Originally Posted by hypermark
The last thing a company like Dell (or Microsoft, for that matter) should be wasting it's time with is talking about CONCEPT products.
When you've got folks like Apple, Google (via Android) and Amazon (Kindle) shipping REAL products that tip the needle, concept products just feed self-delusion that you are innovating, when in fact, what you are really doing is an exercise in puffery
Besides, the consumer is wise to the practice anyway, seeing how year after year, the auto industry comes out with concept cars that pretty much never translate into real cars. How'd that work out for GM?
Btw, the best piece I have read on the topic is Kontra's 'Why Apple doesn’t do “Concept Products”
It's definitely worth a read.
Agree with Dr. Millmoss that this article gets at something significant.
As I was reading it I couldn't help but think of the "Courier" concept that seems to have driven a bunch of people insane. I'm not at all surprised that MS would float yet another concept, what seems mysterious to me is how many people seemed convinced that this anything like an actual product, and keep demanding that it be "released", or imagine that not showing up at the CES Keynote was a big letdown, or something.
As the article makes clear, this kind of design proposal has the great advantage of not needing to concern itself with economics or reality. Nobody at MS has to figure out how to make the hinge work, or how to propagate the gesture system throughout the OS and apps in a way that yields meaningful usefulness, instead of highly contrived demo scenarios. No one has to worry about how to make the connections between screens robust and durable, how to keeps costs down, what processor to use, thermal management, noise levels, pricing, ports, case materials, etc., etc., etc.
The animation designers just got to play with ideas, but as the article discusses, playing with ideas is not remotely like shipping products. Shipping products are about balancing constraints, not frictionless doodling. Apple has proven itself very adept at balancing constraints, and very disciplined at making the hard choices to get the real stuff into the market.
I can only assume that the weird obsession with "Courier", as if it were a missed opportunity or a missed deadline or an inexplicably delayed masterstroke instead of the very obviously bit of fantasy that it is, has to do with a real hunger on the part of the MS's customer base for something genuinely innovative. I guess they'll have to make do with running their Xboxes by gesticulating wildly.