Yahoo! News reports that a high-ranking official with Sony has admitted that the proprietary technologies maintained in the Sony Walkman brands (particular Atrac technology) has led them to lose valuable sales in the MP3 player market. Of course, Apple Computer has been the biggest leader in this area partly due to their players being able to play the MP3 format. (Incidentally, this is one of the reasons I sold my minidisc player and purchased an iPod)
It’s rare to see a company like Sony admit to being ‘overly proprietary’, but I think it’s another huge indicator that the future will be a good balance of proprietary and open technologies … with an emphasis on the latter.