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Where Does Dell Go After Losing 3Par?

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the wherever-gateway-went dept.

Businesses 169

crimeandpunishment writes "It was the big deal Dell wanted in a big way. But now that it has lost out to Hewlett-Packard in the bidding war it started for 3Par, where does Dell go in its effort to diversify its business and move into the higher-profit area of selling technology to other companies? The company faces significant challenges, largely due to its lower-end focus, and because many of its competitors beat Dell into branching out. One analyst says, 'People see [Dell] as box-pushers'."

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how about out of business? (0, Flamebait)

larry bagina (561269) | about 4 years ago | (#33468374)

shut the company down and return anything left to the investors. Seriously. The assemble shitty computers and need secret intel cash to be "profitable".

Re:how about out of business? (5, Insightful)

richdun (672214) | about 4 years ago | (#33468534)

Hmm, where have I heard that one before?

Maybe they'll get lucky and invent the next great... um... portable music player? No, that didn't work... PDA? No, that worked, but the market disappeared into smartphones... Smartphone? No, beat to the punch 4 or 5 times over... Printers? Tablets? TVs? No, no, and no.

Dell's problem isn't that competitors beat it into branching out. Dell's tried branching out tons of times. Dell's problem is its founding business model - mass-assemble PCs using standardization and volume to bring costs down - doesn't work on any of the new electronics markets. And even the things that went well were crippled by bad design, bad materials, or just blame bad timing. (For instance, their multi-function displays are nice... but who wants to carry around a multi-function display with their laptop?)

Re:how about out of business? (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 years ago | (#33468748)

Dell's problem is its founding business model - mass-assemble PCs using standardization and volume to bring costs down - doesn't work on any of the new electronics markets.

As I see it, they either need to embrace their role as a builder of boxes and switch to a dividend rather than growth company - or they need to stop selling low-margin shit. How much do they make on a $400 laptop? Why do that to themselves? If they are afraid that their store will not be a "one stop shop", then make the store a separate corporation and sell cheap shit from other companies - only put the "Dell" badge on high-margin - and preferably high-quality - merchandise.

Re:how about out of business? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | about 4 years ago | (#33468956)

only put the "Dell" badge on high-margin - and preferably high-quality - merchandise.

The problem is that Dell already has a pretty solid reputation... for building marginal quality merchandise in the corporate workstation side at the cheapest price, and absolute shit-scraped-off-my-shoe merchandise in the consumer side at even cheaper prices. Price is generally the first, last, and only reason to go Dell in the consumer marketspace. Corporate machines aren't quite as bad, but they are a tad less competitive in that space.

There's a reason their nickname at corporate purchasing a couple of jobs ago was "Packard Dell", and it was not a compliment.

If they seriously want to go quality, they really need a new brand name for that. Plus, they'd lose the last memories of pot-smoking Dell Dude.

State of Dell (5, Interesting)

sycodon (149926) | about 4 years ago | (#33469088)

1.They have little long term vision, but are instead obsessed with making the goals for the next reporting period.

2. The "executives" are a series of "wonder boys" that come in, discard everything that wasn't their doing, and re-invent the wheel with their brand on it. They usually are there long enough to screw things up and then get picked up by another company.

3. Middle management has a siege mentality, never knowing when one of these "wonder boy" executives is going to come in and fire them, replacing them with their buddies.

4. The actual workers spend a lot of time wondering what the hell is going on and who is in charge this week.

Re:State of Dell (1)

postbigbang (761081) | about 4 years ago | (#33469702)

Mod parent up.

The revolving door effect is huge. Consistency isn't one of their passions, it's an accident. Yet they survive because part of their model changed the entire industry: slaughtering channel by cutting out the middleman/distributor/retailer. If tehy can get better product selection and wean themselves from Microsoft and Intel co-op bribes/funds, they'll be able to make more rational decisions, instead of ones that are made for them.

Mark me flamebait if you want, but Dell's core engine is great-- it's the big dogs that pound on them for fealty.

Re:how about out of business? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33469412)

They have that brand name - they bought Alienware and can use that name. It certainly has a more upmarket reputation than Dell.

Re:how about out of business? (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | about 4 years ago | (#33469550)

I backed over my corporate Dell latitude d830, and after replacing a cracked screen and the hdd, it works perfectly. Granted, it was in a decent carry case (which in turn was well-cushioned with several printouts of legal writs), but I am very very impressed by their corporate stuff thus far.

OTOH, their inspiron crap goes wonky if you even look at it funny. Hard to believe that the same company produced both laptops.

Re:how about out of business? (1)

TamCaP (900777) | about 4 years ago | (#33469940)

The old school Latitude laptops for corporations were built like tanks. I stepped on mine (d510) once by accident (no case, no nuthing + I am a big fella) barely any damage. They also came with decently priced 3 year accident / warranty on-site next-day replacement for parts or even whole laptop, which saved my butt at least once. The laptop is now 5 years long, and still tugging along, albeit slowly. Note, it was done bought & serviced with Dell EMEA, not Dell USA though... not sure how it works here.

Dell no longer has edge in PCs ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 4 years ago | (#33469208)

Dell's problem is its founding business model - mass-assemble PCs using standardization and volume to bring costs down - doesn't work on any of the new electronics markets.

As I see it, they either need to embrace their role as a builder of boxes ...

Dell's problem is that the novel and leading practices that they pioneered are now standard practices. They no longer have the manufacturing, assembly and distribution advantages they once had. This is one of the reasons they have been so eager to grow into new markets with new products.

Also prices have collapsed since Dell's glory days. Even with higher quality corporate oriented products Dell would still merely be selling "commodity" products at a low margin. Not commodity as in cheap stuff but commodity as in fairly indistinguishable from comparable products from other companies.

Sadly I think Dell is a little more likely to be on a Gateway-like path than an HP- or IBM-like path. Michael Dell's advice on what to do with Apple in 1997 may come back to haunt him: "What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders".

Re:how about out of business? (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#33469566)

As I see it, they either need to embrace their role as a builder of boxes and switch to a dividend rather than growth company

Here's the problem: Wall Street doesn't like companies that make a profit and pay a dividend. In today's upside-down growth-obsessed "free market", it doesn't really matter what companies make or sell. The only thing that matters is the accumulation of cash so they can buy other companies. There are even bidding wars in leveraged buyouts. Think about that for a second. And a Department of Justice that has never met a merger or takeover they didn't like.

Apple has 40 billion in cash. Stock price is in the stratosphere. P/E of 19.23(ttm). They still don't pay dividends.

We've got companies who are trading at 3 times earnings, booking huge profits and still not paying a dividend. Then we've got companies trading at 25 times earnings, booking huge profits, and still not paying dividends. Companies aren't using that cash to start new projects, or build new plants or hire people or pay dividends. They're just accumulating. If they did pay dividends, it would mean some of that cash that's sitting in corporate mattresses would actually end up in the economy. But that's too "long-term" of a play for the captains of industry There are actually companies whose capitalization is less than their cash on hand. So they're capitalization is 30 billion and their cash on hand is 35 billion. They get taken over and the new buyers realize a 5 billion gain before the ink is dry on the sales contract. Paying dividends has become a signal that you're not "growth oriented" enough, that you're not "aggressive" enough. In other words, that you're paying attention to your core business instead of looking to buy or merge with your competitors and suppliers.

Short term thinking and "free market" fantasies have mutated big business into something that only benefits the number of people you can fit around a conference table. Profits are up, but for most working people, income and quality of life are down. How long you think that's going to last, and what will our society look like after another decade of that trend?

Re:how about out of business? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 years ago | (#33469944)

Don't you think you've steered away from the topic a bit? :)

Profits are up, but for most working people, income and quality of life are down.

I hear this a lot, but I don't buy the argument. By what measure is quality of life down? Compared to when? Sure, we spend more of our income on health care - but we get a lot more, too. Life expectancy has steadily increased over the years. Cancers are often not terminal anymore. AIDS is a chronic condition rather than a death sentence. In the mid 80s we were astounded by open-heart surgery - now it's often an outpatient procedure.

Cars are more expensive, but you are a lot less likely to die in them and they routinely last 3-5 times longer than they did in the past. And despite this, you can still pick up an accent or Versa for about $10,000. In 1955, that would have gotten you a used Ford (adjusting for inflation, naturally).

A walk into Wal-Mart should amaze anyone who remembers what things used to cost. Hell, even in the 80s my mother was patching holes in our pants. Do they still make patches? Does anyone bother? I haven't seen a patch in ages. Clothes are so cheap that when you donate clothes to charity, they ship them to Africa because no one here wants them.

I reckon that you can live a 1950s lifestyle for a smaller portion of your paycheck than you could in the 50s. It's just that no one wants to give up their TVs, phones, cars, clothes drier, dishwasher, computers, fresh produce from Peru in the middle of the winter... need I go on?

Most people can "earn" an additional $100 or so per month by dropping cell phone service and cable. Most decide to live somewhere that requires one or even two cars.

Anyway, I think you can argue that Wall Street needs to be reigned in without trying to argue that we are worse off than previous generations. I mean, obviously people are worse off in 2010 then they were in 2008 - but the long term trend is not down.

Re:how about out of business? (1)

afabbro (33948) | about 4 years ago | (#33470040)

Here's the problem: Wall Street doesn't like companies that make a profit and pay a dividend.

Sorry, but you're completely wrong. Hint: "Wall Street" is not one entity: it's millions of investors. Lots of them want/need income instead of growth. With a little googling, you can discover dozens of multi-billion-dollar retirement funds that invest in income stocks instead of growth stocks. You can also discover millions of individual investors who want tax-free dividend income over taxable capital gains. Hot growth stocks will always have higher P/Es than income stocks but it's been that way for 100 years and yet big companies continue to thrive.

There are actually companies whose capitalization is less than their cash on hand.

Yeah, wow, that's so amazing, because it hasn't happened thousands of times in history. You might want to read up on balance sheets a bit more so you understand them.

I know your coursepack had a photocopy of an old Ron Paul rant and you feel very sophisticated commenting on the market, but you really don't know what you're talking about.

Re:how about out of business? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 4 years ago | (#33468864)

Hmm, where have I heard that one before?

Probably when Michael Dell said it about Apple [cnet.com] .

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders," Michael Dell said before a crowd of several thousand IT executives.

Isn't it funny when people start suggesting that you take your own advice?

Re:how about out of business? (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 4 years ago | (#33468942)

mass-assemble PCs using standardization and volume to bring costs down

Dell's bread and butter was that each computer was special built per customer specifications. That got dropped a little after Micheal retired and that is when the company started going down. They started to copy Compaq, which was the worst thing they could do.

When I worked at Dell in shipping the head of logistics forwarded on the following editorial.

http://www.forbes.com/1999/04/21/feat2.html [forbes.com]

Re:how about out of business? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#33469292)

. Dell's problem is its founding business model - mass-assemble PCs using standardization and volume to bring costs down - doesn't work on any of the new electronics markets.

Why doesn't "standardization and volume to bring costs down" work with the new "electronics markets"?

I didn't realize the successful companies were doing well because they were hand-building their products to order.

Re:how about out of business? (1)

salesgeek (263995) | about 4 years ago | (#33469418)

Dell's problem is its founding business model - mass-assemble PCs using standardization and volume to bring costs down - doesn't work on any of the new electronics markets

Dell was always an "assembler" and not a "manufacturer" of computers. Today's products need a manufacturer as they are not a chassis with plug in components.

I don't think Dell is dead, or has no chance in the future, because they have money and market share. That's not a forever thing, though. Dell needs to change how they approach creating new products. Dell needs to focus on creating products that haven't crossed the chasm yet. Dell keeps trying to launch products after the product has become mainstream, instead of getting a position in a growth market. Dell could also focus on creating disruptive products, like iPad has been for Fujitsu and Motion's tablet business. Dell's got to get some creativity. They can't just continue to be a knockoff maker forever... you've got to have the guts to just do something completely different.

Nobody is "beat to the punch" on phones (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33469612)

Smartphone? No, beat to the punch

I would have hard time getting excited over a Dell-branded smartphone (or a Dell-branded anything else) but that's just prejudice. Smartphones have barely started happening, and nobody has been "beat to the punch" yet. There's only phone on the market which doesn't suck in a certain drastic, crippling in-your-face way (that phone is Nokia's N900), and that's just one one point of view, not to mention that "doesn't suck" is hardly a ringing endorsement. One "doesn't suck" on the market leaves plenty of room for someone to come along with "good" or even "kick ass."

Shit, you don't even need to get fancy/expensive with the manufacturing; right now most phones' problems have to do with the software. Most of the different phones' hardware all looks similar anyway and time makes a fool of anyone (and I'm not just talking about customers, I mean manufacturers too) who pays extra for the latest and greatest. Lowball it -- make the cheapest possible (within reason) hardware (surely Dell can pull that off!) -- and they just have to preload some carefully-chosen software which'll cost 'em nothing or nearly so. Just think about what users need instead of what carriers, governments, and "strategic partners" want, and you can be a leader. The users are still waiting.

There's so much remaining potential in smartphones that it can still be anyone's game. We still don't know who is going to come out with the first good phone, but there's no reason it couldn't be Dell, if they were to try.

Re:how about out of business? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#33469266)

shut the company down and return anything left to the investors.

No. What's going to happen is a merger between Dell and HP. One fewer PC manufacturer. 5000 people laid off. There will be a bidding war, which will drive up the stock price and make a bunch of traders rich. Big bonuses for the CEO (and for the lawyers who handle the merger.

Customers suffer.

Re:how about out of business? (0, Redundant)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 4 years ago | (#33469660)

Shortly after Mr. Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 as part of the company's acquisition of NeXT, Dell's founder and chairman, Michael Dell, was asked at a technology conference what might be done to fix Apple, then deeply troubled financially.

"What would I do?" Mr. Dell said to an audience of several thousand information technology managers. "I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders."

Alliance rather than acquisition? (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 4 years ago | (#33468414)

Dell already has somewhat of an alliance with EMC. I'm not sure who would be getting the better deal out of a deeper alliance or even a merger, but the possibility exists.

Re:Alliance rather than acquisition? (1)

crow (16139) | about 4 years ago | (#33468776)

I don't see a Dell-EMC merger. The companies are just too different. And as an EMC employee, I wouldn't be happy about it.

As to the partnership, yes, Dell resells EMC products. In trying to buy 3Par, they've shown another indication that they would rather be selling their own stuff than reselling someone else's, which may have some implications for the long-term stability of the partnership.

Dave Donatelli (HP) buying 3Par looks good for EMC. It suggests that HP may stop reselling Hitachi storage in favor of their on 3Par systems, which could be quite bad for Hitachi, at least in the US market. At the same time, it helps keep Dell reselling EMC products as it looks to figure out where to go next.

So the winners are HP and EMC, while the loser is Hitachi. It's not clear that Dell would have been successful with 3Par, so you could argue either side from Dell's perspective.

Now a Dell-NetApp merger would be interesting.

(Note: I have no inside knowledge about any of this.)

Re:Alliance rather than acquisition? (1)

benro03 (153441) | about 4 years ago | (#33468904)

It's actually quite the slap in the face to all the Dell customers who bought storage from them because it was made by EMC. I wonder if Joe Tucci is having a "Come to Jebus" meeting with Michael Dell.

And Dell-NetApp would be very interesting. Kind of like watching a train wreck itself in slow-mo.

Where should Dell go? (0)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 4 years ago | (#33468426)

How about Hell?

No, seriously. They have a huge cooling issue with the Data Centers Of The Beast down there. Go ahead, Dell. Go on.

dude!! (2, Funny)

Kristopeit, Michael (1892492) | about 4 years ago | (#33468434)

you're not getting a 3par

I really hope Dell Execs read this message (2, Insightful)

get quad (917331) | about 4 years ago | (#33468466)

Dear Dell shitbags: Optiplex GX270 fiasco you went to great lengths to hide which you're finally getting sued for. Enough Said.

I think I can speak for all the Dell customers (3, Funny)

RapmasterT (787426) | about 4 years ago | (#33468468)

and say unreservedly that Dell can go to hell.

Re:I think I can speak for all the Dell customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33468714)

I hope someone from Dell reads this...

I am a longtime Dell customer. I own maybe 10 Dell laptops and desktop systems. Their prices were pretty good in comparison to offerings from HP, Lenovo and Toshiba. For various reasons, I will never buy another Sony or eMachines.

What's good about Dell?

1) High level of customization options
2) Good price
3) Fast delivery

What sucks about Dell?

1) Support service is atrocious. Most of the techs I've contacted could barely understand English. That's not so bad, but add to it that they have absolutely no understanding of computer troubleshooting and have to read from a flowchart and it's enough to make Gandhi get pissed off.

2) What happened to design? On the XPS1530, for example, the USB ports are stacked on top of each other. Many devices cannot fit alongside another because of this design.

3) What happened to quality? I don't mind so much that *every* Inspiron e1505 I own has the same fade pattern on the keyboard rests, or that both trackpad buttons on my XPS1530s have failed in the same way, but why do the batteries only last 6 months before they are at 50% capacity?

4) McAfee. I hate McAffee with a passion. Please give the option to not have this garbage installed.

Re:I think I can speak for all the Dell customers (1)

natehoy (1608657) | about 4 years ago | (#33469246)

3) What happened to quality?

Whadya mean? Dell has the same quality it always has. It blows steaming monkey chunks, and always has.

They built machines at the lowest possible cost, save expense by using horrible power supplies, bad motherboards, cases that appear to actively go out of their way to slash veins, and your "customization" allows you to pick what expensive quality components will be burned out by the first voltage spike the "Supar-Powur"-branded power supply puts out.

I used to support friends and family when they saved money listening to pot-buy say "Dude! Buy the Dell!" and saved $50. I'm done.

It always involves having the machine shipped to me, where there's almost always something wrong or broken and I get to wait on hold so I can talk for an hour to someone who claims to be named "Dave" where I'd really rather have them be honest and admit their name is really "Sanjay". Dave/Sanjay is invariably pleasant, personable, patient, and completely and utterly incomprehensible, and trained to delay actually shipping a part or accepting an RMA apparently at the threat of killing a cow.

Then, when all of the parts are in and the machine is working, I have to spend a few hours uninstalling large heaping mounds of trialware, adware, and FSM-knows-what-elseware.

Actually, to clarify... I do recommend Dells to people, as long as they pretend to be a small business and get the corporate machines. They actually make a half-decent corporate workstation, and their Latitude laptops aren't half bad, and not loaded with half the crap that the consumer machines get. But you get what you pay for, and the Latitudes are a tad pricier.

The name "Inspiron", to this day, makes me retch. About the only thing Dell Consumer has going for it is they drove Packard Bell and the original eMachines out of business, which saved me from exposure to boxes that were even worse. So some gratitude there, at least.

To be fair, HP's boxes don't tend to be much better. But Lenovo appears to be trying for the most part to match the quality they were good at when they built machines for IBM. Their ThinkPads are as kick-ass solid as the IBM models, for the most part, though I think they've introduced a lower-cost model that appears to have its share of issues.

Re:I think I can speak for all the Dell customers (1)

Bryansix (761547) | about 4 years ago | (#33469564)

Well the solution is simple. For Business machines like Optiplex and Precision the default option is 3 year Warranty with next business day parts and service. Dell's rarely have problems in the corporate environment because when they do fail they get fixed the next day by Dell themselves. Same goes for 3 year advanced exchange warranty on monitors.

Re:I think I can speak for all the Dell customers (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 4 years ago | (#33469784)

Once you go for the 3 year NBD warranty, the price starts to look a lot less competitive. The only reason I'm buying Dell is that I have an account manager who's prepared to offer me good discounts on the list price even though we're a small business - without those discounts, I really would have trouble justifying buying their kit over any others.

Re:I think I can speak for all the Dell customers (1)

Bryansix (761547) | about 4 years ago | (#33469510)

Actually, you can choose to forgo McAfee. You just can't do it on the fast track machines.

Re:I think I can speak for all the Dell customers (2, Interesting)

kenrblan (1388237) | about 4 years ago | (#33468794)

I really like their server products, but their sales staff, at least in higher education sucks monkey balls. Before I left the higher education IT arena, my university IT group was thinking about doing a big virtualized app/desktop push and was looking to do Citrix or VMware View. My boss emailed our higher-ed representative at Dell to inform him of the project scope and to give them a shot at getting the contract. Dell never called, emailed, or really acknowledged our existence despite having recently won the desktop computing contract for the computer labs in the previous year. At the same time, we were looking at updating our storage environment. A small 3rd party vendor contacted us just to see if there were any projects we were planning that might benefit from things that they resold and provided services. Once we had a working pilot project in place from that vendor, it was decided to go forward with it. Just before we started to make the purchase, the Dell rep got wind of it and tried to come in at the last second to win the contract. In the end it went pretty much like this: "Sorry Dell, you ignored us when we asked what you could do for us. Instead, we are going to buy the same EMC SAN from them that you would have been able to sell. We are going to buy all of those Citrix licenses from them. We are doing it for far less money and hassle than dealing with you." At this point in the game, you can't survive if you ignore customers when they are trying to purchase.

Re:I think I can speak for all the Dell customers (1)

RapmasterT (787426) | about 4 years ago | (#33468988)

My company recently changed from HP server hardware to Dell, and it's been an absolute nightmare.

ridiculously long lead times on core hardware
partial shipments (literally shipping servers half built because parts weren't available) complete inability to produce two systems configured the same way in a row idrac is shit. utter complete shit.

If I have to troubleshoot and bug check their hardware/firmware ONE MORE TIME, and hear from them "gee, we've never seen that before", I'm going to punch someone in the neck.

Re:I think I can speak for all the Dell customers (1)

kenrblan (1388237) | about 4 years ago | (#33469298)

Wow, I've never had those kind of problems with Dell servers. I've seen lots of DOA desktop units though. My biggest problem with trying to get HP in the past has been a near impossibility to customize the server and get a price online. That is one area where Dell definitely got it right.

Re:I think I can speak for all the Dell customers (1)

Bryansix (761547) | about 4 years ago | (#33469592)

iDrac is shit? What part of being able to log in and reboot a computer out of band is shit?

Re:I think I can speak for all the Dell customers (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 4 years ago | (#33469752)

If it's anything like all their previous DRAC cards, the web interface has this awkward tendency to be so browser-specific that a relatively minor upgrade to your browser can break it, the CLI is so poorly documented they may as well just replace the user manual with a single sheet of paper that just says "Look, we just put this here to fill a line item, we don't actually expect anybody to use it".

Re:I think I can speak for all the Dell customers (1)

Bryansix (761547) | about 4 years ago | (#33469826)

The Enterprise iDrac lets you see the console even during boot. The command line IS poorly documented but once you work out the commands it is simple to shutdown, reboot, power cycle, or turn on a remote system.

Re:I think I can speak for all the Dell customers (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 4 years ago | (#33470100)

Much like the DRAC4 and 5 cards then. They provide a Java-based viewer to the console during boot (which I'm 90% certain is effectively a framegrabber and VNC under the hood). The only minor issue is that Dell don't seem to be able to write a half-decent interface to fire up the viewer which isn't horrendously sensitive to web browser versions.

Re:I think I can speak for all the Dell customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33469758)

We have over 200 Dell servers and I've yet to experience any of your issues in our environment. Sorry to hear your having issues though.

Re:I think I can speak for all the Dell customers (2, Interesting)

dave562 (969951) | about 4 years ago | (#33469810)

I have had an almost identical experience. I have been working with HP hardware my entire career but recently started a new job in a Dell shop. The last two months have been one "Doh!" moment after another. The first issue was when the battery on my Perc controller "failed" (it discharged and had to recharge). The server rebooted and failed to come up. I had the same issue happen a few years ago on an HP Smart Array controller. On the HP box, the driver just logged an error message in the event viewer telling me that the battery had discharged.

HP has a great set of software/firmware update tools for the Windows environment (Proliant Support Pack). I asked my Dell rep for a similar program and he pointed me to the Server Update Utility. The stupid thing simply does not work. It identifies the driver and firmware that needs to be updated, but then when the time comes to update it, the program just hangs and doesn't do anything.

Dell's equivalent of HP Insight Manager is this piece of crap, rebranded Symantec garbage that won't even run on a 64-bit OS (namely, every single server I have).

Every time I go to the data center I'm embarassed to stand in front of my racks of Dell hardware. I pine for the days of Proliant servers that were engineered by a company that actually knows what they are doing.

Re:I think I can speak for all the Dell customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33469804)

Hear, hear!

- Disgruntled Dell Customer.

pretty sure stopping demoralizing dell employees (2, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | about 4 years ago | (#33468478)

and going back to their successful business model would be a good first step.

Esp. bad for Dell since the 'box is getting passe (1)

Burz (138833) | about 4 years ago | (#33468490)

They're looking so 1990s, and a 20-year old image is never good in the computer business.

Re:Esp. bad for Dell since the 'box is getting pas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33468522)

Leave my Wang out of this

Re:Esp. bad for Dell since the 'box is getting pas (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 4 years ago | (#33468898)

It's never been in anything before, why break a perfect record now? </dick joke>

After the recent scandals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33468502)

people don't see Dell as box-pushers, people see Dell as a company to avoid.

Box-pushers (1)

macraig (621737) | about 4 years ago | (#33468568)

'People see [Dell] as dishonorable disingenuous box-pushers.'

There, fixed that for you. There's a few "caps" I'd like to put in Dell's ass, and they know the ones I mean because they have Dell's name on them already.

As far as I'm concerned... (1)

jpapon (1877296) | about 4 years ago | (#33468570)

Dell can go to hell for all I care

Focus on things that pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33468572)

Start by ditching the cheap PC market and focus on the server side. Maybe they can salvage themselves from their history of crappy failing cheapass desktops. Then again, they've already shipped out cheap chinese servers with built in firmware trojans, so there's probably no hope left for them.

A shame that the best thing dell brings to the table right now is it's computer configuration. Maybe they can sell that off to IBM and HP so we can buy servers online from them without having to struggle through their crap.

Re:Focus on things that pay (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | about 4 years ago | (#33468906)

instead, you'll strugle with HP's crap. those are getting as bad as everybody else's.

IBM won't buy them. IBM wants nothing to do with the same PCs they invented nearly 30 years ago, that's why they sold the PC business to lenovo. found out that their market is with corporations, not consumers. when the largest buyers of printers, PCs and notebooks became end-users (instead of their bosses), they jumped ship. and i don't blame them.

i just got out of linuxcon brasil, and i saw an idea there that could save dell if they pull it right. it came from john maddog hall (funny guy, BTW. loved his talk).

it's one of the ideas he's pushing as part of project cauã. really small, ultra low power computers that can remainin an always on state running linux (of course) attached to the back of TVs or small monitors, with really nice broadband, so you can watch videos, listen to music, play games on the TV, control home automation, VoIP, cell phones (with a buil-in femtocell), and other stuff. also make a tablet that can sync sith the little thing behind the TV, and who knows ?

of course, they'd be competing with apple on that, but if they play it right, make the vertical integration work as well as apples and leverage the low cost of opensource, it might just work.

Re:Focus on things that pay (1)

Zak3056 (69287) | about 4 years ago | (#33469442)

i just got out of linuxcon brasil, and i saw an idea there that could save dell if they pull it right ... . really small, ultra low power computers that can remainin an always on state running linux (of course) attached to the back of TVs or small monitors

I disagree with your conclusion--TV manufacturers are already building similar devices into the TVs themselves, and this is just going to become more and more common. No way the suggestion above would be a win for Dell.

As a Dell Employee... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33468672)

I finally see the company making long term plans, putting the customer first, focusing on improving our product line, image and most importantly our services, which have, for several years now, failed to live up to the standards of yesteryear.

I'm not buying stock yet, but I'm hopeful.

Re:As a Dell Employee... (1)

msoftsucks (604691) | about 4 years ago | (#33470122)

I'm sorry, but I have not seen even a glimmer of this from Dell. Just look at all of the people complaining about the vendor lock-in that their H700 controllers impose. You cannot use any third-party drives, you must use the Dell rebranded drives (that are really the same product just with a label change) at a significant markup. I will not buy any server that does this nonsense, and I would not recommend Dell to any custormer. Vendors that treat their customers like they are stupid deserves to go out of business.

Dell needs to go back to what made them great (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 years ago | (#33468698)

Let's put it this way:

Apple charges a lot more money for its products and they still sell a lot of them. It's not the price that makes Apple successful.

Dell built its business on customer support and service. While it's quality has more often been pretty good, it has remained more or less on par with its competitors. What makes them better is their support and service accessibility.

Sad thing is they started sending all their call centers out of the U.S. and they wonder why they started losing business? "Everyone else is doing it" was the wrong answer in the case of Dell. I remember when the change was announced. Many business customers started leaving Dell immediately before Dell did an about face on it. Still... they did it anyway... just slowly and quietly.

So, "so-so" to good quality, and a pretty decent online database for machines and a not-difficult means of getting device drivers and such.

If Dell wants to rally, they need to bring their support BACK to the U.S. That will be the only way they will be able to differentiate themselves. And if they cost a bit more, I don't think people will mind so much.

Re:Dell needs to go back to what made them great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33469294)

They did it the other way around too -- you know that Gold Support that turned into "Pro Support" when they wanted to rewrite the contracts in a more Dell-favorable way a few years back?

The wording changed from "US and Industry Certified" techs to "US techs" -- they now own a call center in Florida through a shell company, where they outsource to... themselves. So instead of the already abysmal $13 an hour the GTS techs were getting (for being a premium, certified tech team with strict metrics, $13 is chump change) they're now paying about $8, and the techs are less "I know what 3 beeps and a boop mean" and more "let me see what my script says to have you do..."

Posting as AC as I am an ex-Dell employee (Twin Falls GTS, screwed over 11/12/2009), and I have had Dell managers/trainers reply here on /.. Last thing I need is the big navy blue legal squad to come after me. Again.

Re:Dell needs to go back to what made them great (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#33469526)

I, for one, am not willing to pay extra for support in the US over India. The only time I ever need to call tech support is if it breaks and its still under warranty. I don't call tech support to ask technical questions, because they can't answer them, whether they're in the US or India. I'd rather get a cheaper box than pay for tech support in the US.

Re:Dell needs to go back to what made them great (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 years ago | (#33469814)

The vast majority of people are still not technical. They learn new tricks here and there. They learn the meaning of a few buzz words. But when it comes to support, they simply need it and will pay to not have to deal with someone in a foreign nation with a difficult accent. (Hey India... wanna take over? Stop speaking Hindi!!) And seriously, people will pay a lot of money in order to not have to learn something new. This is why the geek squad is so popular with so many.

Re:Dell needs to go back to what made them great (2, Interesting)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 4 years ago | (#33470008)

I'd consider dell again, even pay a $100 more per machine if I could get a U.S. support person (guaranteed)... I was searching for a new laptop earlier this year, and wanted a premium laptop... I was fairly happy with my netbook's form factor, but wanted something a bit faster, that could handle 4-8GB of ram, and fast enough to run a couple of VMs... I liiked at the Alienware M11, and even had one ordered, but decided to cancel as I felt the Dell Adamo (I know Dell == Alienware now) was a better fit for my needs. The pain of canceling the M11 took 4 phone calls total (the first two calls were right before end of day, so I was mysteriously dropped from queue to call back, and have the outside of normal hours recording going on), the third I got someone who said they cancelled it, but only cancelled the accessories, the fourth call finally got the laptop itself cancelled. I wound up getting a Macbook instead... I wanted a decent laptop in a smaller form factor, and won't buy Sony or HP, so my options are/were limited.

Every few months, I consider getting a spare laptop from Dell, keep getting the email notices... Every time the "chat with a ..." window popping over my browser convinces me not to... I'm not a mac fan by any means, I'm generally pretty platform agnostic... VMWare runs everywhere I need it, and my work is all in VMs, my non-work apps are all cross platform, so I don't care about my host OS, I run what I want... I'd love to have the old Dell back.

They still have a chance... (3, Funny)

ihavenospine (541249) | about 4 years ago | (#33468706)

After losing 3com and 3par to HP, they always can try with 3M.

Re:They still have a chance... (2, Funny)

mkiwi (585287) | about 4 years ago | (#33468914)

Not to be overly pedantic, but 3M is twice as big as Dell in terms of market cap. I have used Scotch tape to hold Dell computers together, so maybe that's a valid investment the other way around...

Not worth it (3, Insightful)

jmoen (169557) | about 4 years ago | (#33468710)

3Par is not worth it, HP is just being bully and want to get rid of the HD partnership so they can push their own storage.
For Dell and their customers this is a relief as they would have burned a lot of their cash reserves, now HP have. 3Par was impressive yesterday tomorrow somebody else will show how storage should be done.

What ever happened to do one thing and do it well? (1)

NevarMore (248971) | about 4 years ago | (#33468746)

They're making billions as box pushers, isn't that good enough?

Re:What ever happened to do one thing and do it we (2, Insightful)

AntEater (16627) | about 4 years ago | (#33468802)

No. Their shareholders demand that Dell produce an ever increasing value to the company - forever and ever. They have to get bigger or the stock value will decline and the CEO's options will not be worth enough.

Re:What ever happened to do one thing and do it we (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33469124)

No. Their shareholders demand that Dell produce an ever increasing value to the company - forever and ever. They have to get bigger or the stock value will decline and the CEO's options will not be worth enough.

Actually many stock options are crafted in such a way that any dividends paid will be treated as notionally received by the CEO and reinvested in stock, so this is not so much of a reason. A better reason is that public companies no longer believe in paying dividends. The rationale nowadays is that you own a stock in the hope that it will go up in price so you can make money by selling it to someone else... who will presumably be buying it in the hope that further down the line they can find someone else to offload it onto. It's the "Greater Fool" theory of investing - nobody buys a stock because they hope to get money from the ownership, they hope to make money by finding a "greater fool" than themselves to buy a fancy stock cert that is functionally just a piece of paper (or electronic equivalent).

There is nothing inherently wrong with a company retaining money for growth rather than distribution, it's just that it has become an idee fixe. CEOs don't want to start paying dividends because dividend-paying stocks are perceived as having limited growth potential. The reluctance to pay dividends leads to ridiculous results, like Apple and Google sitting on huge cash-piles larger than some Fortune 500 companies with no particular plans as to what to do with them. Still, the lack of need to ever raise new finance frees the Board from having to justify investment decisions to banks or investors.

Instead they do stock buy-backs to artificially increase the price of the stock - which only helps those investors who sell out, not those who continue to hold the stock. Or they go on "empire building" expeditions where they blow cash on wild merger & acquisition activity that is more about them becoming CEO of a larger empire than about building value for shareholders.

Look at the 3Par events. The final valuation is ludicrous at 325 EBITDA. Yes, what 3Par do is important to the future of IT. Yes, they will experience growth over the next few years. But this valuation already prices in an ultra-optimistic scenario. How can HP shareholders get a profit from this deal? In finance you take risks to earn rewards. I can certainly see a risk that 3Par will underperform, but how can it reward HP by overperforming? I just don't get it.

Re:What ever happened to do one thing and do it we (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#33469576)

FWIW, this situation is a direct consequence of congress making laws in the early 80s that encouraged tying CEO compensation to stock price. They thought somehow it would fix things if CEOs got paid in stock instead of in cash. Now CEO compensation is so complicated, the laws surrounding it, you need a special consultant whose entire job is to figure out how to pay CEOs.

Many investors are happy to have a company that consistently pays dividends, and grows at roughly the same speed as the economy. In fact, that's a good stock.

Re:What ever happened to do one thing and do it we (1)

getNewNickName (980625) | about 4 years ago | (#33470102)

I always see this line of thought come from slashdoters, "why do companies have to keep growing, why can't they just keep doing what they're doing now?" Companies are not individuals they are long-lived entities that exist beyond the lifespan of any one individual. If I were to make the same analogy and say that the human race has achieved a lot already why bother trying to improve, would you agree with this comment? Even as individuals, shouldn't we always strive to be better?

Re:What ever happened to do one thing and do it we (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 years ago | (#33469058)

They're making billions as box pushers, isn't that good enough?

If they paid dividends, maybe.

Since they don't, they are expected to grow. And grow they have not.

Technically, they've roughly doubled their revenue in the last 10 years, but their net income has been flat or declining.

If you are an investor, you have other choices in the growth game - like competitor Apple with their 10x revenue growth and corresponding net income growth. Or HP with their 3x revenue growth and significant net income growth.

They are being out-grown by their competitors. If they aren't in that game anymore, then they need to issue a dividend and compete for retiree money.

Dell's just not competitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33468764)

There's no need to branch out, if you're good at what you do. Dells are not cheap, Dells are low quality. Except for the rare gem in the display section when there's a sale, there's no reason to buy Dell. THAT is Dell's problem.

Dell should start with smaller potatoes. (1)

itomato (91092) | about 4 years ago | (#33468774)

Sorry SuperMicro, but you could use a bigger umbrella.

So, Dell: Buy SuperMicro

Also, Dell, you need to make some serious inroads in the backend service arena. There are several dozen cloud service and storage business starting up every week. Buy two or three of each. Three billion Dollars should go pretty far in this arena.

Split the software and services from the hardware. While you're at it, buy or invest heavily in implementation and sales engineer forces.

Once all the divisions are established, take some of the leftover funds and run a few Super Bowl ads around Dell Ver. 2.0, where directly offered services come with the requisite backing (whether cloud or otherwise)

Out of curiosity... (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 years ago | (#33468780)

Does "faces significant challenges" mean "Is no longer capable of satisfying the bloated expectations of parasitic wall-streeters because it basically just produces an unsexy commodity in quantity, like steel or potatoes" or does it mean "is seriously fucked because corporations will only buy if they can get a "total enterprise solution" from one company, by cutting a single PO?

The former seems like a largely perceptual problem. Earth to investors, not every industry segment can double its profit every quarter forever, and if it can, it is probably a scam. Civilizations are built on largely low-margin commodities. Cement, steel, sulfuric acid, corn, potatoes, x86s. Go find a Ponzi scheme if you can't deal with that.

The latter, though, seems like a real issue for Dell, one that could seriously impact their mid to long-term viability.

Re:Out of curiosity... (0, Offtopic)

RapmasterT (787426) | about 4 years ago | (#33469110)

could you please tell me where I can buy acid at lowest margins? I..uh...need about 10,000 sheets.

Wall street has no problem with low margin ... (2, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | about 4 years ago | (#33469480)

Is no longer capable of satisfying the bloated expectations of parasitic wall-streeters because it basically just produces an unsexy commodity in quantity, like steel or potatoes.

Wall street has no problem with low margin commodity type companies. They just expect them to describe themselves as one and to act like one, not to pretend that they are still a growth company when all that differentiated them has come to pass.

Re:Wall street has no problem with low margin ... (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 4 years ago | (#33469762)

I would even put a finer point on this.

It's not that Dell is doing worse in it's core market - it is that everybody is catching up.

      Wal-Mart is a low margin growth company. Wall Street is o.k. with that.
      BHP is about as unsexy a commodity company one can get. [It does iron ore - not even still as Fuzy metioned.]. And Wal-Street loves them.

The issue is not Dell does unsexy commodity boxes very well. Heck - let even say they are number 1.
.
The issue is that HP el. al. is catching up fast with Dell. It is no longer the lone whale. It now has to figh other whales. This type of competition tends to be brutal to profits.

Dell tried to esscape into a space with less competion and fatter margins - and they failed.

Where? Fuck everything! (5, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | about 4 years ago | (#33468818)

We are going 5PAR.

The Problem with Dell (1)

DollyTheSheep (576243) | about 4 years ago | (#33468848)

The problem with Dell is, that they were never big into R&D. Dells business consisted always of providing quality PCs with reasonable prices through direct (online) distribution. Not much invention here. It doesn't surprise me, that they lack the vision to invent something (r)evolutionary to differentiate them from competitors. IBM (Lenovo), HP, Apple, Asus, they all tried to diversify lately.

Re:The Problem with Dell (2, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 4 years ago | (#33469154)

HP actually made their own CPUs PA-RISC which they made up till 2008. They worked with Intel on the Itantium and seem to be the only people that can make money selling them.
IBM well IBM is IBM. They have have made more different CPUs than you can shake a stick at.
Dell takes parts and puts them in a box. Kind of like a mom and pop computer store.
Dell doesn't make crap and we have one of there server boxes in our rack. It works very well but we could have gone to newegg and put together something just as impressive.

I Like Dell (3, Funny)

Ngarrang (1023425) | about 4 years ago | (#33468930)

I buy Dell computers from the refurb market. They are cheap and plentiful. I love 'em! I have nearly 150 small form-factor systems and laptops. Because of the indecently low cost I get them, I keep spares on the shelf. I don't fix them, I just swap the HD to another box. The parts are easy to swap in and out and I have experienced a high level of up-time with all of my systems. GX150 were the first systems, then up to GX260/270/280. Now that those systems are leaving the refurb market, moving up to the GX520/620. There is nothing wrong with being a box-pusher. Someone has to make the boxes and that I will eventually buy off refurb.

Re:I Like Dell (1)

BLToday (1777712) | about 4 years ago | (#33469440)

You're right, I always dealt with Dell as a box-pusher. They were great when just pushing the box because at one point you couldn't build a cheaper computer than getting a Dell. I could buy a decent Dell server and 6 months later add a few extra hard drives. Then they got greedy and tried to push the box, the software, and any additional hardware. Now, I buy a Dell server and have to buy Dell certified hard drives, lame.

Nobody ever got fired for buying an IBM (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 4 years ago | (#33469006)

But for buying Dell? You'd might as well start cleaning out your desk before you hit the order button.

Where's the niche? (1)

deanston (1252868) | about 4 years ago | (#33469026)

There is nothing Dell can do, that another company cannot do better, whether it's top end cloud infrastructure, sophisticated software and servcies, top end personal hardware, or low end hardware. Dell no longer has a selling point, and it'll keep going downhell until it finds one.

Push further into niche hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33469082)

I think Dell is more likely to continue its niche market expansion, looking at acquiring small players like Network Engines (ticker symbol: NENG), who already rebrand Dell gear (in essence, they buy into niche markets that get established for them by the smaller players). It's the area that Dell traditionally does best in.

R&D the D does not stand for Dell (1)

RichMan (8097) | about 4 years ago | (#33469162)

To create new products and innovate in markets you need Research and Development. You can't be a me-to follow on that wins with low manufacturing costs. R&D requires a different mindset and a whole new way of planning. It means risk taking but balancing the risk carefully with planing and strategy to correctly evaluate and drop things that are not going to work as well as properly spend on the high quality part where it is needed.

To Disneyland? (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | about 4 years ago | (#33469228)

I believe they go into a room and high five each other, cause they just conned HP into paying an absurd amount of money for something they didn't really need.

Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33469258)

Switch or Die, Dell. 5 computers isn't going to cut it.

3PAR wasn't the only option out there (1)

homesnatch (1089609) | about 4 years ago | (#33469278)

Dell could go after Compellent... very similar to 3PAR. CML stock has almost doubled since the start of the 3PAR acquisition. Compellent has a very similar feature-set to 3PAR arrays and Dell could pick them up for about 750M.

Slow train full of pain arrives after years. (2, Interesting)

salesgeek (263995) | about 4 years ago | (#33469284)

Dell always was a low cost knock-off product. They were never innovators, and never developed a real R&D function in their company. They basically sold the same thing as the other guy, except for less money. The difference is that HP, IBM, and for a while, Compaq would create products that Dell did no have at all (there was a time where you could get servers from IBM, Compaq and HP, but not from Dell). Dell would wait until the component manufacturers would have the commodity parts (depending on market size that would be weeks, months or a year or so) , and then would bring a less expensive machine to market. For desktops, since Intel provided chipsets and reference boards, there was no lag, and often Dell was quicker than others to put the latest CPU in a desktop. HP, IBM and Compaq had to finance building machines in advance and shipping them to resellers. Dell would take orders this week, and make and ship the PCs next week. This practice worked in Dell's favor as components would drop in price, allowing them to lower prices faster than their "channel bound" competitors.

Ironically, the last of the big 80s and 90s PC makers is Apple, who has continued to invest in R&D, still has a big channel (even though they have retail stores) and is using their ability to create new products (iStuff) and/or superior products (Mac) to extract very healthy profit margins from a recession market. Dell wants some profit, but is stuck being the low cost leader and doesn't have the internal resources to fix the problem, and their friends in Redmond aren't exactly producing the electrifying new software that makes people want a new PC.

CSCO + DELL + NTAP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33469314)

Dell will get bought by Cisco. And the new Cisco will buy NetApp.

Better Option if to be the high-margin box-pusher (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33469430)

Dell should buy up all of of their Alienware's subsidiary's competition....Falcon NorthWest, Digital Storm, Velocity Micro, Origin PC, the whole lot. That way, they can corner the market on 6-12K gaming machines that those with far too much money on their hands who are far too lazy to build it themselves..

Look at the other two comparable companies: (1)

grumpyman (849537) | about 4 years ago | (#33469606)

Compellent (CML) and Isilon (ISLN) that has storage virtualization technology?

Give the cash to Equallogic (1)

markdowling (448297) | about 4 years ago | (#33469664)

How about taking the $1,500,000,000 they were going to give 3Par shareholders (to get 3Par and 350m cash) and give it to Equallogic engineers instead to design a 3Par competitor. Maybe tout for a few Google hardware people and wait out their non-compete but keep Equallogic in its current arms-length form to prevent Dellification of the final product. Why not boost R&D in the US rather than giving venture capitalists a pay day.

It's one thing when you don't have the cash or engineers to roll your own. Dell does.

*Disclaimer - the shop I work for has an Equallogic since Dell's buyouts. They are very proactive with notifications of new firmware etc. We are happy.

Re:Give the cash to Equallogic (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | about 4 years ago | (#33469946)

This is not a bad idea, but Equallogic doesn't really have product offerings at the level. They might be able to, eventually, but it would take time to do and more time to build the reputation/

That said, commoditization of storage may make 3PAR et al irrelevant. It's getting progressively more difficult to justify the cost of first-tier stuff when Equallogic et al give you almost as much performance and reliability for a hell of a lot less money. You have to really need the features the more advanced arrays offer to ignore the price:performance/storage ratio that the next tier down offers.

That's why HP bought Lefthand: because their MSA arrays were being shown up rather badly.

And yes, Equallogic's gear really is very good.

Is this whole article and discussion by HP? (1)

Bryansix (761547) | about 4 years ago | (#33469700)

Oh man, I smell me some paid shrills. Dell has issues but lets look at HP for a second. HP just forced out their CEO. Not good. Then HP killed all server sales they were getting through Cisco. Cisco now exclusively sells IBM servers. They used to sell HP. Cisco is out for blood too with HP. They want them out of business. HP wants Cisco out of business. THAT is not going to happen. Cisco has the enterprise on lockdown. Then HP turns down business left and right. If they find out you sell Cisco or Dell they won't even partner with you.

Basically HP just locked themselves in the bridge of the Titanic and told the orchestra to keep playing as the ship sinks.

Not to mention Fiorina (1)

markdowling (448297) | about 4 years ago | (#33469782)

HP built the platform to put that idiot in the United States Senate, as if that body didn't have enough problems.

Re:Not to mention Fiorina (1)

Bryansix (761547) | about 4 years ago | (#33469840)

First off Fiorina is not in the senate yet and second off the person she is looking to replace is a million times worse.

the problem with them... (1)

xenapan (1012909) | about 4 years ago | (#33469738)

at least in my eyes is quality. i tell people to stay away from dell because all the hardware ive ever bought from them has broken down within 1-4 years.

Not only Dell ... (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 4 years ago | (#33469800)

One analyst says, 'People see [Dell] as box-pushers'.

Those of us who have been engineers for a while are disheartened to see Hewlett-Packard in the same light.. Dell has always been Dell, but HP was once truly a company worthy of respect.

Brocade (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | about 4 years ago | (#33469868)

It would give them a damn fine direct sales force and a way to sell Dell servers into the enterprise --http://www.brocade.com. No, I don't work for them. Frankly, I doubt if they can afford them ($2.5B plus 80%), but, in reality, they can't afford not to have them either.

Dell moves on to the 6PAR course (0, Troll)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 years ago | (#33470004)

And gets a Hole in one

Meanwhile, HP is trying it's 23rd swing at the 3par course, due to trying to charge such exorbitant equipment prices to businesses who are trying to save $$$.

Sorry, HP, you lose.

Dude, You got a Dell?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33470070)

I owned an Inspiron 5150 once......

Within 3 years of ownership I had to replace the following while still under warranty:

- Motherboard: 4 times
- Heat sink: at least 4 times

After the third motherboard replacement I asked them to just send me a new computer and they said, "I'm sorry Dave, but I can't do that."

I bought a Lenovo T61 2.5 years ago and it was the best laptop purchase I ever made.
 

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