Recently, I had the opportunity as part of a small group of Lenovo employees along with representatives from some of the other PC brands to visit Microsoft as part of an OEM support summit. I'll confess that despite having worked in the PC business for more than twenty years, (and can still remember loading DOS 5.x and Windows 3.0 on newly assembled PCs) I had no real comprehension or connection to Microsoft other than through the user experience. So, this trip to Redmond offered an opportunity to meet and interact with many Microsoft employees, and in that way, to really connect with the company for the first time. Through all the presentations and discussions, I was struck most by the passion and commitment that each and every employee demonstrated. The focus was all about the customer experience designed into the products and backed by every aspect support from the in-line context relevant tools and automated troubleshooters, to the proactive updates, online support communities and traditional contact centers. The visitor center where we enjoyed an evening meal, was a fantastical technology showcase. A large globe that seemed close to six feet in diameter featured rotating images that served up news headlines, top Bing search terms, and relevant information in real time. This stunning visual feat was accomplished through the careful integration of four projectors driven by six PCs . Visually stunning.
Phil, checks out the Surface computer. Touch computing on a grand scale is captivating to say the least. Yes, phones are cool, and unarguably much easier to take with you, but this thing was truly something to behold. Terry was drawn to a trio of W700 ThinkPads on display. The gravitational attraction of three 17" mobile workstations was almost as strong as the Surface.
Lest any of us take ourselves too seriously, a caricaturist was thoughtfully in attendance and captured our inner geek with stylized flare. It was definitely a blast!
By the time the sessions concluded, there was no doubt in my mind that we find ourselves working in a fantastical industry at a extraordinary moment in time. A time in which our customers can freely collaborate with us online to help shape the course of things to come, and more than ever, we are all listening.