Tech talk too tough

It’s official: technology is too complicated. Or at least, that’s the conclusion of chip-maker AMD, which claims that people are putting off buying decisions because IT terminology and products are just too confusing for them.

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By  Peter Branton Published  July 20, 2003

It’s official: technology is too complicated. Or at least, that’s the conclusion of chip-maker AMD, which claims that people are putting off buying decisions because IT terminology and products are just too confusing for them.

A survey of more than 1,500 consumers across the globe found that nearly two thirds weren’t sure what a digital video recorder was, while 35% failed to get the correct definition of megahertz, despite being given a choice of three possibilities. Only 3% of people were able to get 11 out of 11 correct definitions in the online quiz.

This lack of knowledge is putting people off making purchasing decisions, AMD said. For instance, 40% of people said they won’t be buying a PDA (personal digital assistant) anytime soon, because they view them as just too complicated. Nearly half of all respondents said they would not buy anything that was too difficult to set up.

“The high-tech industry is spending more than $10 billion in the US alone advertising the speeds and feeds of products. But the industry is not getting the full value of their advertising dollars when, for example, only slightly more than half of the PC users we spoke with understand the term megahertz,” said Patrick Moorhead, chairman of AMD’s Global Consumer Advisory Board, which advises AMD on marketing issues. “The technology industry must simplify its vocabulary so that consumers around the world can better understand the benefits technology can bring to their lives.”

Pierre Brunswick, regional sales manager for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (or EEMEA), said he personally agreed with the findings. “Customers want to know they’re getting the best buy at the best price, after that they don’t need to know if it did well at this benchmark or whatever,” he said.

However, Krishna Murthy, general manager for Acer Computer ME, disagreed. “If you look at a product like Centrino, its actually simplifying technology and making it easier for the end user to implement it,” he said.

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