Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Partnerships gone amok

It seems that everywhere you turn, you run into yet another exclusive partnership deal.

You run into it every time you buy a new computer from Best Buy or wherever, and the computer is overloaded with free trial versions of everything under the sun. No, Hewlett-Packard, I do not want to subscribe to AOL.

Many electrons have been split on the exclusive lock-in between AT&T and Apple for the iPhone, and all of the efforts that Apple has made to ensure that you won't use the iPhone on any other network in the United States. This is not unique to these two firms, and I could say more about this, but I won't.

But Media Bullseye spoke about the beginning of one partnership, and the conclusion of another:

AT&T has announced a partnership with Starbucks that will create WiFi hotspots in more than 7,000 coffee shops across the country. In doing so, Starbucks has ended a similar partnership with T-Mobile that had been in place for six years.

Of course it would be nice if both T-Mobile and AT&T customers could access the 'Net at Starbucks, but that would be too beneficial to the consumer.

But I think I finally reached my limit earlier this morning when I was doing some process work (specifically, writing a POR for the SEPG to change the SPP to modify CCL and post-CCL processes...not that you were interested). As part of this process work, I entered one program, then chose to output my work in Adobe PDF format. When I went to save the PDF file, I encountered this menu.

Yes, it appears that Adobe now has a partnership with FedEx Kinko's, presumably allowing you to send your PDF directly to Kinko's and have it printed.

I'm sure that this pleases UPS employees who have to use Adobe Reader for whatever and then see their competitor's name right there on the File menu. Perhaps UPS has the clout to request a special build from Adobe, but it's still unnerving.

Between these partnerships and the continuing merger mania, I predict that there will eventually be two companies in the world, each offering a complete set of competing goods and services, each of which is incompatible with the other.

My only question - will Twitter be owned by General Motors-McDonalds-Nokia-Hewlett Packard-Microsoft, or by Toyota-Burger King-Samsung-Dell-Red Hat?

[mrontemp business] | [mrontemp politics] | [mrontemp technology] | [mrontemp del.icio.us tags]

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