Here is a really interesting article from GigaOM.
I’m going to quote two paragraphs:
I was a loyal (and repeat) Dell customer. Like clockwork, I would buy a new Dell desktop or laptop, mostly to keep up with Microsoft’s Windows OS. And I never really had a problem with Dell machines — they were solid and lasted forever. Except when Apple launched the Titanium Powerbook, I switched and never looked back. I think it was frustration with Windows more than Dell.
They are tied at the hip with Microsoft and its operating systems and as a result they cannot look beyond Microsoft. The fact is that both Dell and HP have offered consumers pretty much nothing in terms of innovation when it comes to PCs. Compare that with Apple and Samsung and you start to see that these two PC giants have been essentially twiddling their thumbs.
The lesson here is that tying your company’s future to a megalith in a way that makes it impossible to produce a truly differentiated product is a recipe for allowing competitors that don’t adopt this strategy to overtake you. PC hardware is commoditised and undifferentiated. Is a Dell laptop significantly different from a Lenovo or an Acer? No. It’s the software on it that makes the difference. And if your strategy is to produce a laptop with slightly different moulding that runs the same software as everyone else, then you are not going to be able to differentiate (at least not on product). That’s not to say producing computers that run Windows or are compatible Windows software is dumb (after all, the Powerbook will run Windows too, under a VMware Fusion, under Bootcamp) – in fact compatibility is probably a sensible strategy if there is an ecosystem to exploit. But making your product do no more than that means in practical terms it does no more than any of your competitors.
Agree? If so, cloud folks, substitute ‘Windows’ with ‘EC-2′, and ‘Windows compatible’ with ‘EC-2 compatible’.