In a post about Business books, Scoble relates a good point from Tom Peters:
Here’s one: he tells Microsoft that we should pay attention to senior citizens in his book “trends.” Huh? They’ll never use a computer, right? Screw that! Actually, he doesn’t specifically point out Microsoft, but talks to all businesses. Why are seniors important? Buzz Bruggeman, CEO of ActiveWords, told me a while back that seniors have trillions (and will pass on trillions in wealth over the next couple of decades).
This relates back to what I said the other day about PC's versus Macs. My daughter has one set of grandparents with Macs. They tell her (and us) about all the fun stuff they do with photos, videos, etc, etc (and yes, they play computer games). The other set of grandparents has a PC - in fact, it's one the grandfather built himself. His tales? Constant woe with the OS, with viruses, with various and sundry problems that crop up in daily use.
These are intelligent people - my father in law has multiple doctorates. He's just not a system administrator, nor does he want to play one on TV. Over the last few years it's sunk in to me that my parents - with the Macs - use the machines as tools to solve problems. My father in law fights the machine in order to get anything done. Like the friend I spoke about the other day, he needs a simpler system - one that doesn't make him play system administrator all day, every day.
So yes, Peters is right - MS needs to pay attention to seniors. Not as specifically as Scoble might think though. They need to make the OS easier to deal with on a daily basis - and the same goes for Office, for that matter.