Microsoft, Intel Join Tech Giants In PC Push - InformationWeek

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10/16/2015
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Microsoft, Intel Join Tech Giants In PC Push

Microsoft and Intel have teamed up with competitors Dell, HP, and Lenovo to revive a sluggish PC market with their "PC Does What?" ad campaign.

Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, Lumia 950: Microsoft's New Hardware Push
Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, Lumia 950: Microsoft's New Hardware Push
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Microsoft and Intel are partnering with PC manufacturers Dell, HP, and Lenovo to create an advertising campaign intended to jolt a dying PC market back to life.

As more people embrace the mobile lifestyle, PC makers face dwindling sales. Global PC shipments hit almost 71 million units in the third quarter of 2015, reports research firm IDC, a 10.8% tumble from the third quarter of 2014.

This problem is too big for one company, as indicated in the recent camaraderie among competitors. The goal of their new ad campaign, entitled "PC Does What?" is to spotlight the relevance and capabilities of modern PCs amidst the growing popularity of smartphones.

[Microsoft's first laptop: Up Close With Surface Book.]

It's no secret the five biggest names in the PC market want to boost sales, but this level of collaboration is unprecedented for the industry.

AP reports that all five partners will split the cost of their $70 million ad campaign, which includes online ads and TV commercials across major networks. "PC Does What?" is launching Oct. 19 and will run for six weeks in the US and China.

Their campaign will largely rely on "native ads," otherwise known as "advertorial." The term is used to describe content that is created to look less like a traditional advertisement and more like a blog post or news article.

"PC Does What?" targets people who haven't bought new PCs in about four to five years, reported tech industry analyst Patrick Moorhead, who hosted a Thursday webinar among marketing leaders from each participating company. This reach could give the campaign an audience of about 400 million people.

"We want to let them know how much better today's PCs are than the PCs they're using," said Intel CMO Steven Fund during the presentation.

Most people have PCs, but see little reason to upgrade. Why invest in a new laptop when you can carry a premium smartphone around in your pocket? Microsoft, Intel, Dell, Lenovo, and HP are on a mission to show consumers the benefits of upgrading their outdated machines.

(Image: Kieferpix/iStockPhoto)

(Image: Kieferpix/iStockPhoto)

Those who haven't shopped for PCs within the past five years are more likely to be unaware of how modern PCs look and function. Each ad highlights one of these features in a different context: There is a woman lounging poolside using a laptop with Infinity Edge display and a copilot blaring music mid-flight.

Some of the new technologies demonstrated in the video ads include longer battery life, touch screens, thinner design, improved graphics and sound, and the ability to fold the screen backwards for use as a tablet.

The ads convey their messages in a lighthearted way, but the repetitive "PC does what?" exclamation does get old. It seems like five of the most powerful minds in tech marketing could have (probably) come up with a better strategy. We'll have to see how the public reacts.

Intel has shared the videos on its YouTube channel, where you can view them before they appear on TV. What do you think of the ads? What do you think should have been different?

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
11/4/2015 | 8:02:15 AM
Re: Microsoft, Intel Join Tech Giants In PC Push
And how difficult it is to dictate a message on a smartphone or tablet! There are lots of advantages to PC's. Especially if you are doing work that involves graphics, intensive computing or analysis work. And that is just the start.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
11/4/2015 | 7:56:04 AM
Re: Microsoft, Intel Join Tech Giants In PC Push
Yes, since most of the data is now accessed over the internet, a laptop is usually sufficient. For me it is perfect because i am on the road and have tools to access what i need from my company over the internet. Of course i need good wi-fi service to achieve this. But my computer at home is a PC and probably always will be a pc for too many reasons. I have an iPad and iPhone for when i need to retrieve things quickly and they are all synched together which is pretty convenient for me. It's a lot better than all the docking stations of old!
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
10/18/2015 | 11:17:58 PM
Re: Microsoft, Intel Join Tech Giants In PC Push
"...Mobile devices give you claustrophobia if you use them for work."


@Broadway   Agreed.  Even using while using a laptop, I am constantly wishing for that monitor or two. I dread using my mobile devices for anything serious or lengthy.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
10/18/2015 | 10:47:23 PM
Re: Microsoft, Intel Join Tech Giants In PC Push
I agree. Anyone promoting PCs should mention how god-awful it is to type emails on smartphones or tablets, let alone do serious writing and work. Promotions should have two beatutiful 17-inch flatscreens side by side on a desk, so people can appreciate the room to breathe that PCs give you. Mobile devices give you claustrophobia if you use them for work.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
10/18/2015 | 1:13:32 PM
Re: Microsoft, Intel Join Tech Giants In PC Push
I agree. PC are more for specialize work.  I know many friends whom prefer  laptops  because they do very common work like going online and doing Microsoft Office task.  My question will be do general consumers really need a PC? I think probably not.  Common laptops meet the needs general consumers have.  I have a only PC at home, I do not see the need to replace it. It is mainly used for Internet and  basic office work.  May be, if I need some accessories to enhance its features.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
10/17/2015 | 7:54:48 AM
Re: Microsoft, Intel Join Tech Giants In PC Push
Smartphones are great in a pinch but to do really serious work, you need a proper PC (either a laptop or desktop). That is something they should emphasize.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
10/17/2015 | 7:52:42 AM
Re: Microsoft, Intel Join Tech Giants In PC Push
I have a laptop for work and desktop for home use. For me the desktop is good because i can expand and replace hardware easily as well as have many ports and drives available for the job at hand. The laptop is great for work because i travel and i can take my office with me. The only drawback is that for my job i really need 2 monitors so it can be hard to work with the laptop's smaller screen.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
10/17/2015 | 7:47:27 AM
Re: Microsoft, Intel Join Tech Giants In PC Push
Windows 7 was a worthwhile upgrade. There are many problems associated with continually patching a very old operating system like XP. And even my native Win7 is starting to slow down from all the updates. But it is still a great o/s and i am not really inclined to go to Win10 until i hear more reports about how good it is. Having seen it once i can say it is much better than the 8.x fiasco but only time will tell. Plus Win10 comes with a new browser that replaces IE. Some sites and webapps will not run on it.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
10/16/2015 | 10:31:33 PM
Re: Microsoft, Intel Join Tech Giants In PC Push
It's interesting to see these rivals cooperating, but they're beating a dead horse. Those of us (like me) who need a PC and do all of our work on the PC already know it. And, with the advent of cloud computing, the machine we use is becoming less and less relevant all the time, as long it runs the planet-wide standard of Windows. I for one have yet to see what good going to the expense of upgrading to Windows 8.1 or 10 will do for me; the only reason I updated to Windows 7.0 is because Microsoft won't support XP anymore, not because the online apps I use require it.

Sooner or later, a cheap version of Google Glass will be available to supplant monitors, and then all that most of us will need is a compute stick or a plug computer. Only developers and graphic artists will need full-blown PC's. Then the PC will ride off into the sunset.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
10/16/2015 | 4:00:39 PM
Re: Microsoft, Intel Join Tech Giants In PC Push
Yep, laptops were the stars of this show. My guess is if people are hesitant to upgrade their laptops (which still lend themselves to mobility), they aren't even thinking about upgrading desktop PCs that can't go anywhere. I also think it's smart to appeal to China with this. That's a huge market and one where Microsoft is trying to really push Windows 10 adoption.
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