Sony Slides Into A Slump

Suddenly, sales, shares--and the future--look lackluster

Sony Corp.'s Nobuyuki Idei has always preferred the view out ahead. While he faced a major restructuring job when he became president five years ago, it's innovative products such as the sleek Vaio notebook personal computer that set the tone at Idei's Sony. Every chance he gets, the 62-year-old Idei spreads the word about Sony's future as an Internet company: Everything from the venerable Walkman to the popular PlayStation game console will soon connect to the Web.

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