Amazon’s Operating System

This is a very interesting article about operating systems and the lock-in benefits they can create. It argues that Alexa (Amazon Echo) is becoming Amazon’s operating system.

In short, Amazon is building the operating system of the home — its name is Alexa — and it has all of the qualities of an operating system you might expect:

  • All kinds of hardware manufacturers are lining up to build Alexa-enabled devices, and will inevitably compete with each other to improve quality and lower prices.
  • Even more devices and appliances are plugging into Alexa’s easy-to-use and flexible framework, creating the conditions for a moat: appliances are a lot more expensive than software, and lot longer lasting, which means everyone who buys something that works with Alexa is much less likely to switch

We were very early adopters of the Echo, pre-ordering it when only Prime members could get it, so we’ve had it for three years. It’s mostly just for music, but it has become a natural part of the house.

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