FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Removing the unnecessary material

                                                  What it is

                                                  How it works

                                                  Why it's better

                                                  How it's used

                                                  Who would use it
                                                      Calling Michael Dell
                                                      Calling Steve Jobs
                                                  Who will win
                                                  Why it's timely
                                                  Green credentials
                                                  How much would it cost
                                                  Frequently Asked Questions
                                                      Sideloading
                                                      Managing Change
                                                      Profitability
                                                      Implementation
                                                      Intellectual Property
                                                      Asset Integrity
                                                  Give me the details
                                                  And there's more
                                                  Patents pending
                                                  To learn more

 


    Sideloading:

Q:

How do you digitally preload devices?  Isn’t this what Dell, Gateway, and other vendors have been doing for years?



A:

Like Michelangelo, we start with all possibilities and then remove the non-essential to create the desired, harmonious result.  As in viewing a finished sculpture, a customer has no awareness of the original material or the extent of its removal.

 

Established industry practice is additive i.e. programs are added individually and sequentially to a functioning, assembled device.  Sideloading puts a vast and valuable inventory of selectable content into a storage medium, before it is incorporated into the finished product.  

 

Because the initial content fills the entire memory, subtractive installation culls all non-selected, non-purchased material, freeing up space on the drive for customer use, and leaving only that content meant by the customer to be installed.    Because the content can be installed while the disk drive is manufactured, the marginal cost of loading the disk and carrying the software inventory is zero.

 

Additive loading requires a substantial hardware infrastructure and trained support staff to maintain.  Culling can be done simply and quickly in a variety of non-manufacturing settings, without the burden of extensive on-site support equipment or staff.

 


Q.

Will sideloading work only for new devices?  What about upgrades and existing devices?  What if I decide not to load a package but change my mind later?  Won’t erasing so many files take forever?

 

A.

"Sideloading addresses the fundamental problem for realizing the maximum potential for all computing devices regardless of its operating system….eliminating the historical time and hassle factor of installing any software application!   Sideloading can break today’s ingrained reluctance of businesses and consumers to upgrade their hardware more frequently.”
             - Mark Eppley - LapLink founder and mobile computing pioneer

 

Sideloading is not a closed or exclusive method.  It does not preclude buying and installing software in traditional ways.  Sideloading augments but doesn't replace downloading from a network or uploading and installing software from CDs.  Its motivation was to make getting a new PC up and running less frustrating and time consuming for the individual end user. 

 

Sideloading is particularly apt for new machines and disk upgrades to existing machines, for migrating from XP to Vista or Vista to Windows 7.  It also is applicable to selling game, phone, or music player software via SD cards for incremental upgrades.  It supports automatic sales and installs of web upgrades.

 

Extraneous material is typically removed before the end user gets the new hardware, so they are not aware that the removed assets were ever present.  We were just granted a patent on fast, secure erasure that makes it feasible to erase a terabyte drive in seconds, allowing for erasing to be done quickly and seamlessly at point-of-sale.

 

    MANAGING CHANGE:

Q:

Innovation means change.  Change means winners and losers.  Who are the winners with your method?



A:

The first company to get over its ‘not invented here’ issues and figure out how to adapt their established processes to this opportunity, wins.”
                        - Scott Sims - VP, Toshiba America Information Systems

 

The first mover adopter will decommoditize its product line, build a new, highly profitable revenue stream, burnish their reputation for innovation, and bolster customer loyalty and market share, and reduce support costs.

          

Customers gain greater choice, convenience, and cost savings.  ISVs gain a highly efficient and cost-effective distribution channel.  CFOs finally gain a means to dynamically achieve complex corporate objectives through yield management.

                            

Q.

Sideloading seems like a no-brainer and a killer app to boot.  Why haven’t companies lined up and eagerly implemented your ideas?

 

A.

A dichotomy exists between the sort of integrity associated with inventiveness and the diplomatic skills often required to get ideas accepted.
            - Robert Grudin – The grace of great things: Creativity & innovation

 

Organizations are the product of our human nature which always finds compelling reasons to do nothing new.  Risk aversion, fear of being first, not invented here, constrained comfort zone, lack of resources, historical precedent, and baroque decision making processes are manifestations of that instinct.  Successfully selling a new idea calls for that rare, winning trifecta of conceptual, technical, and political skill.

 

    PROFITABILITY:

Q:

I already make a lot of money selling desktop space for trialware.  That money is pure profit for me.  Why should I jeopardize a revenue stream to sell software?

A:

“Sideloading certain beats me taking the time to remove all that crap.”
                                                          - Rick Reidy – Venture Capitalist         

Trialware, aka bloatware or crapware, alienates your buyers.  From a more selfish perspective, why limit your software revenue to a few pennies to several dollars from hardly any packages, when, with sideloading, you can just as easily sell many times that number with better ASPs and higher margins, while maintaining customer satisfaction and brand loyalty?


Q.

I don’t want to put anything more in the way of a buyer committing to purchase my product.  Won’t offering extensive software selection confuse prospects, who might then abandon their shopping carts?

 

A.

Selling software at hardware point of sale is the most efficient form of consumer targeting.  Sideloading allows both selling more of less, the best sellers, as well as less of more, the long tail, hard-to-find titles.  Amazon and Apple effectively demonstrate that good user interface design along with vast product selection can stimulate, rather than inhibit enhanced sales.  Both have benefited from marketing volume best sellers along with providing more obscure products far out on the long tail of product popularity.  Apple’s App store has already sold a billion copies from a selection of 50,000 titles.

 

    IMPLEMENTATION:

Q:

Seeing is believing.  Can you send me a prototype of your product to evaluate?


A:

Sideloading is a set of methods that support a new way of doing business, and not a discrete product that you can hold in your hand. By necessity, the implementation of these methods vary according to the type of device, the type of storage, the type of operating system, and where the device is customized.

Q.

Won’t sideloading break my logistics operations?  This also must be integrated with existing HDD loading methods.  How is that supported?

 

A.

Every company has its own unique logistics software suite, so implementations will vary accordingly.  Sideloading is inherently a flexible digital preloading process. It can be integrated into existing manufacturing and retail environments.  It has a unique ability to run prior to, in parallel to, during, or after device manufacture.  

 

While it can be debated whether sideloading is an improvement on additive server downloads during manufacturing, sideloading can be practiced outside of the final manufacturing plant. It depends neither on having the device already assembled and functional or having access to a local server.

 

Disk drives may be customized after manufacture by a variety of specialized image duplicators.  However, the preferred practice is for the drive manufacture to install the image onto a new drive, replacing their current practice of writing binary zeros.

 

Q.

Won’t an adopter of your technology have to arrange licensing agreements with various content providers and ISVs?

 

A.

When Apple launched its iTunes Store in 2003, they were forced to be content licensing trailblazers.  Now some 200 million iPods and 6 billion songs later, Apple has clearly demonstrated the value of content in driving hardware sales and margins. Content licensing is more established and terms are more standardized. Content providers already understand its value. And other companies, such as Nokia, have demonstrated that hardware companies can create sizable libraries. Setting up one up is an effort, but only a relatively small cost of business model innovation.

 

    INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY:

Q:

Why did you get a patent?  Isn’t sideloading obvious?

 


A:

To go to the effort and create and load software that you know will not be sold is counterintuitive and non-obvious.  Manufacturers have the mindset to ship machines of the lowest common denominator to minimize their SKUs and maximize sales. Furthermore, in the implementation details, there are methods that are by no means obvious.

 

Sideloading has a “why didn’t I think of that” quality.  But the proverbial light bulb only goes on, because like a paperclip, sideloading is simple, intuitive, and inexpensively does the job.  The paperclip could never be obvious until inexpensive steel wire and machines that could accurately and continuously form it were available.  Before that, people made due with ribbons, and then pins, to hold sheaves of paper together.

 

Until recently, disk storage was not either affordable or adequate for creating a vast inventory of pre-installed software.  Sideloading is superficially obvious only once you know about it, because inexpensive, fast, high capacity disks drives are now common and software program size has not expanded proportionately.

 


Q.

Who owns this invention? Is the invention adequately different and protected?  If a vendor adopted and made necessary investments, would that investment be protected from look-alike schemes?

 

A

A granted patent is legally presumed to be valid, novel, non-obvious, and useful.  The patent for sideloading runs nearly 50,000 words and 67 pages, 19 drawing sheets, 33 figures, 107 prior art references overcome, and 38 claims.  Incorporated by reference are provisional applications.  Continuation applications are being filed and a new patent for fast, secure erasure has just been granted.

 

The patent is part of a larger portfolio of related pending applications that seek additional IP coverage in the US, Europe, and Asia.  The entire patent portfolio is owned by Joshua Shapiro, the sole inventor, who self-funded the extensive development work and legal expenses.

 

The extensive disclosure, the number of patents examined and overcome, and the aggregate claim set should deter others from investing in this area or seeking patent protection.  Aspects of the design make it easy to detect infringement. Comprehensive coverage should preclude reverse engineering and other workarounds.  All non-published material and confidential discussions are covered by NDA.

 

    ASSET INTEGRITY:

Q:

With nearly infinite possibilities, it seems that you could encounter some conflicts.  You cannot test every permutation of programs.  How can you ensure that all this software will play together?  What about program updates?


A:

“With sideloading, the installation mechanism honors the dependencies of the software that remains.”
      - Dennis Allison - Lecturer, Stanford Computer Systems Laboratory

 

To eliminate the causes of program instability and Windows DLL Hell, we provide a development regimen, certification program, and automatic screening facility that create a stable environment for arbitrary installing and uninstalling of programs.  Our results exceed current industry standards for program stability.

 

Given the abbreviated hardware product cycle, the software base would be stable for a six to twelve month SKU. Today, a shrinkwrapped or downloaded newly installed program checks for updates.  Sideloading programs can do likewise. Should programs change or customer demand shift significantly, it is cheap, quick, and easy to overwrite existing storage inventory with a new base.

 

Q.

How do you eliminate fear of piracy for the software vendors?  Can’t someone easily steal the software?  What protects the intellectual property from being used, once it is on the disk, even if you haven't purchased it?  Can a hacker recover the software, even if "deleted”?

 

A.

No security system is absolutely unbreakable. The CIA has the tools to go in and recover disk drives that have been triple erased and demagnetized.  We create an environment that is resistant enough to send software pirates elsewhere cheaper and easier to steal IP. Our approach is disclosed in the patent and in another patent just granted on fast, secure erasure.

 

In MS Windows, we alter the registry, so even if a program were still on the disk, it would not be usable. We destroy all the FAT/NTFS entries and leave no index residue to allow file restoration.  Finally, we write the files, splitting the file id headers from the file code to obscure file boundaries.  It is quicker, easier, and therefore cheaper for a pirate to just buy a new boxed disk and crack the product authorization key.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




   

 

 
 

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