Urlocker: What Failing Newspapers Tell us About Microsoft’s Pending Flop, Vista

Disruption Consultant Michael Urlocker has a thought provoking post on his blog that suggests that Microsoft and the entire PC industry may be reaching a point where it’s complexity and functionality has evolved beyond where they have surpassed the needs of most users.   He proposes this possibility through the lense of the newspaper business, which despite successes using new designs in the 1980’s (USAToday), have been unable to stop a steady downturn in readership over the last few years.

When a proven management method fails, it may be a signal that the market is over-shot. Typically in such cases, suppliers continue to innovate and improve on things that no longer matter to customers.

Clearly this is occuring in newspapers and we may draw a similar conclusion, tentatively, about PC operating systems, hardware upgrades and new software applications. Just as the periodic newspaper redesign of the 1980s paid off, operating system upgrades created the market boom for companies like Microsoft, Dell, HP etc
This raises a question: Is that boom over?

Overshooting customer needs is a core element of disruptive innovation because an overshot customer base will include a segment that will likely accept a so-called inferior product if it meets some other important needs

Read the whole post here


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