Electronics and Standards

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Electronics and Standards

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Every few months, a new “gotta-have-it” product is released. Whether it be a phone, MP3 player, or computer, new ones are always being made. The more high-quality ones constantly bring something new to the table. A new feature, new design, or easier accessibility. The next company that does that is not “copying” off the original. Rather, they are meeting up to customer standards.

People on the Internet are always complaining about how one company “copied” off of another or how one brand “stole an idea”. The fact is, the companies HAVE to do this to keep up with consumer demand. For example, Guitar Hero was originally a game franchise that allowed players to mimic playing a guitar, just a guitar. Then Rock Band came out and introduced the drum and vocals. Guitar Hero quickly implemented these features into their newest game, Guitar Hero: World Tour. Rock Band fans weren’t all too happy that Guitar Hero “copied” the full band idea into their own game. To all the Rock Band fans agreeing with me right now, just listen to me for a second. If Guitar Hero DIDN’T add the drums and mic into their game, sales would definitely drop over time! Gamers would flock towards the game with “more features”, which would destroy any competition that Guitar Hero had before.

Another example would be the recently revealed Zune HD. The next Microsoft MP3 in line, the Zune HD boasts a host of new features. New features include 16.9 aspect ratio for widescreen video viewing, a web browser, NVIDIA Tegra chip, HD radio, and HDMI to an HDTV. It’s prime competitor, the iPod Touch, brought the Internet to MP3 players with the Safari app. So, essentially, the Zune HD copied off of the iPod Touch. No, it didn’t. The iPod Touch set a standard for MP3 players and the Zune HD followed that standard. Soon after news of the Zune HD surfaced, Apple released information about their OWN iPod Touch HD. The Zune HD fans didn’t like that too much. “Those Apple copycats!” they said to themselves. But, in their news about the Zune HD, Microsoft set their OWN standard: high-powered mobile devices. Apple’s own device can’t play high definition movies, NOR does it have a powerful computing chip like the NVIDIA Tegra chip (It is unknown at this point if the iPod Touch HD will include the Tegra chip or something similar to it; the Touch HD is also a tablet instead of a portable music player).

Still, even with people’s developing interests, there are still some things that companies will not accept as standards, or “copy”. Still on the Microsoft vs. Apple debate, Microsoft’s Zunes come with a built-in radio receiver, which Apple’s iPods do not have. The closest you can get to radio is internet radio, available through the App Store on the iPhone and iPod Touch only. On top of that, if you are using an iPod Touch, you can only access radio in areas with Wi-Fi. Microsoft’s Zune Marketplace, their answer to iTunes, also trumps Apply with their music subscription service, the Zune Pass (download as many songs as you want for $15 and choose 10 songs every month to keep forever). People have been asking Apple for a subscription for a while now, but Apple never provided.

The bottom line is the people who think of the ideas, profit off the ideas. Just think about it. Something that YOU made up isn’t copying off of anybody, and people will trust YOUR idea as the true original source. The point is, make standards more than you follow them.

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