Microsoft aims for 'beautiful PCs'
'The Collection' will group together PCs that combine style and performance, Microsoft has said
Microsoft has launched a bid to make PCs objects people aspire to own, with a new focus on design and style.
Featuring 30 PCs, The Collection includes models made by nine manufacturers and will be used in major retailers across the UK and at www.windows.co.uk/thecollection.
It is an attempt by Microsoft to focus manufacturers on innovation and design, while also reminding users that machines with top of the range specifications can also be fashion items too. Ashley Highfield, managing director of Microsoft UK, said that it was a mark of the “end of the beige box era of computing and the beginning of another where computers are appealing things to own and use”.
Microsoft said it would derive no direct commercial gain from selling PCs that were in The Collection rather than other models. Mr Highfield acknowledged that the company needed to combat a perception among users that other brands had more effectively integrated software and hardware.
Five categories will be included, such as “Professional”, “Gaming” and “Mobile Companion”, and Microsoft said it plans to launch three “Collections” each year.
The opening selection includes Samsung’s ultra-slim Series 9 laptop, a Dell Alienware gaming PC and a range of touchscreen and 3D all-in-one machines.
Microsoft said it wanted to guide users to machines that were both stylish and capable of doing required tasks.
A survey the firm commissioned for the launch indicated that 72 per cent of PC owners found it difficult to purchase a PC because of the overwhelming choice, and that 27 per cent of people spend the equivalent amount of time researching a PC as they do when buying a new home.
A quarter of respondents felt that their computer has become a style statement and that their PC says more about them than their clothes and makes a bigger fashion statement than a designer handbag or piece of jewellery.
The research also indicated that more than one third of PC users (35 per cent) now use their computer rather than their TV for watching television, with 29 per cent consuming films and 23 per cent listen to the radio through their PC rather than their hi-fi.
Leila Martine, Head of Windows UK said, “We’ve created The Collection to inspire people and make it easier for them to find the right PC for their individual needs and budget.”