Dell Urged Microsoft to Avoid Confusing Windows Branding

Tom Warren, reporting for The Verge:

Dell executive Jeffrey Clarke has reportedly revealed that he urged Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to avoid using the Windows brand for the company's Windows RT operating system. The Australian Financial Review reports that Clarke said the new OS for ARM-based tablets should be called something other than Windows, but Ballmer insisted the brand was too important.

Considering Dell's comic affinity for confusing branding, the fact that Clarke spoke with Steve Ballmer on the topic speaks volumes.

The entire Microsoft ecosystem is mired with baffling branding, compounded by Microsoft's seeming inability to make any semblance of a firm decision regarding software mechanics, branding, and hardware. The lingering nature of the Windows brand is resounding evidence of a company too fearful to truly disrupt the status quo. 

For all of the colored squares and angular backdrops, Windows 8 and RT continue to be plagued by an extraordinary lack of foresight and self-control from within Microsoft. Considering the operating system no longer relies upon a windowed UI, the Windows moniker clearly remains only to coax consumers into a purchase.

Not only is this lazy, but it betrays a deep-seated lack of confidence within Microsoft. Steve Ballmer is evidently fearful of launching a new OS brand for fear of sacrificing customers — a fact which offers a scathing indictment of the affability, purpose, and longevity of Windows.

Consumers thrive upon confidence — a quality which is unquestionably bereft from Microsoft's branding and marketing rhetoric. As Mr. Warren wrote ten days ago, it's simply time for the WIndows brand to be retired. Without getting in front of that inevitable narrative, Microsoft will continue to castrate and embarrass itself in front of its consumer base.

Dell Is "No Longer a PC Company"

Following last week's dismal earnings results, Brad Anderson, president of Dell's enterprise group, stated that Dell no longer exists as a personal computing company. Nicole Kobie reports for PC Pro:

Speaking at the launch of new enterprise hardware at an event in Twickenham, West London today, the president of Dell's enterprise solution group Brad Anderson said: "We're no longer a PC company, we're an IT company."

"Dell's changing very quickly," he added. "We are dramatically changing the make-up of our business."

"It's no longer about shiny boxes, it's about IT solutions [that let companies drive efficiencies]," he added.

Although the words come from Dell's enterprise president, the sentiment is relatively unsurprising. Dell has lost its touch in the hardware world in recent years, but maintains a firm grip on the enterprise market. Capitalizing on this remaining stronghold, Dell is looking to pivot into sustained relevance from an environment characterized by antiquated ideas and waning marketshare.

Dell is evidently planning to maintain a portion of its consumer hardware business but, with this acknowledgement, Anderson has publicly stated that the consumer market will not be its focus. 

Considering there is a generation of people still operating under the perception of Dell as a great source for affordable computers, this shift away from the consumer industry may pose some interesting questions for the average consumer.

(Via The Verge)

The Vanguard of Antiquated Ideas

HP and Dell inhabit a reality unfamiliar to our own.

Garish LEDs, imperceptible hardware iterations, lazy knock-offs, and woefully uninspiring product design characterize a marketplace that, for whatever reason, is at a rapidly increasing disconnect from the average consumer.

Although processors have quickened and storage increased, Dell and HP have changed little since the days of beige boxes and heavy monitors. Their tactics remain gimmicky, their perception of the average consumer patronizing and inaccurate. Bereft of a connective ecosystem, products seem to slip into the marketplace like sewage into a filthy lake - the products lifelessly merging into one muddied, unattractive and unwelcome mess.

I'd like to think that following their dismal earnings, HP (44 percent decline) and Dell (18 percent decline) might take up a reflective spot at the edge of the lake and cast an introverted gaze upon their business practices, but I imagine they won't. Windows 8 - the product of revisiting outdated design paradigms and consumer disconnects - might be a good opportunity for change but, realistically, I doubt much will change.

In an imperceptible market connected by a loose string of bloated software and little forethought, Dell and HP stand as the stalwart vanguard of antiquated ideas - the two that simply refuse to acknowledge the palpable winds of change. Sooner or later, reality will catch up to them.