Print 67 comment(s) - last by perspicacity.. on Aug 28 at 8:36 AM

Tablets are only part of the problem for Dell

While Michael Dell's offspring have drawn the ire of the executive's $2.7M USD family security detail, thanks to some indiscrete postings picked up by "Rich Kids of Instagram", Mr. Dell himself has face equally embarrassing numbers from his struggling firm's financials and sales.  

I. Dell Faces Tough Questions, Says Windows 8 is the Answer to Everything

Dell, who says it's "no longer a PC company" is surely performing like a company who's out of touch with consumer PC sales.

In Q2 2012, Dell, Inc. (DELL) fell into roughly a tie for third place with Taiwan's Acer, Inc. (TPE:2353) after fast-growing Lenovo Group, Ltd. (HKG:0992) booted it from its perennial second-place spot behind Hewlett Packard Comp. (HPQ).  That sales fall resulted in a 22 percent plunge in consumer sales revenue and 8 percent overall revenue drop, despite a good quarter for the enterprise unit.

Michael Dell
Michael Dell's company has stumbled into a tie for third place. [Image Source: Forbes]

But CFO and senior VP Brian Gladden is convinced Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows 8 will bail out his chief's struggling firm.  He commented to investors in a call:

You'll see new Windows 8 ultrabooks, all-in-one tablets and converged devices in the fourth quarter and headed into next year.

It's not clear what Dell means by "all-in-one" or "converged devices", but he was probably talking to hybrid tablets -- tablets with a keyboard (which may or may not be removable).  Also unclear is exactly how Dell plans to differentiate itself from its rivals; Lenovo, HP, and Acer are most definitely pushing Windows 8 product too.

Dell tablet
Dell thinks Windows 8 will be sweet salvation. [Image Source: Storage Look]

II. Editorial Blasts Dell as "Done"

In an editorial carried by ReutersSlate magazine staffer Farhad Manjoo writes "Stick a fork in it: Dell is done."

The opinion columnist comments that Dell is suffering an "existential threat", continuing:

However ugly your life gets, just try to put yourself in Michael Dell’s shoes. Imagine what that’s like. Picture yourself at the helm of a company that rakes in $60 billion in annual revenue — and then watch the money evaporating, floating away on a post-PC cloud. You built this company on the theory that computers were a forever-business, that the world would never fall out of love with the PC, and that you would be the guy to supply their fix.

The tragedy is that you were right: The world will never fall out of love with the PC. The PC is still riding high, the PC will be bigger than ever. What blindsided you is how the word “personal computer” would come to be redefined.

The overall premise of the column is that the rise of the tablet is killing Dell.  Mr. Manjoo mocks Dell's sales chief's nebulous remarks on his company's tablet timeline from earlier this year, in which he stated, "We have a roadmap for tablets that we haven’t announced yet."

While the criticism may be fair, it's equally important not to neglect that Dell is also failing in traditional PC sales -- a topic Mr. Manjoo surprisingly overlooks.

Dell Streak
Tablets, like the ill-fated Dell Streak, are only part of the problem for Dell. [Image Source: Engadget]

Looking at Gartner, Inc.'s (ITreport and the IDC Group report for Q2, one company that jumps out is ASUSTek Computer, Inc. (TPE:2357) who stole the crown for fastest growth from Lenovo (who continues to grow pretty fast itself).  ASUSTek -- which has a stable of drool-worthy Windows 8 laptops, tablets, and hybrids waiting in the wings -- grew at a 40 percent clip on a year-to-year basis.  A few more quarters like that -- and a few more quarters like Dell's -- and the U.S. PC giant may find itself in fifth place in global sales.

That would be a stunning fall for Dell, which vied for the top spot in global sales for so long.

It's clear tablets are only the start of Dell's problem.  From shady sales tactics to a floundering web presence, the problems at Dell are numerous across the board.  Dell may look to Windows 8 for salvation, but its failure to execute with current generation designs, inspires little faith that it will be able to execute in the next generation Windows era.

Sources: Seeking Alpha, Dell, Reuters

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Where was Dell...
By damianrobertjones on 8/22/2012 3:43:05 PM , Rating: 2
...When the iPad hit? Doing pretty much nothing.

Sure we had the Dell Duo which featured pretty poor battery life along with crippling bloatware that mean it couldn't play 720p let alone 1080p, but at least we also had the XT3. Oppps, sorry, that was delayed and nearly canceled.

Then... The Dell Latitude ST slate. Nice device, reasonable N-Trig digitizer (Nowhere near as good as wacom but it passed), lovely form factor, great case along with corporate docking station. What went wrong? Just like Fujitsu (Q550), and Motion (CL9) they went with a single core Atom that didn't even have turbo enabled in the drivers.

Crippled? You bet!

Good luck Dell as I'm looking at the Lenovo Slate 2 (Dual core atom) or a Windows 8 Pro device.

P.s. Windows 8 on the desktop is fast, easy and quite nice to use. Just give it a chance and at least learn how to use Winkey+I

RE: Where was Dell...
By kleinma on 8/22/2012 3:53:30 PM , Rating: 1
Don't know know people want revolutionary new operating systems, but don't want to learn anything new. So they want something new, but it needs to be exactly how it was before. Then MS will be able to please everyone.

RE: Where was Dell...
By retrospooty on 8/22/2012 4:05:51 PM , Rating: 5
" but it needs to be exactly how it was before. Then MS will be able to please everyone."

This would be quite simple. Enable the old start menu as an option for those that wanted it. It's not like it cant be done. The original Windows 8 develper preview had it. MS took it out on purpose.

RE: Where was Dell...
By Master Kenobi on 8/22/2012 5:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
It would be trivial to patch the start menu back in and some customization options to boot straight to desktop. Those two small things would get many Windows 7 users to jump to Windows 8 since it is cheap and has some nice under the hood upgrades.

I'd be willing to bet slow uptake from businesses, which won't even waste their time with Win8, and the technical comunity at large will force them to put it back in SP1 or in Windows 9. As it is currently Windows 8 is going to have a long uphill battle even at its low price point.

RE: Where was Dell...
By SoCalBoomer on 8/22/2012 6:14:30 PM , Rating: 2
That's actually what I do already.

Little program called vistart brings in my start button. With that, it's every bit as easy as Win7. I hardly ever get into the tiled interface. . .

RE: Where was Dell...
By retrospooty on 8/22/2012 6:44:22 PM , Rating: 4
I was kind of bummed out... The other day I downlaoded server 2012 and put it on a test system so I can get to know it before deploying it for our Hyper V/Sharepoint implementation... It has no start menu either. Tiles on the server ugh...

RE: Where was Dell...
By wordsworm on 8/22/2012 7:44:29 PM , Rating: 3
I'm thinking Windows 7 will be MS's last dominant OS. They're going to start tanking hard-core. They completely lost it in the server market to Linux, and now they're going to lose it to Google and Apple. I wonder if Google will be ready to offer a reasonable alternative to Windows when Win8 comes out.

RE: Where was Dell...
By arazok on 8/23/2012 11:59:30 AM , Rating: 1
They completely lost it in the server market to Linux

AaaaaaHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Whew, that was good for a laugh...

RE: Where was Dell...
By retrospooty on 8/23/2012 1:06:04 PM , Rating: 3
Ya, I am not sure what that meant either. I am a network admin, and believe me MS dominates the server market, by a landslide and its not going to change any time soon. There is no way a Linux distro will get the product support and app support that MS provides. MS isn't going anywhere.

I do get his point in the consumer market that Win8 wont go over too well... But MS does that. XP, awesome (at the time) Vista, flop. Win7 Awesome. 8, probable flop. Win9, will fix whatever problems Win8 caused, whether bugs, UI, customer perception, or otherwise. It's how MS operates, and they have time and money to get it right.

RE: Where was Dell...
By arazok on 8/23/2012 1:34:35 PM , Rating: 3
I actually think WIn8 is going to launch bit of a consumer revolution for MS. Us techies don’t like the missing start button, which has its merit, but the average consumer couldn’t handle the start menu’s complexity anyways.

I know that any time I help my computer illiterate friends with things, I’ve had the most success by adding desktop shortcuts to whatever interests them. Start – Pictures is too hard for some people – but add a shortcut to the desktop and I never hear from them again.

I think Metro’s going to be a huge hit in the consumer space. I personally can’t wait to be able to access my home server’s media library from my Win8 phone or Slate. Things I can’t do with an Android or Apple device. Microsoft suddenly has a whole line of products that will integrate with each other seamlessly. Something Android can’t touch, and Apple demands you hand everything over to iTunes to do.

RE: Where was Dell...
By retrospooty on 8/23/2012 3:11:12 PM , Rating: 2
"I actually think WIn8 is going to launch bit of a consumer revolution for MS. Us techies don’t like the missing start button, which has its merit, but the average consumer couldn’t handle the start menu’s complexity anyways."

That is a very good point. Most of the people complaining about the UI are us techies. Most people just want to point and click and have it work without having to need to call for help from a techie (we can be quite annoying).

RE: Where was Dell...
By 91TTZ on 8/23/2012 3:01:19 PM , Rating: 3
I work with servers all day long and I can assure you that Microsoft hasn't lost that market. Probably 90% of the servers here run Windows.

RE: Where was Dell...
By Taft12 on 8/23/2012 5:20:12 PM , Rating: 2
I work with servers all day long and I can assure you that Microsoft hasn't lost that market. Probably 90% of the servers here run Windows.

0% of the servers here run Windows. Different people run in different circles. I'm sure you've spent as much time looking for UNIX admin jobs as I've spent looking for Windows. I assure you there's plenty of both!

RE: Where was Dell...
By arazok on 8/23/2012 7:55:59 PM , Rating: 3
Reall big IT companies like Google, and some really small IT companies tend to shun Windows because the licencing costs are expensive, and they tend to have the specalized knowledge needed to run platforms like Linux. Thats probably 10% of the market. 90% of servers in 90% of the rest of the market, run windows.

RE: Where was Dell...
By perspicacity on 8/28/2012 8:36:11 AM , Rating: 2
Linux != UNIX

RE: Where was Dell...
By Cerin218 on 8/22/2012 6:24:47 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah they did. Because it is unnecessary. I said it, you don't need it. All you whiners seem to feel that the Start Menu is the only way to do anything in windows. Win8 is tile based. Programs have a tile on the start screen. It's a whole screen. You mash a tile with your greasy sausage finger to open a program. Works WONDERFUL on my Windows 7 Phone. Work gave me an iPhone and I hate it, it sucks. 7 second battery life and dumb icons on the screen. All Apple has going for it is apps. If you MUST get to a desktop, mash the DESKTOP Tile. I have a quick launch on the desktop that has all my useful programs. Or icons on the desktop. Tiles can give you so much information from a program right on the start screen. You would do nearly as well whining about ribbons in Office rather than a menu bar. Learn how to do something new. Realize what Microsoft already gets, that tablets are the future. Apple has pretty much shown that. They took it out so the whiny dinosaurs would get used to something new. Same way some computer manufacturers don't put PS2 connectors on their computers anymore. Because we moved past that.You don't like it because it's different and it's too much for you to comprehend.

RE: Where was Dell...
By ChronoReverse on 8/22/2012 7:06:15 PM , Rating: 3
Well having a visible target is nice.

For example, on the phone:
(Windows 7)
"Hi mom, so click Start then All Programs..."

(Windows 8)
"Hi dad, so move your mouse to the bottom left corner and then click. Click what? Doesn't matter, just click after your mouse reaches the corner. Nothing happened? Did you reach close enough to the corner that the little Start box appeared? Try moving the mouse cursor all the way to the bottom left this time..."

I hate it and I know it's going to happen.

RE: Where was Dell...
By robinthakur on 8/23/2012 5:17:25 AM , Rating: 2
Agree on this! This OS is so clearly designed for a single-screen tablet, I'm not really sure what the MS apologists are defending. If as me you have multiple screens, trying to even hit the top right corner to open up the settings etc. is an absolute pain.

It's quicker and easier to go to desktop, open the network sharing center and then navigate back to Control Panel. Likewise you need to hit the settings menu to sleep or shutdown the computer, and this should have been placed with the user info in the top-right of the start screen along with switch user or sign out. Who would have though you'd be thankful for the Network sharing Center!

You have a settings "App" as well as control panel and this is absolutely confusing. IE behaves differently depending on whether you launch it from the Start screen or the desktop, and the tiles of open apps in the top left is weird. How do you even close them? Not a clue. The only guidance upon starting up Windows 8 for the first time, is "Learn to use the corners" and they seem to think that the rest is common sense.

Having this kind of environment in a business (much less on a server) is utterly pointless because it is designed to be a flashy start menu to compete with the Apples of this world, yet fails to understand why they have been successful. On a tablet, it is a mildly exciting prospect, until you realise that most of the stuff to take advantage of the fact that you are essentially running Windows would take place on the desktop.

I currently dual boot Windows 8 and Mountain Lion, and I have to say I'm spending more time in OSX for the first time. These days it runs all of the Apps I need and it properly integrates with my other iOS devices and iCloud. My development environment for VS and SharePoint runs in a virtual box instance and this works really well. I frankly see little reason to go back to a Windows which is now poorly optimised for desktop computing and worse, is almost completely alien. If you have to learn a new environment, why would you choose Windows?

RE: Where was Dell...
By ShaolinSoccer on 8/23/2012 5:21:41 PM , Rating: 2
How do you even close them?

ALT F4. Just like old Windows...

RE: Where was Dell...
By JediJeb on 8/23/2012 2:42:22 PM , Rating: 2
Can you use the tile interface to open five separate programs and stack them around on the screen so that you can move data from one to the other without ever having to minimize and maximize windows? If so then maybe it won't be all bad.

RE: Where was Dell...
By 91TTZ on 8/23/2012 3:10:33 PM , Rating: 2
You would do nearly as well whining about ribbons in Office rather than a menu bar. Learn how to do something new. Realize what Microsoft already gets, that tablets are the future.

I've been using Windows 8 every day on my laptop to give it a fair shot. It's attractive but really not optimized for desktops and laptops that don't have a touch screen. Microsoft thinks that tablets are the future. That's great. They can make an OS for tablet computers and call it Windows 8, it'll be a great fit.

However, I'm not using a tablet and Windows 8 is out of place here. All the optimizations are for tablets and this isn't a tablet.

And as far as learning to do something new, I did. I learned how to use Windows 8 and I learned that it isn't as good a fit on a desktop system as Windows 7. I learned it'll work great on tablets and phones, but not as great as iOS is on phones and tablets which is why Apple commands about 75% of the profit in those markets.

RE: Where was Dell...
By ArcsinZ on 8/22/2012 7:31:11 PM , Rating: 1
You guys are all focusing on the wrong thing. It's not that they "took it out". The original Developer Preview was actually Windows 7 with the Windows 8 UI added in on top. When they went to the Consumer Preview they completely rewrote Explorer and that's why it's not there anymore. To put it back in would not be trivial. They would have to import a bunch of legacy code to make it work. Something they don't want to do.

MS is trying to move to a new era of Windows, but legacy has been holding them back. They didn't realize how big of a deal it was until they released Vista and people complained of "compatibility" issues. If you are Apple, it's easy. Buy a new computer if you want to stay with us. If you don't, go back to Windows. Microsoft can't do that. They have to find a way to support legacy AND the future with one product. Not an easy task, and something no one else has been able to do.

RE: Where was Dell...
By augiem on 8/23/2012 2:23:58 AM , Rating: 4
Legacy is the whole reason Windows is a success. You can still run programs from 30 years ago if you so choose. If they did a total reboot, they'd probably lose 90% of their customers who'd have nothing to lose anymore switching to something else. No, legacy support is VERY important to Microsoft and its what they do. Until Windows 8, high customizability and easing users into changes was also the name of the game. Even up to Vista you could still use the old style start menu. Even after they changed the task bar to icons in 7, they let you go back to the text+icon based one. They've always had some consideration for those who liked doing things the same way in the previous version until Windows 8.

I don't mind so much that they took the start menu out. It's their attitude about it that really bothers me. As soon as a workaround was found to boot directly to the desktop by setting up a scheduled task on startup, they swooped in and blocked it. How does it harm them that a relatively few power users want to jump right to work? That attitude foretells the beginning of a new and more closed-box world for Microsoft users. Kind of reminds me of Luke, Han, Leia, and Chewy in the trash compactor on the death star. The walls are closing in.

RE: Where was Dell...
By wallijonn on 8/23/12, Rating: -1
RE: Where was Dell...
By JediJeb on 8/23/2012 2:48:16 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe that is why I haven't bought much new in the computing arena lately, what I have works and I don't need to spend money I don't have just because MS wants to make more money off me. I only upgraded from W2K to XP a few years ago because a HD crashed and I could no longer find my 2K disk lol.

RE: Where was Dell...
By JediJeb on 8/22/2012 5:45:21 PM , Rating: 2
Don't know know people want revolutionary new operating systems, but don't want to learn anything new. So they want something new, but it needs to be exactly how it was before. Then MS will be able to please everyone.

I can see why corporates settings would feel this way since a change, especially one like going from W7 to W8 will be, causes them to have to not just upgrade the machines, but have training sessions for the entire staff. If you bring in an outside training person to train hundreds of staff, that is never cheap. I am not sure how much we spent just to train about 40 people when switching to the newest Office, and believe me most of the ones that sat through the class still didn't know what to do. Many never learn what software does or how it works they simply remember " click here and here and here and you are done" and repeat that every time they do something.

RE: Where was Dell...
By Chernobyl68 on 8/22/2012 6:55:02 PM , Rating: 2
Hundreds? Try tens of thousands at my job. We're still using Win XP.

RE: Where was Dell...
By StevoLincolnite on 8/22/2012 9:34:11 PM , Rating: 2
Only have one computer at my job to do very basic accounting, still running Windows 3.11 on it, works great.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. :)

RE: Where was Dell...
By JediJeb on 8/23/2012 2:49:19 PM , Rating: 2
Got rid of our last W3.11 two years ago, I miss it so much. :(

RE: Where was Dell...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/2012 2:13:25 AM , Rating: 2
How is putting the same exact mobile interface on the desktop "revolutionary" or even new? It's shitty is what it is. Metro is SHIT for a desktop PC, get over it.

I like Android but I'll be damned if I want the Android UI to be on my desktop! Same with Metro, or whatever the hell it's being called now.

RE: Where was Dell...
By BifurcatedBoat on 8/23/2012 2:31:46 PM , Rating: 2
If it were revolutionary in the sense that, "boy, this sure makes using a desktop PC a lot better", then I'd be fully on board with it. Instead it's, "boy, you can really tell this OS was built for tablets and phones, not PCs."

The "Metro future" is all fullscreen apps. In an operating system called Windows. "Oh, it's called Windows because there was a time when you used to be able to have more than one thing on your screen at a time."

RE: Where was Dell...
By tayb on 8/22/2012 4:29:55 PM , Rating: 1
Where was Dell when the iPad hit? Same place pretty much everyone was. You could say the same thing about Samsung, Motorola, et al when the iPhone hit. They had nothing. They could not compete with a thin form factor device that was $499 and could run for 10 hours. Samsung, Motorola, et al were thrown a bone by Google which allowed them to not watch Apple run away with the smartphone market. Google threw Dell a bone with Android but so far the Android tablet market has been less than stellar, despite excellent tablet offerings.

Relying on Windows 8 indicates a sad state of affairs for Dell. We've known for well over a year that Windows 8 would run on ARM. If Dell had a hit Android tablet they could suddenly have a Windows 8 tablet with little re-engineering. Where is their hit Android tablet? Where is their Windows 8 Pro tablet? WTF are they expecting Windows 8 to do for them?

RE: Where was Dell...
By Tony Swash on 8/23/12, Rating: -1
RE: Where was Dell...
By Helbore on 8/23/2012 10:54:14 AM , Rating: 2
The PC market is dying, yet you also think Apple will thrive with laptop and desktop sales.

Its like you live in a world where Apple defies logic. They can simultaneously kill a market AND also thrive in the same market their killing off.

Reading your posts, I sometime wonder how you manage to make it through the day without getting killed. I'm guessing you don't apply the same crazy logic to mundane, non-Apple things. Compartmentalization, I think they call it.

RE: Where was Dell...
By Tony Swash on 8/23/12, Rating: -1
RE: Where was Dell...
By Helbore on 8/23/2012 4:10:30 PM , Rating: 2
The writing is on the wall.

People were saying that about Apple 15 years ago. You should know better than to make such large assumptions about the tech industry. A couple of years ago you would have laughed if anyone had said that Android would steal the lead in the smartphone market from Apple.

The truth is you are one of those people who suffer from confirmation bias. You are so desperate to believe that Apple will conquer all, you rabidly latch on to any statistic that even vaguely supports your view and then completely ignore anything that might suggest otherwise.

I don't know of a singe reputable analyst that thinks Apple is about to cannibalize the Windows market. Its only people like you who think that Apple will continue to double their profits every quarter from now until the end of time.

RE: Where was Dell...
By Tony Swash on 8/23/2012 5:57:13 PM , Rating: 1

I don't know of a singe reputable analyst that thinks Apple is about to cannibalize the Windows market.

Apparently the Windows OEMs thinks the iPad is eating their business - but what the fuck do they know?

RE: Where was Dell...
By Helbore on 8/23/2012 7:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
Do you honestly think that means that all the PCs in all the businesses across the world are going to get replaced with iPads?

Do you honestly understand the markets you are talking about?

Like I said; confirmation bias. You don't even try and understand the bigger picture, because you're not interested.

RE: Where was Dell...
By Tony Swash on 8/24/12, Rating: 0
RE: Where was Dell...
By 91TTZ on 8/23/2012 3:29:04 PM , Rating: 2
It sounds like you're confused. The PC market isn't dying, it's just a mature market that isn't growing as fast as the newer mobile market. Companies are going for the money.

PCs will always be around because the form factor fits the function. You can comfortably sit at a desk, rest your arms on the desk and look at a large, high resolution monitor. It's sort of like how cars have had the same basic shape for the last 100 years, and how carriages had a similar seating arrangement before that. That particular form fits the function. There will be slight changes in the details as processors get faster and monitors get bigger, but the basic form is here to stay.

Dell's actual problem
By kleinma on 8/22/2012 3:51:31 PM , Rating: 3
Dell's actual problem is due to cost cutting.

They sell crap hardware, loaded with crap bloatware, with tech support in crap india, and are pushers of crap extended warranties, mostly because they know their crap will die way sooner than it should.

No one ever calls dell tech support and feels like they got good service afterwards. Even if the problem gets solved (which is rare) it is only after a nightmare with some guy named Bob who doesn't speak english and is spewing unintelligible english from a script.

I will always build my own desktops as long as I can, but outside that I will be going all microsoft hardware for portable stuff. Surface Pro and WinPhone 8 will do nicely.

RE: Dell's actual problem
By retrospooty on 8/22/2012 4:07:45 PM , Rating: 3
To be fair, on the enterprise side, Dell's equipment is very reliable, and the tech support is top notch as well. On the consumer side, you are absolutely right, complete loserville in all aspects.

RE: Dell's actual problem
By Master Kenobi on 8/22/2012 5:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
There is a theory that Dell's enterprise segment is less a division of Dell and more of an independent subsidiary that uses the Dell supply chain.

RE: Dell's actual problem
By retrospooty on 8/22/2012 5:36:00 PM , Rating: 2
LOL... possibly. In other words, it works because it doesn't have Dell's cheap fingerprints all over it.

RE: Dell's actual problem
By Senju on 8/23/2012 1:31:13 AM , Rating: 3
You are absolutely correct. I was totally amazed how fast the turn around to get a tech guy visit a client office to replace a damaged dell machine. I was then shocked to find out Dell is using 2 or 3 outsourcing companies to dispatch engineers and it is only DELL telephone support center which is *really* Dell. Anyway, the support is great but I am afraid I cannot give that praise to Dell.

RE: Dell's actual problem
By retrospooty on 8/23/2012 10:36:12 AM , Rating: 2
Ya, I dont know how they make money with that. Most enterprise customers would be fine with sending to a repair depot, fexed etc like Lenovo. Sending a tech to your site has got to cost them and arm and a leg. Oh well, not my issue =)

RE: Dell's actual problem
By nedsand on 8/23/2012 3:25:08 PM , Rating: 2
Lenovo does it the same way Dell does for large customers. Only they are not nearly as efficient. The last place I worked for did contract work for Lenovo at an office with about 700 users. When the guy who was doing the work moved on I was asked to fill in until we could hire a replacement.

I had a laptop with a bad button cell cmos battery. There were three different part numbers for it so I just picked one. Turns out the different part numbers designated what facility the part would be shipped from. I picked the wrong one for the US and they rush shipped a single button cell battery in a box measuring 2.5'x1'x1' from the Philippines to Kansas. The box had 6 large stickers on it warning of the explosive nature of Lithium/ion. They were also constantly back-ordered on warranty replacement parts for very common up to date desktops/laptops.

The place I work at now uses Dell. I always have the trouble shooting done before I contact them. And I always contact them with online chat support so I never have a language barrier issue. They even let me install the parts. This saves me time as I don't have to babysit a tech when they come out. Top notch service if you ask me.

RE: Dell's actual problem
By Taft12 on 8/23/2012 9:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
Most enterprise customers would be fine with sending to a repair depot

Wait, what? If your business is sending laptops or desktops with all that juicy data on it outside the office, someone should be getting fired!

RE: Dell's actual problem
By JediJeb on 8/22/2012 5:52:33 PM , Rating: 2
Dell needs to take a lesson from Samsung. I just bought a Samsung laptop and the only thing it had on it besides W7 was Norton's suit, a program to run the build in webcam and it's own control software that enabled the special settings and buttons on the keyboard. Also the Norton's was not actually installed, but did pop up a nag screen asking you to install it, which once I did a remove program on was gone forever. None of the crapware I have seen on Dell and HP products in the past. It was actually a very refreshing experience.

RE: Dell's actual problem
By The Saxophonist on 8/24/2012 1:57:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I have had several Dell desktops. They were all crappy. Within months, the cooling fans would break, hard drives failed, on and on. And they choke you to death with bloat ware. At least HP builds a quality product, albeit full of bloat ware as well. Dell needs to step up their game.

He should shut it down...
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 8/22/2012 3:15:44 PM , Rating: 5
... And return all the money to the shareholders.

RE: He should shut it down...
By Breathless on 8/22/2012 3:36:22 PM , Rating: 5

RE: He should shut it down...
By RufusM on 8/22/2012 4:15:39 PM , Rating: 4
Great find! This is priceless. Michael Dell should shut'er down.


RE: He should shut it down...
By Samus on 8/22/2012 4:52:46 PM , Rating: 2
Dell should throw in the towel. Their brand recognition is completely destroyed. The only people still buying them are the bargain basement shoppers at Walmart.

Virtually all companies I've worked for have shifted away from Dell (especially their servers which were just glorified desktops) due to constant capacitor failures on motherboards, RAID controllers, and power supplies.

People are slowly shifting to Lenovo, but Lenovo doesn't have a corporate assist network as good as Dell and HP, but its getting there, and has improved greatly over the past few years. I remember years ago ordering a T61 and waiting a month for it to finally arrive. Infrequent email updates to the order status, no charge to my card made me wonder if the order had even been placed...but now their system works well.

Just my two cents. I see it day in, day out, every time a Dell server is replaced, it's replaced with an HP.

RE: He should shut it down...
By JediJeb on 8/22/2012 5:35:38 PM , Rating: 2
I only wish I could convince our IT guy to switch to HP for servers. He has been a Dell guy forever and so was the one before him. But I guess it is better than the Gateways we had when I first started working here(386,486 and Pentium days).

RE: He should shut it down...
By Schadenfroh on 8/22/2012 11:38:57 PM , Rating: 1
Epic find, give this man not one, but three sixes!

This is almost as priceless as when Samsung dug up that Sony phone that looked like an iPhone... only long before the iPhone.

RE: He should shut it down...
By Kepler on 8/23/2012 8:24:44 AM , Rating: 2
No matter how much I dislike Apple, that was funny.

Race to the bottom, and it's not Dell's fault
By tayb on 8/22/2012 4:24:21 PM , Rating: 2
The Windows consumer market has been in a race to the bottom for as long as I can remember.

When I was in high school back in 2004 I worked at Office Depot in the tech department. We had all different types of laptops of varying prices and sizes but by FAR the best selling laptop of the week was whichever laptop had the cheapest price tag. We would basically sell out of the cheapest laptop, and then the next cheapest one, so on and so forth.

The Windows consumer market just doesn't seem willing to spend money on high end laptops. High end laptops exist but they never sell well and usually end up losing money for the company.

By RufusM on 8/22/2012 4:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
This is because most consumers use their PCs for web surfing, email, Solitaire and balancing the checkbook. There's no need for a high end system when that's all most people do with a PC.

Cheaper priced tablets are starting to trickle down into this territory as well since they fit the same basic use case. Tablets used to have a "look at me" factor, like laptops used to, but now they're everywhere.

By Arsynic on 8/22/2012 3:59:45 PM , Rating: 3
There are higher margins with servers, storage and services. Dell is becoming a one-stop-shop for enterprises buying up all kinds of vendors such as AppAssure and Sonicwall. A company could run everything on Dell if they wanted to.

By btc909 on 8/22/2012 5:33:02 PM , Rating: 3
Selling my 650 shares of Dell stock TOMORROW!

reason falling pc sales
By rob19478 on 8/23/2012 4:08:21 AM , Rating: 2
I used to change my pc every 2 years, but 4 years ago i got a I7-920 that still today runs everything fine. The reason for people not upgrading or buying a new pc might simple be that old pcs are still doing a great job and there is no reason to upgrade

By kmmatney on 8/23/2012 7:32:15 AM , Rating: 2
As someone who just recently bought a Dell Inpsiron 17R (special Edition) it does seem like the quality has gone down. My bought another Inspiron, as my last one lasted me almost 6 years - better than other more "corporate" laptops I've used in the past. While the new laptop is very fast, the really cheaped out on the trackpad - worst one I've ever used. My old laptop never had any issues - how can you screw up a trackpad? it also crashes when going to sleep on battery power with a Samsung SSD (sleeps fine on AC power). The overall build quality is just a lot wrose than my older model. Not impressed...

I'll fix Dell
By Kepler on 8/23/2012 8:17:08 AM , Rating: 2
Easy way to fix:

Start adding 1080p IPS panels to all laptops, regardless of size (higher if hitting 17 inches).

If those XPS 13 machines with Ubuntu on them had 1080p+ panels, I'd have several of them already for myself and family, and would be pushing to get them at work. Throw in a docking station that can handle 3/4 monitors, and I think I'd just be throwing my money at them (I know that not a lot of people have 3+ monitors, but having dual monitors is ubiquitous now, I just wish for a 3 monitor dock!).

I'm not a fan of the looks of most of their machines, but I don't buy my machines based on looks. I prefer the Macbook Air/Asus Zenbook looks, and even the ThinkPad X1 or whatever it is...but Dell having native Linux support is huge.

I wouldn't rely on Windows 8. They need to rely on themselves. Better designs, better feeling, better marketing...of course everyone wants better pricing too.

They are in Trouble
By Belard on 8/23/2012 3:16:44 PM , Rating: 2
Yes... *IF* you are expecting and hoping that Windows 8 will save your company, Dell... YOU are IN BIG TROUBLE.

Guess they'll try to be like IBM, servers and biz only.

How Many of You...
By tng on 8/23/2012 4:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
Look at buying a laptop and never really give Dell a thought because you have to use a Dell at work?

I have started to think this way. All of the laptop I see used by business are Dell, so I start thinking that if I have one of those it will be just like being at work.

Also after many trips to BB and Frys, I don't really recall looking at a Dell on any occasion. I remember looking at Toshiba, Samsung, Acer, Sony, Asus, Fujitsu..., but not a Dell. Was I just not that impressed or were they not there at all?

Listening to Customers
By Nexing on 8/24/2012 3:16:34 AM , Rating: 2
It is not that all competitors are equaly sharing the industry decreasing sale rates, because two of them (Lenovo and Asus) are actually increasing their share at Dell's and Acer's participation expense.
At work and professional markets, Lenovo has truly listened to potential customers. A very different story than Dell's (their closest competitor), the company that supposedly has customization of their products, as its prime differential factor... Something that -in practical terms- is lost when their relevant pricing comes out most only thru packaged offers, obviously leaving critical features only to be had at much higherly priced choices. Look at their 2012 mobile product lines. Most Lenovo pro-laptops have the 1600x900 option offered. Dell? struggling to do so in just a couple of top of the line models. And the same goes for backlit keyboards, or ExpressCard availability, a feature that really opens a laptop for varied uses and needs...

I'd risk to say that Dell possibly unknowingly has concentrated itself on big corporate clients and lost a myriad of pro-users. Their marketing geniuses seemed to have constructed a complex choice structure akin to what Intel does (by providing some feats while negating other relevant ones) forgetting that they are far from being a monopoly/duopoly and all this, while the industry is in the midst of long feeble demand times.
Yes, on the short run they had revenue growth to show, but at long term other (Lenovo) is getting a good chunk of the sales as both their profit reports seem to prove.

If in the short run Lenovo realizes that different build materials, shapes and colors DO also factor in the sales equation (like Dell rightly did it), their profits are going to truly skyrocket leaving Dell and other competitors in real problems. Add to this the possibility that HP professional line also catches up.
All this could signal good news for customers by way of better products.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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