The short-term goal of Exceptional Innovation (EI), developer of Windows Media Center-friendly Life|ware software, may not yet be the home control equivalent of a chicken in every pot—Life|ware in every household under the American sun—but that looks to be the long-term route the company is mapping out. “The year 2007 will be the beginning of mass-market bundles of Life|ware,” Mike Seamons, EI’s vice president of marketing, told a press contingent during a November visit to company headquarters in the Columbus, Ohio suburbs, and at locations nearby.
Some measured steps already taken in the mass-market direction included a late-fall expansion of distribution beyond the traditional custom installer|integrator route (Life|ware is sold through about 500 Life|ware- trained and -certified CIs) into the retail environment, via Magnolia enclaves situated within two of California’s Best Buys.
However, cautions Seamons, “mass market” does not mean that customers will be able to buy Life|ware “off an end cap at Best Buy. The first-phase hardware strategy is to attack the luxury market. The only place to buy Life|ware today is through custom installers and Magnolia. But we eventually expect it to get into new distribution channels through bundling.”