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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.