I don't know how or if this fits into this argument, but I think that the essential element in Betamax v. VHS was that VHS out marketed Betamax, and won the war despite being the inferior technology. Not sure if this applies in this debate.
Neuro, you have a habit to answer with sails
Sales drive revenue. Revenue drives profit. Profit is a major driver of share price and shareholder value. Share price and shareholder value determine whether a public company thrives, survives, or fails.
Betamax was better quality than VHS. VHS sold better. Betamax failed and was abandoned.
Sort of. I would say that Betamax was significantly better than VHS. In comparison, Canon sensors fail in ONE NICHE
area in comparison to SOME competitors sensors, and in all other respects are highly competitive and in many respects better (i.e. high ISO noise and high ISO SNR). The SOLE area where Canon "sensors" fall behind is in the low ISO DR area. In every other respect, Canon "DSLR cameras" are superior tools, as it has been clearly demonstrated Canon's latest round of cameras, the 1D X and 5D III, outperform Canon cameras in terms of AF functionality, AF performance, metering capabilities, etc. Canon cameras are renown for their ruggedness and tank-like build (look up Digital Rev's video where they literally put the 7D through hell...tossing it down stairs, submerging it in water and freezing it, lighting it on fire...and it STILL came out swinging. And it doesn't even compare to the 1D X!)
So, while I applaud the attempt, I don't think it is really a valid comparison. Canon makes a phenomenal product, their technology, both technological and optical, is cutting edge and superior in the majority of respects to the majority of their competition. There is one, single, explicit and niche area where Canon's technology is a little behind...two stops behind, to be exact...and that is ISO 100 & 200 dynamic range.
To be frank, Canon listened to their customers. Before the D800, the supreme demand of Canon by Canon customers was "Higher ISO, Better ISO, Bigger Pixels, Fewer Pixels!!" Well, Canon delivered, and delivered exceptionally well. That was BEFORE the D800. Well, now the D800 and it's Exmor sensor have changed Canon's customers expectations. Canon will most certainly respond, but designing a brand new sensor, especially on a brand new fabrication process, is not something that happens over night. It'll take a couple years, at least. I suspect the 7D II will be the first DSLR since the introduction of the 1D X and 5D III that will use a new fabrication process, and unveil Canon's first answer to their customers Current demands: Keep the improvements they made last round (Higher, Better, Bigger, Fewer!) and add in improved low ISO DR. I don't suspect we'll see anything else for another year, as it will still take time to deliver a high MP sensor capable of fulfilling everyone's wants and desires, on both the still and video fronts, with "the best of everything". It just plain and simply does not happen over night!