10 Ways PC’s can overtake Macs

Let’s face it, PC’s are losing their cool to macs. Not that macs are necessarily better, but it’s because PC makers haven’t tried hard enough. They’re moving in baby steps, and by the time they get it, it might be too late. The only thing that differentiates them, is the PC’s can’t run OS X (not legally) and Macs can. Looks, cost, whatever are something else. So maybe they can’t always control the software on the inside, but they can do better in other spots. I’ve made a list of things that PC makers can do, to bounce back at the top. Some of these ways are similiar to Apple’s strategy, but hey, whatever’s successful, should be done. So here it is:

  1. Better design/customizing – Most PC’s all look the same. They all seem to just be the same. So put some more design into it. Some more colors, some different form factor (not too crazy though), and different materials. Try to make it unique, without weirding out customers. Put out more PC’s with higher specs in them, so customers don’t get angry that they’re lower speced computer can’t run properly (or virtually just destroy all low speced PC’s. Make it more custom, with laser-etching, faceplates/laptop sticker covers, themes, cases. Just make them different and give customers more choices for the looks of it all.
  2. Make flagship retail stores – The way 3rd party retailers display them doesn’t do it justice. Can you trust a place like Best Buy or Circiut City to showcase your product very well. More likely, they’ll just clump them together on a shelf, and it’s up to the customer to decide which to get. So make your own stores to showcase your stuff. Make them nice and inviting. Have it so that you can display them well, and provide some indiviudal attention to each piece. Forget kiosks. Barely anyone ever stops at the Dell kiosks. Sony Style stores need more work. They’re always too dim, and it’s kinda boring in there when not many people are around. Plus you’re sales employees must be more better fanatics. I stopped by the other week, and there wasn’t much going on. They just kept sitting behind a desk. That was on the news recently by Engadget and Gizmodo. If you’re going to open a store, do it well. Don’t make some half-baked attempt like the Gateway stores. Ugh, were they horrible. Apple has it right in where they showcase their products, and make them really interesting somewhat.
  3. Make your website better – Basically all PC maker websites are horrible. They’re so boring, and just don’t get my attention. I just really want to leave them after seeing their homepage. Dell’s site just makes me yawn. As usual, they’re just a bunch of computers/hardware standing there.HP’s site has way too many links on the homepage. Toshiba is just another yawner. Apple has the best site of them all. The UI is clean, and it showcases the technology it has. How hard is it for PC makers to build a good site? Most PC’s sites have too many ads telling you to buy something, boring UI, all the links look the same, where does it end? Oh, and about drivers. I hear many people complain how hard it is to find Vista drivers on the sites. So why don’t the PC makers put a big box on the homepage that says "Vista Drivers right here" And make it easy to navigate to which product you’re looking for.
  4. Give the consumer some choices, not a gazillion choices – There are tons of computer models/lines that Dell, HP, Toshiba, and other PC vendors make. So which one would a person buy? How is this laptop different from this one? Why does this cost more than that? Give less choices in that. Make it simple like Apple does. They have just a few choices, and it’s easier to understand which is better. Plus, the names of some PC’s are just icky. HP Compaq nc2400. Dell Inspiron E1705. Toshiba Satellite P105-S6157. Sony Vaio SZ VGN-S247ON/C. Ugh. Where do these even come from? Ditch the long numbers. Give nicer names. Nobody wants to say "I have a Dell Inspiron E1705" Plus, with tons of different lines/models, you got to support them all. It’s hard for a customer to tell tech support which computer they have, and by missing one number, or having to take time to sort it out, it can just be time-consuming to fix. So please, give less choices, and make a well-defined flagship products to sell instead of tons of choices. Start from business or home, and make some choices for which brand name computers should stay there.
  5. Better tech support – I heard for years that Dell has the worst. I haven’t tried before, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Make it easy for customers to talk directly to a person. Not for them to be passed down along a line until they reach finally reach an expert. Plus sometimes identifying a user helps make it easier. Ask if they’re knowledge of computers is comparable to a beginner, intermediate, or expert. So the techies have some idea of who they’re talking to, to give advice. Plus have better service like e-mailing/IMing your problems directly to them, having a special service center, where customers can just drop off things to be fixed, or just some other choices. Maybe they can get customer’s e-mails, so that they could probaly post a monthly update of things going on, that a customer might be interested in, like patches, updates, or something that can directly affect them, but no ads to buy more stuff please.
  6. Be more active in promoting the good – PC makers have dabbled before with helping the world, by being more green, donating money for research, donating computers to the less priveleged countries, and tons of stuff. They should do more of that stuff. Make it known on your site about how you’re helping the world, and show that you care. Of course, just don’t do it for the attention. Do it for the good. By showing that you care about the world, more customers will like you better, and have a higher opinion of you. Being eco-friendly has become the latest craze which more PC makers should be a part of.
  7. Less crappy ad programs please – Nothing makes most PC users mad, then a bunch of yucky programs installed on your computer when you first use it. Dumb trial programs, and even dangerous ones do not make people happy. Sure, they put down the cost of the system, but I’d rather pay the extra bucks to just not have them in the first place. Oh, if you’re going to put in your own programs that you made specifically for users, they better be good. I can’t stand using a flunky program that a hardware vendor put in.
  8. Work more with Microsoft – Hardware and software should work seamlessly. Your computers should be optimized for the Windows OS. You can’t just build a PC, and throw a copy of Windows on it, and expect it to always work seamlessly. Try to work with Microsoft so that everything can run smoothly for the customer. Make it so that it’s just integrated and woven nicely. Don’t ever try to put your technology over Microsoft all the time. If Windows has it’s own photo editing program, don’t try to remove/block it, and implement your own. Just let things work the way they should be. Some of the Vista promoting that they’re doing is really weak. Either let Microsoft make some promoting campaign of Vista for them, or just don’t even bother. They just all seem cruddy trying to promote it, and it’s not a wonder why Vista is kinda dying for popularity.
  9. Make hardware/wires easy to put together – things should be just plug-and-play. Just easily hook things up, and it should work. I don’t want to go through a big manual to figure out how something works. Make it easy for the average Joe to put stuff together and get them working together.
  10. Introduce newer/better ways of computing – please make Tablet PC’s cool. Make them thinner, and do more functions than ever. Introduce more touch-systems. Put extra research in trying to make newer/better PC’s, instead of improving on the old form factor. Just think of something new, that could blow everything else away. Please work on making the technologies of the future better and easier. Make something that will wow everybody. If you can do that, then you can do anything.

That’s my wish list. Some of these reasons may sound obvious, or just stupid. But that what I think will bring PC’s back. If they actually listen of course. 

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Apple – what do I think about them?

Apple is a good company. They make some really neat stuff. It’s neat, but not always too useful for every consumer. The only thing that I can say I really like from Apple, is just the iPod, and a few OS X programs, PhotoBooth and iChat. That’s it. That’s all I would ever care about from Apple. Their macs are nice, but I prefer Sony Vaios more. OS X, is ok to me. I don’t really like it. I’ve worked with it serveral times, and I just don’t really like it overall. The mac hardware is really nice I should say. iTunes is absolutely horrible. There’s just too much going on in the UI. It has tons of great content, but with a horrible UI, it’s a really big turndown. Many of their products have great design, but don’t have many functions if you compare it to others. It’s partly because they try to "simply" everythinng, that you lose some stuff too.

As a company, I don’t like them at all. They always make fun of Microsoft, and to most people, bashing your competitors constantly (ie. "Get a mac" commercials, banners making fun of Vista at their conferences), is really not cool in the long end. At first, even I thought they were funny, but enough is enough. If you’re products are good, then you don’t need to show fear by making fun of someone. It’s called being a bully. Plus, sometimes they kind of lie, or don’t tell the whole truth in their "Get a mac" ads. Plus trying to display a snobby, superior, "I’m better than you", attitude really wants me to throw something at them.

Then there are the lovers (fanboys) of this company. Most of them I would say are arrogant, conceited, think-they-are-better-than-anyone-else-because-my-product-has-a-apple-logo, are what you see most of the times in the comments of apple/MS posts these days. Now not all of them do that, but a overwhelming majority do. It sometimes makes me wonder if they’re just astroturfers from Apple, cosidering that macs take only 3% of the world’s computers, yet there seems to be tons on I-love-Apple comments. Microsoft lovers (like me) are usually open-minded, good debaters, and love a variety of technology from tons of companies, but their preferences with Microsoft. That’s it. You don’t see a true Microsoft fanatic, not because MS just doesn’t have what it takes, but only because we’re better that way.

That’s what I wanted to share about my views on Apple.

Microsoft Surface – The way of the Future

I saw this around 11 PM here (live in Central Standard Time), and I was pretty amazed. At first, I thought it was going to be another one of those multi-touch things we’ve seen before on the web (Jeff Han, iPhone anyone?), but I saw something that made it different. The fact that you could put a device on it, and information could be spilled out of it, is just amazing. Put a camera on the table, and drag photos from it to your phone (also on the table) and it goes right into your phone. Use a real paintbrush to paint right on the surface. Place a credit card, and pay your meals on the menu that way. The fact that it can recognize physical devices is really amazing. I don’t think other similar multi-touch interfaces can do that yet. It’s like someone said said, "Microsoft Surface is like the merging of the physical world and the virtual world." That’s what makes it different from the other technologies. That’s why it’s so cool to me and the others.

On the other hand, you have tons of Apple fanboys crying out that Microsoft is copying the multi-touch from the iPhone, or Jeff Han, or the other similiar research that has gone into it. Here’s what I have to say to this

  1. Microsoft has been developing this since 2001. Check their site: at the bottom go to "Origins". You’ll see the brief history of it.
  2. Microsoft’s multi-touch is different from the other technologies in that it has object recognition. As in it can identify physical devices.
  3. The iPhone is really just a phone. It may be a nice phone, but that’s all it ever will be. To me, it really won’t change the world as much as Microsoft Surface will.
  4. Lots of them complain that since it cost $5000 – $10,000, barely any consumer will buy it. The thing is, is that right now, it’s mainly for commercial use, but when the technology gets cheaper (a few years maybe), Microsoft will be able to develop it more for just the consumer.
  5. With Microsoft’s captial, this will take off faster than what the other guys are doing. At least they’ll be able to fully mass-produce this.
  6. And about the stupid DRM/BSOD/M$ always fails/whatever – Now that’s just plain stupid. Go ahead, rant what you want, but you know that deep inside, you’re really just jealous.

That’s about it. I’ll put photos on the photos section of the blog.

About me and this blog

To begin with, I’m Michael. I love technology, and how it’s always improving. Microsoft is one of the companies I like for that reason. They make some really great stuff, and I love it (even though you got lots of haters). I also love to talk about the future, and some of the things that I wish will happen (realistic things of course) in the future. So I decided to make an official blog for this. I’m usually good at giving insight to what companies should do to improve themselves. I’ve given tons of advice before, and it usually works. And everyday, I see a piece of Microsoft technology, whether it’s a website, software, hardware, whatever, I think, man do I really wish they could improve that. So my way of telling them this is saying it on my blog. About me: It may be a turn off, but I’m a teen. I know what you’re thinking, "Oh, it’s just a kid. Why should I bother listening to him?" I may be a teen, but I know what I do. And that’s giving good advice. I’m just hoping some Microsoft techies notice this site, and maybe take note of it. I really do have some useful info, and you should really hear what I have to say. I’m from Houston, TX. I love to play football, read, work-out, and surf the web. Normal teen stuff.

I know posting on Live Spaces is kind of an amateur thing for some people, but I’m not the kind of person that has time to bother making a website, and work on it all the time. Live Spaces is just easy to use, and I’ll stick with it.