The above video should give you a pretty solid understanding, but if not, here’s the background:
- Had a Vaio, it was great, it got stolen.
- Bought a new Vaio ($2500 with insurance check), it ran Vista, it was terrible.
- Bought a MacBook 10 weeks later ($1100), it’s been great.
- Mocked the Vaio many many times until Ed Bott approached me, interested in seeing if he could fix its problems
- He did, it works great.
My thoughts on the matter, in no particular order:
- It’s not Vista per se, it’s the PC manufacturers who are failing to deliver consumer-ready products. If you have either an IT department or an Ed Bott, you can do fine. If you don’t, you’re in a heap of problems.
- PC manufacturers should massively separate the “home/consumer” group from the business groups. Further, there is a huge opportunity for a PC company to make a finely tuned, consumer-ready Vista laptop.
- Making a great laptop requires a minimal quantity of options. For reference, call Apple. If the MacBook had 44,000 possible combinations, it would be just as bad as any off-the-shelf PC notebook.
- This is a very classic Innovator’s Dilemma situation – “the market” is telling PC companies they want options, but the reality is they want easy to use, reliable, affordable computers.
Until a PC company follows any of this advice, Apple will continue to gain market share, and here’s why: Virtually all MacBook users today are happily recommending others to try MacBooks, with a predictable, reliable recommendation. PC users cannot as easily do the same. I had a great Vaio, then a terrible one. I’ve used Toshibas before (great – in the 90s), a Gateway (wasn’t bad), and 3 Dells now (one good, one bad, one ugly). But they are all vastly different.
Thanks and hats off to Mr. Ed Bott for putting in so much time with me. I’ve learned a lot from this process, and I sincerely recommend to any PC company who is listening: go spend some time talking to Ed and take his advice. If you really want to stop the slide (and trust me, the slide is happening even if the numbers you look at today seem like rounding errors), you need to get experts like him to better explain the consumer PC needs of today.