Microsoft is working to change the beige-box image most PCs suffer from by offering manufacturers its own how-to kit. According to BusinessWeek, Microsoft is advising PC makers to design cases with "accelerated curves" and "purposeful contrast." The colors Microsoftis kit calls for are obsidian (a shade of black) and ice (translucent white).
The booklet included with the how-to kit even says "We want PCs to be objects of pure desire."
For the past 18 months, Microsoft has been working with a team of 20 in-house designers to create a style guideline the PC manufacturers can follow to create computer cases that follow the Windows Vista style. The styles that Microsoft is pushing, however, sound very Apple-esque.
Even though Microsoft is offering the how-to kit as merely suggestions for possible PC case designs, some manufacturers donit see it as help. They feel that Microsoftis suggestions could commoditize the PC market even more as companies churn out boxes that look just like everyone elseis.
A spokesperson for PC maker Lenovo commented "Our ability to differentiate ourselves comes from our industry-leading innovation,and design is a big part of that."
Microsoftis new-found tendencies towards Appleis style may carry over into its upcoming Zune multimedia player product line as well. Reports suggest that the Zune players will work only with Microsoftis Zune music service, just like the iPod is the only device that can play music purchased from the iTunes Music Store.