Project Christine: How Could It Revolutionize the PC?
Desktop PCs today are largely black boxes to most people — a reality that sure doesn’t help the downward trend of PC sales. We buy them as a complete unit and when they’re finally too slow or too old to run the software we use, we generaly replace them. That makes PC replacement expensive and that helps to extend the PC upgrade cycle.
Project Christine re-imagines the model so PC sales are a completely different beast. Someone buys a PC, then never has to replace it. But that PC keeps up with evolving technology and software demands easily and inexpensively (at least compared to replacing the entire computer) because owners simply buy new components and swap them out. No technical knowledge or tools required; just pull the old one out and slide the new one in.
Want a speedy new Intel processor, although you’re happy with everything else about your PC? Under the Project Christine model, instead of paying $1,000 for a new desktop PC, you’d pay $200 for the CPU module. Turn off the PC, exchange the modules, restart it and a minute later you have the benefits of the speedy new processor.
The ease of upgrading and repair and the removal of that new PC purchase price barrier has the potential to revitalize PC sales. Project Christine is aimed at gamers — PC owners who frequently upgrade due to high performance requirements — but the concept could spill over into the general PC world. The Razer CEO even envisions the possibility of hardware subscriptions, where the latest modules are sent to customers in exchange for the older versions.
There are PC owners who are comfortable with opening up their computers and popping in a new CPU. But the vast majority will never do that. It requires technical knowledge, some skill, specialized tools and comes with risk. Project Christine from Razer makes upgrading any component of a PC the equivalent of plugging in a thumb drive.