As consumerism becomes the driving force for innovation in information and communications technology, so it is increasingly important for vendors to increase their "cool" quotient to drive sales.
In fact, the chairman of Microsoft's European operations, Jan Mühlfeit, told ComputerWeekly that the software giant needed to become "cooler" to fight off the threat posed by Apple.
Market analyst Gartner has produced a list of 265 vendors in 59 categories that it claims exhibit the cool factor. Curiously, the analysts missed a few categories that show signs of innovation, such as mobile operating systems and browsers, which are likely to be germane to the future success of most if not all of the vendors they mention.
Also missing from the vendors are Apple and Asustek, probably for different reasons. If they are too big to be "cool", despite selling millions of products, the question arises whether Gartner's list is anything more than a random trawl of what's on the venture capitalists' books.
But for those on the list, it is a chance to blow their trumpet. Rob Lovell, CEO of ThinkGrid, which Gartner names as a cool infrastructure services supplier, said, "It is great to see Gartner recognising the impact of cloud computing on the infrastructure space. As Gartner puts it the trend towards the industrialisation of IT infrastructure services is irreversible. There is so much innovation going on in this space to make sure customers are not only realising all the cost and management saving, but also maintaining and increasing flexibility and control of IT services."