PC Makers, Stymied by Vista, Enhance Their PCs

PC makers, confronted by the complexity and slow boot time of Vista, are offering their own unique add-ons to make PC buyers happier, according to the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. Falling average selling prices have also driven the makers to those extra value options.

The PC experience has been tarnished by Vista, according to Christopher Lawton and Justin Scheck with the WSJ. As a result, Dell and Hewlett Packard have been developing new technologies like additional, simplified user interfaces, touchscreens and instant video chat. [Dell is also developing a secondary, simplified OS using SUSE Linux that operates in parallel or on place of Vista.]

One problem is that PCs have become too complex for users, they canit find their files easily and it takes too long to perform certain tasks on the PC.

As a result, new user nterfaces are being tested. Hewlett-Packard launched what they call a second generation PC with their TouchSmart technology that sits on top of Vista. Users can touch and manipulate things on the screen, much like they do with the Apple iPhone and multi-touch technology.

Competition from Apple, with its integrated software and hardware, is providing plenty of competition for Vista. "You can point to Apple and see what can happen when you customize your software to hardware and create a unique experience," said Richard Shim, an analyst with IDC.

While some PC makers are adding enhanced user tools, with Microsoftis blessing, other makers are bypassing Vista altogether. AsusTek offers an easy-to-use Linux system on their subcompact EeePC subcompact notebook. HPis Envy notebook allows Web surfing without booting Windows.

The PC makers, faced with a surge in Mac sales and its developing favor, are finding out what Apple always knew: Cheap and boring works in the enterprise, but exciting, fun, simple and easy to use works for the consumer.