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Thread: why SD is dead (or dying)

  1. #1
    licensed to kill - FKA kev000
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    why SD is dead (or dying)

    All of the following is IMHO, so if you aren't afraid to read something that is incorrect (or at least correct me), do not feel the need to proceed any further.

    It seems to me that SD was a great idea in the beginning. I'm not sure what was available at the time of conception (looking up "streetdeck" in wikipedia didn't return any results, nor RR for that matter), but SD was targeting the "mp3car" market, the "enthusiasts". It was written for windows XP, which everyone used at the time, and has an "Enthusiast" price to go with it (niche products always seem more expensive). Simple assumption? okay then lets proceed.

    Lately it seems that as the market has awakened up to the idea that car entertainment can be sooo much more than just just a cd player, and SD has found itself rather orphaned. Sure, it's looks great and has lots of great features that you'd want, but it's orphaned from mass appeal because of the platform. Yes, that means windows XP.

    With XP soon reaching end-of-life (no microsoft will not support it forever), and Vista being far from the solution, companies in the car entertainment sphere are forced to overlook it. Throw in licensing fees for windows and SD and you've got another gotcha. Most companies have gone the route of developing their own sub-par applications.

    Sure, there is XPe, but, after doing a little research, you find that the problem of licensing costs, along with the need to targeting specific hardware architectures (eg, Arm, MIPS, PPC, etc) too limiting. XP and XPe are x86 only and don't have the ability to be mission critical for time sensative data like performance statistics+advanced sound processing because XP and XPe aren't real-time operating systems, and they aren't reentrant.

    So that leaves SD in the space only for enthusiasts -a space where it has become very hard to compete in. Open source apps that are free, which have a large developer base (ie, RR), provide faster updates and more content than SD can, being closed and commercially developed. I don't think it is going to be very viable for any commercial, non-open car entertainment application to survive in this space for very long either. Bigger, better, faster moving, and more open apps are going to apppear and they just won't be able to keep up.

    Now, SD needs to reinvent itself. It needs to drop it's dependency on DirectX and WMP. It needs to embrace open standards like OpenGL. It needs to disassociate itself from XP and become more hardware and OS agnostic. SD can remain closed-source and become more profitable because they will be able to sell solutions on multiple platforms and architectures. Furthermore, all other solutions who want to be more than "Johny's pet project" had better follow suit.

    This is going to take a lot of work however. SD may have to scrub all it's code and start all over. It's what happens when you paint yourself into a corner like that.

    just my 2 cents, for whatever it's worth.
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  2. #2
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    well this is an open invitation for flames from all sides I know it..

    Anyways, I know where you stand on the whole OS side of things but XP is not a bad OS. Sure it is pricy but you get what you pay for. And XP will continued to be supported for a while to come. And by the time it isnt supported, Vista's rancid odour will have faded a bit. Glory of microsoft (and linux but not mac) is that there is legacy support. So even when XP dies in 4 or 5 years, SD will work perfectly fine on Microsoft Zlorch or whatever it is by that time.

    And i dont use SD because RR is free and just as good
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  4. #4
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    dont take this as a critism but do you honestly believe SD's current failures have anything to do with its OS? That baffles me! You're implying that instead of the development team focusing on its current base of subscribers and they're support isssues they should redevelop the whole package for multiple OS's? Quite frankily i think that would **** off the current customers more than they are now. Its kinda hard to explain to a buyer that just spent 200 bucks on software that their already lackluster support will be further strained by the fact that development is starting from scratch to appeal to a greater audience. Also, i doubt ANYONE at this point is or should be worried about windows support of XP. They've already stated XPs support wont end until 2012.. and really who NEEDS support of XP in a car pc environment. I know in my 5 years of carputing i've never called microsoft for support. You install it, activate it and ur done.

    I believe SD's failures come from the simple fact that they promised WAY too much in the beginning and release the software way too early in its lifetime. I'm sure more than half the people that were excited for SD failed to read the fine print that basically said you're paying 200 bucks to beta test a product. SD is dying because the developers failed to strengthen its roots before branching out to other avenues.
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  5. #5
    licensed to kill - FKA kev000
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    well this is an open invitation for flames from all sides I know it..
    I didn't mean to say that XP was a "bad" OS. It's a fine desktop OS with lots of good points. I think just about everyone is aware of XPs bad points.

    dont take this as a critism but do you honestly believe SD's current failures have anything to do with its OS? That baffles me! You're implying that instead of the development team focusing on its current base of subscribers and their support isssues they should redevelop the whole package for multiple OS's?
    Heh, NO. I am saying that from a purely marketing perspective, if SD wanted to grow into the market they seem to want to grow into, building their product on XP will keep them where they currently are. They are dying because they cannot compete in THIS market. You are right however, and I would add your comments to the reasons they are having a hard time competing currently.

    ATM, you cannot compare Microsoft Sync (for example only) with any current technology platform in the carpc space. SD would blow Sync out of the water (or perhaps the kitchen?), but why hasn't it? A failure in marketing? I think, and I may be wrong, but the platform's dependencies make it unattractive for that audience.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonicxtacy02 View Post
    ... and really who NEEDS support of XP in a car pc environment. I know in my 5 years of carputing i've never called microsoft for support.
    That's worth repeating. Almost by definition anyone who has the desire and ability to put a computer in his car doesn't need to have his hand held by Microsoft. I have never had any need for Microsoft support in over twenty years of using its products, including XP.

  7. #7
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    I run SD on Vista fine so far...... SD was built on one of the most widely used OS back then. And even with the end of OS they have worked to get it working on Vista which it does. I don't think its abandoned mostly because of its platform. Many people here use the XP as an OS. Because it's pretty user friendly, comes with just about every pc out there and many things work with XP without porting to another OS. Not many of us have skills to tweak an OS to do what we want it to do, nor the knowledge and time to do so. We are a world where we like to open a box, plug it in, and it works, yay. Minimum setup required. I do however think that they have promised 1 to many things and not delivered, and being caught up in a supposed NDA they have failed us as stated in other 2 threads in the streetdeck forum (pick a reason lol). But I highly doubt that its going to fail because of the platform.
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    I mean im kind of new to this whole carputing scene as it stands so maybe i shouldnt talk but i figure i should voice my opinion...

    Being that i am in the market for a frontend since my system should be up and running on monday...

    From my point of view, it is smarter for me to try every single free front end out there before i go and spend 200 dollars on something like street deck... I think thats their failure right there its wayyy to expensive...

    It will cost me 100 dollars for my operating system and then 200 for a front end? i mean i dont care how nice it is i will probably use windows itself before i drop that kind of money im not cheap im just not stupid it dosent make sense to buy something that simply makes going through some folders and accessing certain programs easy through big buttons and nice shortcuts to spend 200 dollars on it...

    I mean being that i am new maybe i dont know what im talking about and please correct me but it just dosent make any sense especially with free alternatives out there i mean my whole car pc from the mobo to the hard drive to the case and the slimline burner cost less then 200 why should i spend 200 on a front end... im very confused about the price of this product....

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucegunz View Post
    it dosent make sense to buy something that simply makes going through some folders and accessing certain programs easy through big buttons and nice shortcuts to spend 200 dollars on it...
    I use Roadrunner rather than SD, but to be fair the $200 version of SD is not just accessing folders and programs already on your computer. It comes bundled with navigation software, which is typically in the $100 range, voice recognition software, and some other stuff you would probably have to pay for if you wanted to get the same functionality. There is a learning curve to using Roadrunner so I could easily see someone shelling out for SD if it did most of everything they wanted out of the box.

  10. #10
    SD beats everything. So there. danielkh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev000 View Post
    All of the following is IMHO, so if you aren't afraid to read something that is incorrect (or at least correct me), do not feel the need to proceed any further.
    :
    The $200 for streetdeck is for the same reason CF is $300 (well, the reason is the same, the price isn't) and that is navigation. Streetdeck uses microsoft mappoint, which is one of the priciest navigation software packages on the market. Don't believe me try and buy it standalone. Truth is you are getting mappoint at $100 off and Streetdeck is thrown in for free.

    Some people say that don't like mappoint.....ok, MOST people say they don't like mappoint. So why did they use it? I thing it was for future alliances. You might not find streetdeck on wikipedia (by the way, I think you used that example to show how "little" streetdeck is and it was a major cheap shot), but you CAN go to Intel or Microsoft and find all kinds of things where Streetdeck is working with both.

    CF uses desinator. Not sure what price it is standalone (destinator). But what I don't understand with them is the added price for phone when they are using a free service (bluesoleil or whatever it's called). To me that is just wrong. Maybe they bought a license from blue and that is the added cost, but why does it ask for a serial number and then say it's a demo version? It's an RC, so maybe it will change. Who knows.

    WHY ON EARTH would they end their dependance on directx and WMP? Microsoft is the strongest company on this planet and has the best chance of survival. Not use WMP? You can argue sound quality maybe, but going to open source? Why do you think Linux hasn't already put Microsoft out of business? Because there is no quality control! Directx and WMP are the two major players in the computer industry, and you think they should go open source?



    Streetdeck is on standby, and from my view, is there for a reason. To gain strength and mementum for it's future. And yes, it's going to upset us all that are here early on, but I am certain it will come back a better product. Where is it then? My guess is over at Aptera working on computer controlled suspension software, but that's just a guess on my part. It would keep everyone extremely busy, due to deadlines from all outside vendors on the project, and would explain the lack of support here.

    As for XP......

    When you can download Linux and NOT have to go searching for a single driver EVER, at that point, and only at that point, can you even consider comparing it with Windows. Well, I take that back, you can compare it to Windows Vista when it first came out. And you saw the popularity of that.

    Everyone here knows you are building a linux based front end, and I personally don't mind you arguing it's points. But don't do a Hillary/Obama. Definition: the only way to make your software look good is to make the others look bad.

    Stand on your own merits, not the other guys faults. THEN you might be on the way to that "killer" front end.
    My opinion is my own.

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