This morning I was watching the news and one item about the Kodak company caught my attention. According to the reporter there are rumors circulating that Kodak may be considering bankruptcy or placing the company up for sale. I did a quick search via Google and learned that in the past few days, Kodak stocks have plummeted and are selling for only 78 cents a share as of the writing of this article.
Research via a Google search shows that Kodak was founded in 1880 by George Eastman. The camera maker relied on its film business for decades before the digital camera revolution took over. So what does Kodak have to offer potential buyers? Kodak has some 1100 patents that could be worth over $2B, if the company could assure potential buyers that they will not be sued in the future, which is an impossibility. Therefore, Kodak could file for bankruptcy and allow the sale of its patents without warranty.
What the pending demise of Kodak proves is how the changes in technology can affect any company. Kodak was able to compete against the onslaught of the Polaroid camera, but not the digital revolution. Film cameras were no match to digital for various reasons, many of which came down to convenience. The digital format provided instant gratification, since we could see our pictures in a split second, without the hassle of getting a photo printed.
No matter how big the company is, nor how good the product is, there is always another company waiting in the wings to compete. 2012 is going to be an interesting year to watch and observe what happens in the tablet computer race. Microsoft and its Metro operating system will need to play catch-up to Apple and its iOS and Google with its Android system. Microsoft will do just fine in the traditional computer markets with its Windows 8 for desktop and laptop systems. But the world is changing rapidly and mobile is in.
In addition, Amazon and its new Kindle Fire tablet will also put more pressure on Microsoft to come up with more innovative and intuitive features in which to compete against the competition. Which makes one wonder if the king of software has waited too long to enter into the tablet fray?