Software Isn't Dead
We were actually meeting for a demonstration of CyberLink's PhotoDirector software. It's a pretty cool product that gives users a whole bunch of photo editing options, and is a great photo organization tool. It is also notable for coming in at the very generous price of $89.95, which is a bargain compared to similar programs like Lightroom and Aperture.
During the demo, Tim said something that surprised me. CyberLink was shifting its strategy to focus more on retail sales. I had to think about it for a second before I understood.
CyberLink and other software companies used to be able to count on the OEMs sticking their software onto computers before the consumers even buy them. Today consumers are fighting back against the clutter on their devices -they even have a nasty name for it: "Bloatware." Google saw this and came out with the ChromeBook, which is just a browser. Apple's MacBooks are pretty barren, and it seems like everyone is getting rid of disc drives. Consumers are getting used to throwing apps on and off their devices as they need them. Thinking of all of this, my knee-jerk reaction was to ask why? What makes you think retailers will be able to sell your software?
It makes sense, actually. Consumers still need software to do the things the cloud and apps are nowhere near ready to do.
I just had to think about my experiences so far to answer my own question. I recently decided to try out Amazon's cloud music player. First, I was disappointed by the incredible amount of time it would take to download all of my music. Then my listening experience using my phone was plagued by connection issues. The cloud didn't cut it for me.