Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Microsoft and Radio Frequency Identification

The latest round in the RFID wars has Microsoft weighing in with plans to develop software to manage all the information. RFID has taken center stage since Walmart announced that U.S. suppliers have to include RFID tags on merchandise. And that Chinese made goods sold at Walmart are in their sights too.

I talked about RFID at the bottom of a previous post. It may be premature to jump into this technological tide pool at this point. The tide may go out on you leaving you stranded and then bring in a new variation on the next tide. The software to manage all the data and link it to others down the supply chain will be the biggie.

Microsoft has the resources to develop a comprehensive system and big business feels comfortable going with a large well known company for such things. In like fashion, many students of the industry might feel more comfortable getting seafood industry training from the University of Alaska's new on-line program in seafood salesmanship.

What is U of A going to say about RFID though. It's not an exact science yet. They'll have to say something though. They can't just say, like I am, wait a little for things to settle down. I would hope they don't get people jumping on the wrong band-wagon just to say something about it. The same with Microsoft. A lot of the new breakthroughs are coming from smaller companies like Google and Mozilla.

Some seafood shippers have already misspent their money in these regards. How long do you wait? I don't know. The small seafood shipper won't be the one to get the whole supply chain on-board RFID I'm pretty sure. But when they do, you can just get the software they use, buy the RFID tags and away you go. Things are developing fast though and Alaska Report and myself are reporting on the latest as they happen. So, is all I can say is stay tuned.


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