Sunday, October 01, 2006

If Tesco wrote software, what would it be like?

  • Every feature would be colour-coded in brash, loud colours like the different sections of their shops. I think they call them “energising”.
  • The customer service desk will be queued six deep with returns.
  • Some features would wear out, or be discontinued due to lack of interest.
  • It would be sourced from local software houses across the UK in a bid to look less like the dominant market force that collects $1 out of every £6 in the UK retail sector.
Well you won’t have to wait too long to find out as they are announcing six titles in 100 selected stores over the next couple of weeks. Each package will sell for less than £20. (I bet £19.99.)

Reports in this morning’s Sunday Telegraph suggests that Tesco will initially concentrate on personal finance, office software and security systems, as well as photo editing and CD/DVD burning tools.

If they can offer a decent anti-virus/firewall alternative to the big name vendors, they could make a killing as the average PC user wants to pay something for these products (but less than £49 a year) rather than put their trust in free alternatives. However, I'm not sure if the world needs another Mirosoft Works-like cut down office suite.

Formjet, the company sourcing the software for Tesco, issued a cryptic press release on Friday, which now makes sense.

Formjet plc (the “Company”)
Share Price Movement
The Company notes the recent rise in its share price and confirms that it is in talks with a third party that is likely to result in the signing of a new commercial arrangement, which could open new revenue streams. This is not expected to have a material effect on 2006 earnings. A further announcement will be made in due course.

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