We had a booth side chat with two important persons from MSI, Mr. Tim Lee, Sales Director of APAC Sales Dept. and Mr. Green Lin, Marketing Manager of Notebook Channel Marketing. We picked their minds to gain more insights about the business and product strategies of MSI.
There is a common theme of cloud computing services amongst hardware manufacturers like ASUS and Acer. Each company have their own initiatives to provide such services to enhance the end user experience from their different products. Does MSI have any plans to launch a similar service?
Tim: There is current no cloud computing service from MSI; however, we are exploring the possibility of offering similar services to the product owners.
Green: MSI does offer Smart Media technology that allows users to share their files and other content in their own home network. As for implementing personal cloud computing services over a WAN (Wide Area Network), MSI will look into the possibility to enhance its Smart Media technology to be able to bridge both public and private networks.
Being of the smaller brand names in terms of manufacturing consumer computing devices and components, how does MSI differentiate itself from its bigger competitors?
Tim: At MSI, we believe in paying close attention to the needs of loyal consumers and trying their best, within reasonable means, to meet consumers' requirements. There are actually some features found on MSI products that are fruits of their labor to meet the needs of their customers. One such feature is the GPU Reactor that allowed overclockers to push their MSI graphics cards to higher levels of performance.
Green: By understanding the needs of these power users and overclockers, MSI has also implemented GPU overclocking features into our gaming laptops. These laptops offer Turbo Drive Engine (TDE) software technology that has been available since 2010.
Tim: MSI realised that in Southeast Asia with countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore, there is a strong demand for high-end PC components like graphics cards. The company strives to develop such "sexy" products to meet the needs of these PC enthusiasts and overclockers.
With the collaboration between Futuremark and MSI to develop 3DMark for Windows 8, we noticed that there was strong product placement as MSI's company logo was prominently featured in certain scenes of the software benchmark. Will it be seen as a sellout by the overclocking and PC enthusiasts' crowd?
Tim: To clarify matters, it was actually Futuremark who approached MSI due to our influence and good standing in the overclockers' community. This is also in-line with MSI's greater corporate strategy to differentiate ourselves from our larger competitors who naturally have deeper pockets for product and services marketing. With the voluntary placement of MSI's logo in 3DMark for Windows 8 as an acknowledgement of MSI's commitment to the overclocking and PC enthusiasts' community (the very people who are using 3DMark to benchmark their systems), it will further burnish MSI's reputation and credibility with this community.
With the impending launch of Windows 8, how is MSI getting ready for this launch of the new Microsoft operating system?
Tim: Our MSI components have been certified to be Windows 8 ready; hence, our customers can proceed with their upgrade plans with MSI PC components with ease of their minds.
Green: We have launched our MSI Slider operating on Windows 8 Consumer Preview to great fanfare here at Computex 2012. This device marks the beginning of MSI's strategy to expanding beyond their usual repertoire of gaming laptops as well as their multimedia counterparts.
Tim: We have also built on our engineering strengths built over years of manufacturing experience to offer OEM manufacturing to interested partners.
Green: In fact, MSI has already built OEM portable computing devices to Japanese and Korean consumer electronics companies. (We pressed Tim to reveal the names of their OEM clients; however, he declined due to NDAs in force as part of their business practice).
At Computex 2012, the buzzwords recanted were "personal cloud" and companies traditionally known for their hardware are including these very buzzwords in their marketing and business speak, literally putting their heads into the clouds. MSI seemed to have chosen to keep its feet on the ground, close to their loyal customers and followers. MSI did state that they have plans to offer personal cloud computing services over WAN in the near future but for now, they seem comfortably grounded, walking their talk before they aim for the skies.