I’m not quite sure how this will work, really. Fujitsu announced last week Thursday that is was planning to launch a service whereby customers can build their own computers from the ground up while using the expertise of Fujitsu’s technical service staff to help put everything together. Fujitsu reckons that everyone should experience the thrill of building their own computers from scratch.
Problem: a lot of people who buy their computers are noobs at actually building them.
It looks like they plan to extend this to laptops as well, possibly shipping components such as RAM, hard drives and DVD drives with the laptops to help the customer learn more about their computers. The company says that they’ll start launching this service in Japan, with other countries soon to follow. They plan to collaborate with schools, technikons and colleges to offer the D.I.Y. computers to students and kids looking to learn more about the technology inside their beige boxes.
All over the internet I’ve seen bloggers ask questions as to whether this is a viable move and if it really will teach customers more about their computers. I suppose it will, but I’m reading between the lines and there’s possibly more to it than that. If building computers is so easy today, why not let the customer do it and free up your floor staff in the factories for other things. Other things being, I dunno, job shifts or retrenchments. If Fujitsu can keep the same amount of computers going out along with a cut in the workforce, they’re going to coin it big time. Its not like the way other companies have chosen to go, cutting the workforce to save money but setting a strain on the rest to work harder and faster to keep up with demand.
If this is the true intention, expect the company to announce some job cuts of its own in the coming months as the job of assembling the computer falls into the consumer rather than the factory engineer. I’m still not sure how the average customer will warm up to the idea though – most people (NAG readers excluded) don’t want an intricate knowledge of how the computer works, they just want it to work.