Time for Microsoft and Google to Value IT Consumers
I’ve recently had a desire to buy a Chromebook, the small, cheap, low-powered computer designed by Google potentially perfect for light online work and general browsing the internet.
I’d completed my research and had narrowed my choices to two machines. With some technical questions, I headed to the store to ask the questions that would enable me to make my final choice, and hence purchase.
This is where my problems started. Purchasing a Windows or Google Chromebook machine in Ireland really limits you to two retailers - Harvey Norman and PC World. For a Chromebook, the choice becomes PC World, and worse still, only the Dublin stores.
The greatest issue all consumers have when trying to make a purchase is every electronic store employee I have ever spoken to in either store has no more IT knowledge than the information written on the sticker below the hardware - and last time I tried, I can read!
To get the information I required, it took a trip to London to visit a Google booth within a retailer to receive the information required to complete my purchase.
This is a very different experience to visiting either an Apple store or an authorised Apple retailer. The staff appear passionate about the products are able to assist and answer questions quickly to assist their customers. Why as a Windows user can I not have this level of service.
It can’t be about money. Devices from HP, Microsoft and Lenovo grace many stores and can be in the price range of their Apple equivalent. The Windows ecosystem is losing users to the MacWorld as shown by the grow in their user base.
It’s always been my belief that Apple’s recent converts are low-mid level Windows users, frustrated at their purchased, usually born by a poor purchase experience, who believe making a move to Apple will solve their issues. If only this higher value purchase was used to buy a high end Windows machine, the issues experienced by the purchaser in many cases would be solved.
To stop this growth in Apple’s market share, the consumer needs assistance and confidence that the purchase they are making is the correct one. The purchase of a high end computer or a move to Google Chromebook requires questions to be answered.
So if Microsoft and Google are serious about being successful providers of desktop operating systems to consumers within a changing market, they need to either create their own brick and mortar stores, or get their advisers into existing partners to educate customers. This investment will reconnect both with customers, and provide a feeling of a happy purchase and value for money.