The marketing material accompanying Lenovo's new super-exclusive Thinkpad Reserve Edition is a great example of how increasingly, differentiation is about the soft stuff, the services; and less so about the quality or power of the hardware.

Take a look at the PDF Spec Sheet. Despite it being called a spec sheet, less than a quarter of the document was actually devoted to technical information. The majority of the documentation, and the online presentation focus on what is obviously the important differentiators. These being: service and design.

Lenovo's “luxury of service” includes: a guaranteed personal response when you ring, “no answering machines, no phone menus.” And should you have a problem with your Thinkpad, they will fly out to where you are and fix it for you. Wow!

Ten years ago we would have been looking at the MHz of the processor, the Mb of RAM etc. None of that is the focus here.

Imagine what your average computer shop could be if it refocused on service and helping customers rather than just selling hardware like everyone else.