Dumbing Down the Personal Computer May Not Have Been a Good Idea After All

In late August, 2012, Gartner, Inc. released an opinion that the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon amounts to the most important moment in the evolution of automating enterprise office procedures and daily tasks since the introduction of the PC in the early 1980s.

We agree with this notion, but we think the truly important point that PC manufacturers and enterprise IT ISVs should assimilate from this market shift from PCs to tablets and smart phones is that it illustrates why software like Microsoft® Windows®, and Apple’s graphical user interface were not a very good idea, after all. In fact, these graphical user interfaces enabled a flat and wide expansion of the prospect base for PCs to include users who would otherwise only need a personal word processor, spread sheet processor, or an audio video media player to get their work done. We think this market expansion was problematic.

Once PC manufacturers like Dell planted their flag in this flatter, but substantially richer terrain, where the ability of users to write custom computer applications, or to perform other activities appropriate for the computing power built into PCs, really did not amount to much of a use case, a vulnerability was created, which today, has resulted in wholesale adoption of comparatively “dumb” devices like tablets and smart phones to handle office work in place of more expensive, bulkier PCs and laptops.

Further, this BYOD phenomenon should be instructive to hardware manufacturers and ISVs as they assimilate a golden rule from this lesson: it should be absolutely clear why designing hardware and/or software that meets the minimum market requirements is a much better approach than broadly including lots of features in products in order to appeal to very flat and wide market segments that will not have the resilience to stick with solutions as competitive options are introduced that are more appealing from a cost and convenience basis.

If these tech innovators can truly take away the above noted lessons from the BYOD phenomenon then, truly, the event will prove to be worth the pain for companies like Dell or Hewlett Packard who will need to move on if they are to survive. If your product marketing effort has not been audit to ensure that the principle of designing solutions for the absolute minimum set of market requirements, please consider IMB Enterprises, Inc.

We can be a powerful resource that can review your products, present and planned to ensure that their market message is completely aligned with your product plan. Further, we can analyze your product to for compliance with a market approach that offers only what the market, pervasively, is after. Please call Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion about our monthly retainer based consulting services. You may also email Ira at imblonder@imbenterprises.com.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved

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