The Project PC, introduced at the Association for Project Management Awards in London on Tuesday, is an extension of Microsofts philosophy of customizing PC hardware for specific verticals, the highest-profile examples of which have been the Media Center PC and the Tablet PC. The Project PC can also tap into a growing enterprise demand for smaller form factors, according to industry analysts.
The system isnt as highly tweaked as some of Microsofts previous efforts—its innovation is essentially to offer small-form-factor hardware optimized for multiple screens. Microsoft says multiple screens is the most efficient way for project managers to work with Microsoft Project 2003, but the configuration is usually not supported by standard graphics cards.
If project managers want multiple-screen support, why not just add it to a standard box? Its all about convenience, according to Microsoft: The company sees customers moving away from a one-size-fits-all model toward choosing from a selection of systems specialized for specific vertical markets. "We live in a world of convenience now. People want things built specifically for them. They want to order [a specialized system] and know that it will have the features they require," said Michala Alexander, U.K. product manager for Microsoft Project.