17 October 2005

Why Firewire will never make it

For those of us wondering why the excellent Firewire standard has not become more mainstream, and why Apple increasingly seems to be distancing itself from the standard it did so much (but not enough) to promote, I refer you to this white paper by James Wiebe, Founder of Wiebe Tech - a maker of storage solutions.

It is a disappointing story of technical issues (though none insurmountable), failure to deal with said problems quickly, greed from various vendors involved, closed-mindedness, poor marketing, etc... While Firewire 800 promised so much - fixing many of the issues of Firewire 400, and having a significant lead over USB2 in so many ways, it's failure to be promoted as a mainstream consumer technology condemns the whole standard to be an also-ran - limited to the niche professional market for limited uses.

This does not reflect well on Apple. It is another indication that it falls down when it comes to the right time and methods to open up it's technologies

Fortunately for those of us worried that we'd be left with USB2, the article suggests that while this will be in common use for many devices, we will fortunately have another standard in the form of SATA II for higher speed requirements (such as storage).

James invites comments (though doesn't promise to answer them). I love this aspect of the blogosphere - we can get to understand topics in far more detail than we would otherwise have done. Do read the article if you're interested in this topic either technically or for a business studies analysis of what went wrong! Thanks James

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