I knew for years that Sony had been the distributor of CBS recordings in Japan (and a great custodian too; I found CDs in Tokyo of CBS releases, long forgotten in the US, whose excellent quality reflected the care given to their masters), so it seemed to be a natural fit when they acquired CBS Records. In those days, how could I think otherwise? Sony's reputation for innovation and quality were unmatched by anyone else in Japan. Whenever I brought home a Sony television, or a stereo receiver, or a reel-to-reel deck (yes, I'm that old), that was something special.
However, that acquisition, along with that of Columbia Pictures, marked the days when Sony began its long decline as an electronics provider. (Akio Morita's inevitable departure didn't help, either.) They still produce some amazing products, even though products like the Walkman, once ubiquitous, is now largely a historical fact. Their shift in focus now makes them a content provider first and a electronics provider second.
When it comes to content, I think of them as nouveau riche, in the derogatory sense. Like the person with newfound wealth sometimes behaves, Sony has behaved in a most vulgar manner. It has demonstrated an amazing lack of finesse toward its customers while attempting to protect its content. The most infamous example of this has got to be the rootkit debacle.
I miss the Sony of old. But I'm done with them.