A group of PC makers are partnering with Microsoft and Intel to convince you that it’s time to buy a new computer. While it’s not unusual for Intel and Microsoft to work together to highlight the latest chips or operating systems, what is unusual is for competing PC makers to partner in this way.

But with PC sales stagnating, maybe it shouldn’t be surprising to see Dell, HP, and Lenovo band together to try to convince you that PCs are still exciting.

The new campaign is called “PC Does What?” and it includes web, social media, and TV ads designed to highlight new types of computes including thin and light models and 2-in-1 machines as well as advancements in performance that allow modern computers to do things that would be difficult with an older machine.

pcwhat_05

The ad campaign will roll out starting October 19th in the US and China, which the companies say represent the largest PC markets. About half of all PCs are sold in those countries.

Over the last few years, we have seen mobile computers including notebooks and convertibles get thinner and lighter while also offering longer battery life. Meanwhile, Intel has made big improvements to integrated graphics, enabling devices with high-resolution displays and support for (some) gaming without a discrete graphics card.

The ads I’ve seen focus on things like thinness (showing a PC being slid under a door), convertible form factors (with several ads showing notebooks becoming tablets and vice versa), and other special features (such as the super-thin bezels on Dell’s laptops with “InfinityEdge” displays).

In some ways, it seems like PC makers are victims of their own success: they’re not targeting new audiences here, but rather PC users that are currently holding onto systems they may have had for 4 or 5 years. The idea is to get them to upgrade by highlighting some of the things new PCs can do that older ones may not be able to. But if there are a lot of people holding onto their aging PCs, it may be because they already do everything the user wants.

Smartphones, on the other hand, have gotten substantially better in recent years… and go through a lot of wear and tear when you carry them around everywhere. So people are used to upgrading those every year or two.

At the same time, some people are using phones and tablets for many of the things they used to use PCs for, which means they may see fewer and fewer reasons to upgrade an older model.

Dell, HP, Lenovo, Intel, and Microsoft hope their new ads convince you to buy a new PC. But I wonder if there are a large number of people are truly putting off buying a new computer because they simply don’t know what’s available… or if many PC users know what’s out there, and just aren’t buying it.

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20 replies on “Dell, HP, Lenovo, Intel, and Microsoft launch “PC Does What?” marketing campaign”

  1. What a laugh…the more they “modernize” with their new “playskool” tiles, assumptions that we want to be continuously connected to social media and embedded spy telemetry, the more I want my old computers that just do the work I need them to do.

  2. Microsoft killed the WinTel PC with Windows 8 Metro Tiles and Vista.
    Sent from my Samsung Chromebook with NO WinTel Inside!

  3. So many people seem to be complaining or dismissing the many developments. I for one am extremely impressed with what has happened over the last several years, especially in the mobile sector. Cheaper, lighter, smaller, faster, quieter, cooler, longer lasting battery, better displays (IPS, higher resolutions), touch screens, pen inputs, folio keyboards, solid state storage, 2-in-1’s, Windows leaner and less resource hungry etc. Some of these things have been around for years, but they have become dramatically more ubiquitous and affordable recently. No doubt not everyone is going to be particularly in need of these developments, but it would serve us well to stand back and realize (and applaud) that the computer and tech world continues to deliver amazing advances at an amazingly rapid pace.

  4. like millions of people, i really don’t care about thinness, a bit about weight. As a mobile user, i really care about autonomy, a good screen, no heat; for now i’m sticking with my thinkpad X230 as i haven’t seen anything interesting. Core M seems reserved for 2 in ones, and i hate these devices … so i will wait some more time; Lenovo are just milking the cow (their corporate customers), by just upgrading the processor at every Intel iteration, without adding anything. One day i will say bye bye.

    1. “PC does what?” It does heat, make noise and sip my battery; the screen is ugly and the bezels enormous on my thinkpad x230; 16/9 screens on professional devices are an heresy; and it’s not as if it was impossible. Just look at what Apple does with Intel processors on the MacBook for example. Sub 1kg, no heat, no noise, 3/2 ratio, excellent screen, Core M, 1.7 W at idle (an unmatched value in the PC space), etc etc. And all these clever guys don’t understand why the PC market is almost flat !!!!!!

    1. Also iOS, Android and every component made in China, the micro-controller on your SSD and on your eMMC and microSD, your wireless-keyboard and your toaster too. The real question is, with all these listening devices is there anyone actually listening? If I comment here “I will murder the president tomorrow!” will anyone notice? Guess no? He-he. That’s funny. Ha. Ha-ha! Mu-hahahaha!

      https://files.gamebanana.com/img/ico/sprays/joker_spray.gif

  5. Gee, for some reason I don’t thin that slide-under-doorability is going to be a massively convincing reason to upgrade…

      1. I can do that with my 8 year old Thinkpad. Component-by-component, but I can do it. I can also slide a screwdriver to the other side, and an IKEA note: “some assembly required”.

  6. In everyday usage my core i3 530 from 2009 seems just as fast as my new Haswell gaming rig. I actually prefer it because it seems to scroll webpages(and refresh them) better than my $300 video card and I’m using the intel onboard graphics. I see no reasons to upgrade – at all. With the advent of Windows 10, which from my personal point of view is a grab of ownership of my pc…essentially taking EULA’s and copyrights right down to my own hardware? I don’t see why anyone wants to be on the internet any more? I’ve moved over to SteamOS and Mint for my pc needs and the older slower hardware seems to run even better. No need to keep these fat cats deep in Dom, caviar and eastern bloc hookers if I can help it. What waste…I’m with the guest below…keep those old computers as long as possible.

  7. I would love a MT8173 @ 3GHz in chromebook/chromebox/mini-itx form factors. I would just run Ubuntu and say good-bye to Intel, Dell, Lonovo, HP and Microsoft all at once. I like those companies for work machines, but that’s it. For casual PC use, they just charge too much for too little.

    1. You can get pc for as little as $189. and windows tablet for $60. dont blame them, blame Intel.

      1. And you can buy arm computer for 15~20$ that does exactly the same things that most people does with 200$ pc. Watch video, listen music, surf on the Web, chat, mail and work on office documents. Texts and pictures. That’s tiny (that’s very important to more and more people living in smaller flat in bigger cities), cheaper, fanless, that divide by 10 to 50 your energy usage (electicity bill grows à lot) and you don’t have to pads hundred off license contracts pages to install your system and hundreds of common usage applications.

      2. The $60 Windows tablet isn’t shit it studders like hell on just basic browsing constantly not responding.. Amazon video makes it nearly crash a lot..

    2. That sounds nice if it could be convertible even better.. I’d buy one for $150

  8. Holding on to my Llano based quad core laptop, 720p reso and slow ass hard drive included! 32 SOI forever, screw finfets!

  9. The only thing they advertise to upgrade for is reduced power consumption.
    Intel needs to find an OS that works FASTER and boots in nothing flat.
    C# and all the fat languages have destroyed any performance gains.

    Can you do currently real-time Gaussian blurs with HD video
    on multiple tracks of video? How about in 4K? If not then what do you
    get for with this upgrade, more Intel advertisement to go to the cloud?
    Th joke is the best PC upgrade currently is an SSD drive.
    So far my old quad core 3Ghz machine is doing just fine.

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