Amazon.com announced that it would stop selling Chromecast and Apple TV products, a move that has raised a few eyebrows. Some have talked about anti-trust actions.
I'm not surprised by Amazon.com's move, and I am surprised.
Perhaps an explanation is in order.
The old order saw Microsoft as the technology leader, setting the direction for the use of computers at home and in the office. That changed with Apple's introduction of the iPhone and later iPads and enhanced MacBooks. It also changed with Amazon.com's introduction of cloud computing services. Google's rise in search technologies and its introduction of Android phones and tablets also made part of the change.
The new order sees multiple technology companies and no clear leader. As each player moves to improve its position, it, from time to time, blocks other players from working with its technologies. Apple MacBooks don't run Windows applications, and Apple iPhones don't run Android apps. Android tablets don't run iOS apps. Movies purchased through Apple's iTunes won't play on Amazon.com Kindles (and you cannot even move them).
The big players are building walled gardens, locking in user data (documents, music, movies, etc.).
So it's no surprise that Amazon.com would look to block devices that don't serve its purposes, and in fact serve other walled gardens.
What's surprising to me is the clumsiness of Amazon.com's announcement. The move is a bold one, obvious in its purpose. Microsoft, Google, and Apple have been more subtle in their moves.
What's also surprising is Amazon.com's attitude. My reading of the press and blog entries is one of perceived arrogance.
Amazon.com is a successful company. They are well-respected for their sales platform (web site and inventory) and for their web services offerings. But they have little in the way of loyalty, especially in their sales side. Arrogance is something they cannot afford.
Come to think of it, their sales organization has taken a few hits of late, mostly with employee relations. This latest incident will do nothing to win them new friends -- or customers.
It may not cost them customers, at least in the short term. But it is a strategy that I would recommend they reconsider.