'

Intel breaks up Wintel through Asus WePC deal

Dell pioneered the idea of mass customization over a decade ago, and this could become another such opportunity. Or not.

Waterproof laptop concept from Asus
Intel is growing increasingly serious about its divorce from the old Wintel arrangement, joining Asus to create WePC.

WePC doubles as an Asus sales site and a serious attempt to gain community input into the PC design process. (Here is one such idea, the waterproof PC.)

The site invites users to send their wish lists, describing potential configurations, then it invites others to vote on them, giving them a thumbs up or thumbs down.

The site has a little too much design bling for my taste (the home page needs a link to the main blog page, not just individual posts) but if they put some serious community managers in charge it could turn into something great.

It's true the ideas also act as a billboard competitors can cram off. But Dell and HP seem more focused on getting headlines than with online connections. They want to see us in the store.

I think this concept has some promise, but only if it is followed-up in the right way. Dell pioneered the idea of mass customization over a decade ago, and this could become another such opportunity.

Or not.