Recently, Microsoft has launched its new operating system–Windows 8. The most important feature added into Windows 8 is–it has a touch-oriented interface. This is a dramatic innovation for Windows system. Touch-oriented interface is very common in many tablets and touched-screen devices, but it’s the first time to be used in laptops. Windows 8 bring this innovation to reality and let PC play the part of a tablet and work station at the same time. But no one can say whether Windows 8 can success right away, because this new interface brings a hard technical problem to hardware manufacturers– they have to redesign hinges to connect the screen and keyboard in order to support being twisting, turning, and poking. Teams of engineers designing joints, pivots and connectors are working day and night to find out the best solution to this “hinge” problem. Leading computer makers such as Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, HP, and Acer are seeking different ideas to make hinges that support this new technology and their own product features at the same time, but none of them are confident about their ideas so far. The interesting thing is, among those components used to build a laptops, the hings are just worth $10. But this $10 component is deciding whether Windows 8 can be accepted and widely used. (Link:Windows 8 Success Hinges on $10 Component)
This recalls me Design of Goods and Services. Microsoft is creating differentiation in Windows 8. The new features is definitely a spot of this new product and call great attention from potential users. However, because of Windows’ core status in PC industry, even a very small change in Windows may lead to a big technical problem for hardware producers. Manufacturability of hardware to support a software is crucial for a success of the software. Even the software contains a brilliant idea that can attract customers, it’s meaningless if there isn’t a certain platform to perform the idea. Windows 8 was released in August but it is still not widely used, or even known, because right now in the market, no computer model can perfectly demonstrate its “talent”. In my opinion, since Windows 8 bring such a different feature that needs a great hardware technical support, Microsoft should prepare for this before releasing the new product. Either should Microsoft consult with mean computer producers so that they can pre-design new product to fulfill the new need, or it should create a special group to solve this problem and publish the solution to the producers as soon as the product releases. I understand there are confidential and cost problems related to these two suggestions, but Microsoft should really have prepared for this to avoid the awkward situation they are facing right now.
What do you think of this hinge problem and Windows 8 success?