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Old 01-31-2013
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GrahamO GrahamO is offline
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I am finding the whole B&G / Simrad / Lowrance differentiation a confusing mess. I think this reflects the problem Navico has with retaining market share after acquisitions.
Essentially all an MFD is is an over-priced tablet computer with some specialized connectors and a few (and decreasing number of) buttons. The only thing that differentiates them is the software. So - if we lived in a logical world - Navico would pick their best form factor, dump all the other hardware with its development and support costs, and provide function specific software. The trouble with this 'logic' is that it was established a long time ago that in products that are difficult to differentiate, the number of market fragments you control has a significant impact on your total market share, hence the ridiculously large number of artificially differentiated choices of laundry detergent from only a couple of suppliers....
So, if Navico do the sensible thing and consolidate onto a single hardware platform, they will lose market share even if it is the best thing since sliced bread.
This leaves them working hard to push the 'different' products into different markets. The efforts of the sales staff at the show to explain this were pretty half hearted. They are confused.....
It is a pity because the B&G functionality in the Lowrance form factor would be very tempting but the Zeus form factor completely sucks. It is a sea of black plastic with a little screen floating in it.
In any event, I looked at the B&G sailing software and, while it might be handy for racing it seemed over the top for cruising. Even racing, having your tactics semi-automated would seem to take some of the fun out of race strategy. Bottom line - it was not alluring enough to counter the clunky form factor.
I would love to wait another year and see if all this sorts itself out but my antique Garmin 182 cannot take current generation charts and just Southern Maine will cost me over $130 IF I can find it.
So I guess it looks like the Raymarine e9 and then try not to see next year's ads for 'the next best thing'......

Graham

Quote:
Originally Posted by wm1999 View Post
He new B&G Zues and Zues touch...the only mfd's designed specifically for sailing.
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