Genius or greedy?

From hardware to software: After Joyent, Samsung joins the .NET Foundation Technical Steering Group

Gabriela Motroc

Joyent, the original steward of server-side JavaScript framework Node.js, was recently acquired by Samsung. Half a month later, the hardware giant announced that it is joining Microsoft, Red Hat, JetBrains and Unity in the Technical Steering Group in the .NET Foundation.

Samsung has once again decided to go beyond hardware; in mid-June, Joyent CEO Scott Hammond announced in a blog post that Samsung was acquiring the original steward of server-side JavaScript framework Node.js.

Until today, we lacked one thing. We lacked the scale required to compete effectively in the large, rapidly growing and fiercely competitive cloud computing market. Now, that changes. We are happy to announce that Joyent is adding the scale we need: Samsung is acquiring Joyent.

Less than two weeks days later, the .NET Foundation announced that Samsung was joining Microsoft, Red Hat, JetBrains and Unity in the Technical Steering Group.

Hong-Seok Kim, Vice President at Samsung Electronics expressed his enthusiasm for the .NET Foundation and for the opportunity to help developers enjoy the perks of .NET.

.NET is a great technology that dramatically boosts developer productivity. Samsung has been contributing to .NET Core on GitHub – especially in the area of ARM support – and we are looking forward to contributing further to the .NET open source community. Samsung is glad to join the .NET Foundation’s Technical Steering Group and help more developers enjoy the benefits of .NET.

A hardware giant in a software world

Bloomberg revealed in October 2015 that Samsung was about to boost capital spending after posting profit that missed analysts’ estimates. Not even increased marketing spending was enough to spark sales of the premium devices. According to Ben Bajarin, industry analyst at Creative Strategies, the Korean giant is suffering from “The Innovator’s Dilemma“ — try as they may they cannot fix the downturn in their premium handsets. The market has embraced the good enough mentality, which means that the innovator (in this case Samsung) can no longer push premium innovations as their value is diminished.

Bajarin predicted that Samsung will be out of the smartphone business within five years. No matter if he is right or wrong, the Korean giant’s recent incursion into software may mean that the industry analyst’s prediction is not that far-fetched.

Software is eating the hardware world — the Samsung way

According to the official announcement, Joyent will allow Samsung to scale its own cloud infrastructure and services as it continues to innovate with new software and technologies. Plus, the company’s unique combination of container-native infrastructure, object storage, serverless computing, and Node.js expertise will also help Samsung meet the needs of its customers. David Eun, President of Samsung’s Global Innovation Center, announced that Joyent, a leading and disruptive technology company, “will make unique contributions to Samsung while benefitting from Samsung’s global scale and reach.”

It remains to be seen whether Joyent will actually benefit from Samsung’s influence; this may prove to be just another one-way relationship.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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