Y'know, last night I was selling an iPod to a parent who confessed that he despised Apple, yet said that "All my music is on iTunes because I got into it years ago and now I can't get out."
It got me to thinking, what is the perfect word for the state which Apple, Sony, and (to a lesser extent) Microsoft wish to engender: that total dependancy upon only their products, to the point where you are not only so monetarily but emotionally invested in their technology that to switch would cause you so much hardship that you wouldn't even consider it?
They aren't Apple or Microsoft or Sony fanboys, they're Apple or Microsoft or Sony technoserfs, so indebted to one company that trying to leave its products behind would disrupt their lives completely.
Now, of course all corporations dream of such a state in their darkest dystopian fantasies, where a person is born, lives, and dies with only their products in his hands, but the only companies that pursue the fantasy so actively are Apple, Microsoft, and Sony. Lately, however, Microsoft has begun to find the flaws in the technoserf model, which is why they are seeming to steer clearer of the ideal, but Apple and Sony are desirous of the dream still.
Proprietary formats, 'one solution' products, propaganda directly maligning competitor's products, and so many other little tactics all designed to create dependency are clear pointers of the technoserf business model; the only thing to say in Sony's favor is that they've been trying and failing at it longer than Apple and Microsoft, both of whom were simply in the right place at the right time with the right product.
Sony has, quite simply, never been lucky and has always been too blatant about their attempts, ever since missing the boat with Betamax versus VHS. Still, do not forget that their ultimate goal is to make you a technoserf to everything they make, and enjoy their products - but in moderation.
I just wish they'd realise their biggest successes have come from collaboration, not exclusion.
*starts up his PS2 attached to his Sony flatscreen to mock Paul Blart in Mallcop again*