanding that the game is never over while you're still breathing (or as James F. Carse famously put it, "There is only one infinite game,") is probably critical throughout the process. I can remember when IBM was said to stand for Immense Brutal Monopoly and the salespeople for the scrappy little Digital Equipment Corporation found themselves directed to "Mr. X, who handles all our IBM machine needs," or to "The IBM machine department."  There was a moment, perhaps when Xerox let Star 80 slip away, when IBM might have maintained that market dominance and perhaps locked it in forever, but they would have had to be exceptionally foresighted to see it and do anything about it. Economic history is littered with the bones of companies that once "owned" their markets -- because they thought the game was over.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
4/23/2016 1:28:40 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: which color
@rh0464,

Very true, over the longer run. People make dumb choices all the time, but it sometimes takes a while for the knowledge that a choice is dumb to percolate through the market. Many, many people spent a good deal of money and of valuable learning time on dedicated word processors because there were several convincing dumb reasons for them, most of which boiled down to "It lets you feel like you're not being left behind while not requiring you to understand too much about these newfangled computer thingies." It was a dumb reason and eventually they went off the market -- but not before sucking up a fair bit of money on the way.

I think that's probably the fate of the gray boxes.

The moral: try to avoid being committed to a product that requires your customers to be ignorant.  (If you must, go into something like alternative medicine).

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mpouraryan
mpouraryan
4/22/2016 11:36:20 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: which color
The challenge remains for such players whether to embrace this or not.   What you noted reminded me of Andy Grove's old admonition that "only the paranoid survive".  That sense of paranoia has to be the driving force if his vision is to be widely adopted.    I wonder if that courage exists.

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rh0464
rh0464
4/22/2016 10:20:17 AM
User Rank
Steel
Re: which color
Gray boxes won't be offered if no one is buying.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
4/22/2016 8:12:21 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: which color
@mpouraryan, yes, absolutely right. There's a "fake it because (you can't actually) make it (yet)" phase with a lot of technologies, somewhat analogous to the half-a-wing or half-an-eye problem in evolution, where what's needed is pretty obvious but it just doesn't really exist yet, so businesses find ways to make things that kinda-sorta look like that.

See, for example, late 80s "text processors", "intelligent typewriters","table converters" and other products on the way to office tools suites; everyone could see that eventually your database, word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tool, etc. should all work with each other seamlessly on any hardware, but since it wasn't here yet, various little workarounds and pretend-it-works were touted as steps on the way.

The advantage of the white box is getting rid of hardware dependency and shifting adaptation entirely to the companies using the standard.   Gray boxes can be sold as a step in that direction, but they're a short step that doesn't really lead anywhere. So yes, hurray for brutal honesty; it saves time and effort that would otherwise be lost to the "almost there" technologies.

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mpouraryan
mpouraryan
4/21/2016 10:01:40 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: which color
Should we not welcome his "call to action" for open standards?  Isn't that the bottom line?  It seems to me that we ought to embrace his brutal honesty here. 

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