Style Takes Center Stage For Microsoft At CES - InformationWeek

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Style Takes Center Stage For Microsoft At CES

Microsoft's PC fashion show will result in 12 computers to showcase on the show floor from a pool of 50 entrants in a style competition.

Laptops and desktops are supposed to have certain looks and feels to them. The laptop is a little square box, and the desktop is a big rectangular box. That was mostly true even just a year ago. This year's Consumer Electronics Show makes it evident that's no longer the case.

"You're average consumer has as much speed and feed as they want and it's not a novelty to them," Nadine Kano, a Microsoft director of marketing in the company's Windows OEM division, said in an interview. "PC makers have learned that fashion is something people will pay for."

Microsoft has created a spotlight on PC fashion for CES, selecting 12 PCs to showcase on the show floor from a pool of 50 entrants into a style competition. However, this isn't just manufactured news. Everywhere you turn, sleek new PCs are showing up.

Last August, for the first time, PCs showed up at Project, Las Vegas' biggest fashion show, as computer maker Asus and Microsoft showed off Asus' latest wares. The Asus Lamborghini VX3, for example, has a comfortable leather palm rest. Dell, meanwhile, has been busy hiring industrial designers. Sony's Vaio LT doubles as PC and wall-mounted HDTV. The Ego Signature looks just like a lady's handbag.

Though today's styles target mostly the high-end consumer, style is and will soon be infiltrating the world of business PCs as well. Form follows function and vice versa, and small PCs designed for marketers and others who travel heavily have already been around for a few years.

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