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HP Regains Throne as Top PC Maker

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the get-your-red-hot-desktop dept.

134

Nick writes "HP is once again the leading PC manufacturer." From the article: "HP has snatched the PC crown from Dell's barely coherent clutches. It has taken HP close to three years to once again lead the market in worldwide PC sales. Under CEO Carly Fiorina and post Compaq, the company largely gave up on the tit-for-tat struggle with Dell for the PC top spot that had been so important to it over the years. Now it has reclaimed the #1 slot during the third quarter on the back of Dell's self-destruction. Overall, worldwide PC shipments hit 59.1m units in the third quarter - a 7 per cent rise from the same period last year, according to new data from Gartner. The US PC market, however, dipped 2 per cent, marking its first fall since mid-2002. Dell is particularly exposed to the US PC market, and it showed." Update: 10/20 16:37 GMT by Z : Switched link to a more current story.

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Funny how all reporters are now falling in line... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16516895)

Now that everyone knows that HP-hired goons will go through your garbage, sit outside your house, and take pictures of you & your family...it seems everybody thinks HP is great!
I look forward to Sony, Microsoft, and SCO trying this next...

Re:Funny how all reporters are now falling in line (3, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517037)

Now that everyone knows that HP-hired goons will go through your garbage, sit outside your house, and take pictures of you & your family...it seems everybody thinks HP is great!
I look forward to Sony, Microsoft, and SCO trying this next...

Yep. Zonk's so afraid, he's posting positive news articles about HP from nearly 4 years ago and passing them off as "news for nerds"!

Re:Funny how all reporters are now falling in line (1, Interesting)

skrew (111096) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517089)

I think Zonk had a Kent Brockman moment, he saw HP taking market share and took it from there, posting the article was basically his way of saying "I for one welcome our new, top-selling PC-making overlords."

Re:Funny how all reporters are now falling in line (3, Informative)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517283)

Content is correct, just misprint in date ... here's the scoop from The Register [channelregister.co.uk]

Re:Funny how all reporters are now falling in line (4, Informative)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517619)

misprint in date

FTA: Hewlett-Packard regained its position as the world's largest PC maker in the fourth quarter, while the industry overall saw shipments increase in the quarter and in 2002 as a whole.

This isn't to say that HP hasn't regained the top spot, but this article actually is out of date. There is no typo. It's the wrong article.

Re:Funny how all reporters are now falling in line (1)

mikael (484) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517291)

Perhaps Slashdot should have a section just like the column in Scientific American where old research announcements from the 1800's are reprinted.

4 year old article (4, Insightful)

e1618978 (598967) | more than 7 years ago | (#16516937)

Published: January 16, 2003, 4:49 PM PST Zonk is one of those "special" article submitters, I take it?

Re:4 year old article (1)

SultanCemil (722533) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517043)

This is definitely getting ridiculous. The first line of the article talks about 2002 sales! Do the editors not even READ the articles?

Re:4 year old article (4, Funny)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518001)

You must be new here.

Although, to be fair, the rest of us don't read the articles either, so it doesn't usually matter.

Re:4 year old article (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16517047)

It's absurd. Zonk may have some valuable skills, but being an editor is definately not one of them. Who's the idiot that gives a paycheck to someone so incompetent?

Re:4 year old article (5, Informative)

Denney (947351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517119)

Re:4 year old article (1)

denebian devil (944045) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517175)

Good catch.

Also, for pretty graphs, see ArsTechnica [arstechnica.com] .

Personally I don't care which of those two are on top. I'd much rather go with a Lenovo or Toshiba than an HP or Dell, any day of the week. Just because they're on top in terms of sales does not mean they're on top in terms of quality.

Re:4 year old article (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517557)

I've always been a thinkpad guy but then I got my nw9440. I won't go into all the details but it's basically a mbp with some security hardware in place of the camera and lighted keyboard, and it's black. And it so far has given me basically no grief except that google desktop would crash the security manager. (I need to try that again, see if google's fixed it, or HP has.) Also, as long as you stay away from the low-end machines, HP has always been pretty nice. Ignore Vectras and Brios and such, everyone makes low-end machines, and check out Kayaks. Also since they hooked up with Compaq, both lines have improved. (This is a compaq.)

Re:4 year old article (2)

unjedai (966274) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517167)

In other news, the movie "The Return of the King" is released, thus completing the Lord of the Rings trilogy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lord_of_the_Rings :_The_Return_of_the_King [wikipedia.org]

Gamble here! (3, Funny)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517271)

I'll put ten bucks on ROTK winning best picture

Re:Gamble here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16519459)

Haha, yeah right. Next thing you'll tell me is that Apple will use Intel processors, and a release date will be announced for Duke Nukem Forever

Congratulations Carly Fiorina (4, Funny)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517347)

With success like this, I think she can look forward to a long and exciting career!

Re:4 year old article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16517363)

momma always said "special is special posts"

About time (4, Interesting)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16516949)

It's good to see HP getting results from the vast improvement in PC quality, pricing, and service. My company used to solely buy Dell's, but lately have become frustrated by the 'here today gone tomorrow' pricing. It's annoying for a small business purchasing manager to go into Dell's Home PC section and find the same PC as the Small Business section for $100 less one day, and $100 more the next. Come on Dell, stop playing games with us.

Article is from 2003 (0, Redundant)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517077)

I woudln't derive actual meaning from it ...

Re:Article is from 2003 (1)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517139)

I think the article just has the wrong date ... here's a similar article today from The Register [theage.com.au]

Re:Article is from 2003 (2, Insightful)

denebian devil (944045) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517245)

I think the article just has the wrong date

Not exactly. It's just that this battle between HP and Dell keeps going around in circles. 6 months from now Dell will be back on top, a year from now HP, etc. etc. etc., ad nauseam.

Re:Article is from 2003 (1)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517345)

Oops, link doesn't seem to parse right in /. ... here's the correct one [channelregister.co.uk]

Re:Article is from 2003 (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517535)

The article date is probably correct. The article references numbers from 2001 and 2002.

This is a 2003 Article! (1, Redundant)

DelawareBoy (757170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16516957)

What gives?

Re:This is a 2003 Article! (0, Redundant)

Primis (71749) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517149)

For God's sake, someone mod this parent comment up.

The article linked to is a 2003 article quoting 2002 sales figures. It's beyond irrelevant....

Re:This is a 2003 Article! (1)

denebian devil (944045) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517277)

For God's sake, someone mod this parent comment up.

Why? He didn't say it first. He didn't even say it best.

Not for long (1)

PowerEdge (648673) | more than 7 years ago | (#16516967)

I have it on good authority it won't last long. With the introduction of AMD based products and new factories being built in North Carolina, new Europe, India, and China, Dell will take the lead back in the next couple of quarters.

new Europe (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517231)

...built in North Carolina, new Europe...

Is that the 'new Europe' Grand Moff Rumsfeld set up to compete with 'old Europe' in the hope the former will eventually replace the latter?

Re:new Europe (1)

PowerEdge (648673) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518573)

I was talking about the emerging and developing Eastern European nations, such as Poland, Czech Republic, etc. Some of which are new nations being admitted to NATO and the EU and are sometimes referred to as new Europe. BTW, Rumsfeld popularized it but it was certainly in the lexicon long before he did. Just like the Americas were referred to as the "New World" at one point in time. Not so much now. Fact of the matter is, the economies and countries that used to be held back by the Iron Curtain are emerging and Dell is investing heavily to serve those markets. Including putting a support center in Halle, Germany and a factory in Poland.

Customer service still sucks. (2, Insightful)

MoronBob (574671) | more than 7 years ago | (#16519773)

If they don't do something about customer service at Dell then my money would be on HP to stay in the lead.
I have five newer Dell systems at home and at this time I wouldn't buy a keyboard from them due to my recent
experience with Dell customer service. I spent five grand to get insulted by a condescending customer service staff.
No thank you I will pay more for better service.

haroghey FOOOOOOOOOO (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16516977)

your mom is effin stoopid
your dad is effin gay

How is this like the Compaq thing? (4, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#16516981)

This is reminiscent of the first time HP emerged as the leader, through its merger with Compaq.
How so? The merger combined the sales of two major companies. This time, HP is smacking Dell around like a little bitch with organic growth.

Re:How is this like the Compaq thing? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16518463)

The article only says "worldwide" growth, if you read between the lines. Dell is still #1 in the US. Dell has admitted to being behind "world wide", which is actually one of the few good things to its credit. You don't greatly increase your world wide sales in India, for example, without a fair amount of job exports to go with it. That's changing of course, but Dell is admittedly behind, and it's employees (below director level), are generally happy about it. Contrary to popular belief, a substantial amount of engineering for Dell is done in the US, not in Taiwan. Employees have constructed an effective wall to foreign design centers and have actually left the company any time mgmt has tried to tear it down (thanks to HP for showing employees what to be afraid of).

Obviously in a year with slow US growth, Dell is going to underperform. The question we should be asking, is why is US growth so low, and how can we fix it. Perhaps because US citizens are still not sure about their job stability and future in the face of a complete absence of morality on wall street.

Re:How is this like the Compaq thing? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16519663)

Obviously in a year with slow US growth, Dell is going to underperform. The question we should be asking, is why is US growth so low, and how can we fix it. Perhaps because US citizens are still not sure about their job stability and future in the face of a complete absence of morality on wall street.

How about market saturation? A place like India has a lot of people getting their first computer. In the US, the market is mostly people getting yet another computer.

Re:How is this like the Compaq thing? (2, Funny)

asuffield (111848) | more than 7 years ago | (#16519657)

This time, HP is smacking Dell around like a little bitch with organic growth.


I think it's more likely that customers are deserting Dell (because their hardware is no unreliable that it causes small children to have nightmares and sysadmins to have psychotic, nightmare-inducing rampages) and HP just happened to be the next one down the list, so any reduction in Dell's sales will cause HP to become #1.

Re:How is this like the Compaq thing? (2, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 7 years ago | (#16519825)

HP is also going up in quality too since Carly left. In 2003 I would not touch a Compaq or HP, but now the RMA's are the lowest for compaq pressario laptops and HP Pavilians at the local bestbuy store. Its a big change.

Also people who are neopyhtes buy HP products because of the commericals they see on TV. THey just want a pc to do work and showing what the pc can do and including great software for graphics makes their life easier. ITs not like they can go just buy a Dell. They would need to know the number and website. For a neophyte driving to the closest circuit city or best buy is where you go to get a new system.

Putting it into context (2, Interesting)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 7 years ago | (#16516991)

I've no great love or hate for either Dell or HP but it should be remembered that HP poached away Randy Mott, a top Dell sales exec, a year or two ago.

This is just the results of dirty back-handed wheeling-and-dealing committed by all corporations and is probably nothing to be particularly proud of.

Re:Putting it into context (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16517307)

This is just the results of dirty back-handed wheeling-and-dealing committed by all corporations and is probably nothing to be particularly proud of.

Kind of, it's just Dell's turn to think they are IBM, and folk buy their machines because of the brand name, or their legendary support. "If we increase our margins, and outsource all our support to India, customers will keep buying our stuff, right?" Wrong.

Re:Putting it into context (2, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518627)

They are actually outsourcing engineering to India, I believe in an effort to chase HP. Some races should be lost.

Re:Putting it into context (1)

x-vere (956928) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517715)

HP: Hey Randy, we'll pay you 25% more and give you a company sports car and corner office if you leave Dell and work for us.
Randy: Hmmm... I don't know. I'm such a loyal Dell employee.
HP: Fine, we'll give you a hot secretary and blinds for your office.
Randy: I'm in!

Yes, horrible wheeling and dealing. How about offer a good employee what he is worth to you and see if he bites.

Re:Putting it into context (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16518079)

Hmmm. So, hiring top talent in your field is dirty and backhanded? Those Google guys must be some real scumbags- hiring up all the best engineers and actually taking care of their employees. Man that burns me up!

Re:Putting it into context (2, Interesting)

PowerEdge (648673) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518255)

This is wrong. Randy Mott was the CIO (Chief Information Officer) not a Sales Exec. Further, Dell poached him from Wal-Mart which probably has one of the most impressive IT systems in the world.

should I switch? (5, Funny)

MollyB (162595) | more than 7 years ago | (#16516997)

Am using a Dell 233Mz w/ 64Mb RAM, 4 Gb SCSI disk running NT 4.0, service pack 6a. Has HP got anything that can beat that? I hate to get stuck on the upgrade treadmill, as you might notice...

Firefox, Notepad, & Popcorn are all I mostly use, anyhow.

Re:should I switch? (0, Flamebait)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517519)

Has HP got anything that can beat that?

No. What they do have is cheap and I'm not talking price.

Re:should I switch? (2, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517525)

I hate to get stuck on the upgrade treadmill, as you might notice...

Upgrade only if you have a compelling reason. If it works fine on your dial up connection for reading Slashdot, then there is no reason to upgrade. However if you want to play trackmania while talking on Skype on a broadband connection, then you might want to look into an upgrade.

De Ja Vue? (2, Funny)

matr0x_x (919985) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517035)

Or is history actually repeating itself...

Re:De Ja Vue? (4, Funny)

hotdiggitydawg (881316) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517783)

Heh - wait until the inevitable dupe then!

So what? (3, Insightful)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517079)

HP doesn't make significant profit selling PCs.

It hardly sets any technology standards - those are all set by the rest of the industry.

If Dell is #1 next month, so what?

The vendor making all the money in the PC business is still...

that same company from Washington state.

Re:So what? (3, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517165)

Really? Apple profits are up 27% on a 30% increase in Mac sales. And they're not in Washington.

Re:So what? (3, Informative)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517881)

Actually the parent is right. The PC market has become commoditized to the point where PC manufacturers are making very little profit per unit. Apple is kind of an exception. While they are a PC manufacturer in the sense that Macs are "Personal Computers", but they are a niche market, high end hardware with an alternate OS. Becaue they are a niche, they can charge a premium for their product. They are the only game in town if you want OS X. Apple is more of a home computer company, not too many server sales or large quantity sales to corporations with the exception of graphic design studios and the like.

Re:So what? (1)

rahrens (939941) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518157)

You may want to rethink that "niche" comment - their market share just blasted past the 5% mark straight up to 6.1%. Not bad for a niche company, huh? ...maybe the niche will just grow until it displaces a larger share of the rest of the market?

Re:So what? (1)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518587)

You make an excellent point, and I tip my hat to Apple for digging away at the market share, but sadly, they are still not competing on a commodity level. This is something that is very hard to do without the large volume sales to corporate customers and the server market. Furthermore, it is impossible to do with their pricing model. Dell is responsible for bringing the PC market to commodity status because they streamlined their operations and supply chain so well, that they could sell their product so cheap. Their competitors had to respond by dropping their prices too, and to still make any profit, streamline their operations as well. Dell is used all the time as a case study in Cost Accounting and Operations Management classes for this. The competition and price war got so tight that almost all of the profits have been squeezed out. Apple does not seem to be participating in this at all because they have a product that can differentiate itself so uniquely from Dell and HP.

Re:So what? (1)

rahrens (939941) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518901)

Apple has decided not to aggressively go after the Enterprise market, at least for now. That's obvious. That market would require Apple to alter some basic marketing strategies that Steve brought to Apple after his return, and he's not ready to do that. I think that, eventually, they will, or they wouldn't stay in that market with the XServe. But that's for the future.

But it looks to me as if Steve finally saw the light, and has built a strategy to very aggressively go after the home consumer market. After all, if you win there, and also in the education market, there will be more than enough name recognition to allow an aggressive move Enterprise-wise in a few years.

I think Apple finally has a good long term plan, and it looks as if it is finally bearing fruit. But in the past, Apple has not shown a lot of willingness to play in the price wars. Their position of loosing money as recently as the late 90's is still, I think, keeping them cautious. But their margins are so high (29% on this last report) that they have a lot of room to play if they really want to.

Price-wise, Apple is doing much better, they really only have to do better at the mid ranges. They have more than once expressed no interest in playing in the low end el cheapo market, and I don't blame them. I think as they begin to grab more market share they will let some better, lower priced Macs emerge at the mid levels, and then you'll really see their share zoom upwards...

But as to a unique product, of course, it is differentiated markedly from the rest - they sell a vertical product. The others sell PCs with an OS slapped on from another manufacturer. Two different products sold by two different manufacturers. Apple sells the whole banana, from the hardware to the OS, to the bundled software. It really is a better commodity than the others, and one could almost call it a whole separate market on its own. Apple sells not just a PC, it sells an experience, and Steve expounds on that every chance he gets.

Re:So what? (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517581)

The vendor making all the money in the PC business is still...

The ink industry has been good to them. It's a PC product isn't it? They also make some printers, but the real money is in the ink.

no seriously (1)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517105)

The article "Published: January 16, 2003, 4:49 PM PST" is talking about figures from 2002, and how the industry has recoverd since then. Not new news.

3.75 year old dupe? (4, Funny)

scoser (780371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517107)

Wow...Zonk, which drugs are you taking, and where did you get them?

Horse poo (HP dv8000 keyboard, touchpad) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16517143)

I just bought a dv8000. I was busy with other things in my life, and didn't realize until it was too late to return it to the HP store (21 days!) that it is horse poo.

The keyboard and the touchpad occasionally go haywire, and it's not just me:
http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?p=1 608306 [notebookreview.com]

Wish I'd seen that before I ordered (or very soon after).

I bought it because I need a portable, fast machine with a big display.

So if HP is indeed pulling ahead, it won't be for long.

Zonk Creates Time Machine (2)

fruey (563914) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517145)

Posts have been submitted from the past directly to today's Slashdot homepage.

As part of an experiment, Zonk set a number of stories in January 2003 while the idea of giving subscribers access to stories before the unwashed masses. Indeed, this story was seen by beta subscribers in 2003 and has suddenly re-appeared after a quantum mishap involving Cowboy Neal zapped a few posts from the database.

Today, they're showing back up as a new singularity in Cowboy Neal's SQL-Optimising-Time-Compressor caused bits originally lost in 2003 to show up in their original state three and a half years later.

Re:Zonk Creates Time Machine (2, Funny)

aztec rain god (827341) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517337)

So... now that Dean has the nomination pretty much wrapped up, what do you guys think his chances are against Bush?

Re:Zonk Creates Time Machine (4, Funny)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517421)

You guys laugh now, but I'll bet you'll be interested when they start posting articles from the future.

Re:Zonk Creates Time Machine (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517513)

You guys laugh now, but I'll bet you'll be interested when they start posting articles from the future.


Well, in that case, any time Slashdot mentions a tech company, I vote that the article include the company's stock price at the time of the article posting...

(man, I'm gonna be rich!)

Uh, was that my outside voice?

Shoddy product and customer service will do that (4, Interesting)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517169)

Four years ago, I purchased a Dell laptop for my son when he went off to college. It lasted all of a year before the hard drive died. After quite a bit of trouble with customer service reading scripts in Indiglish we finally got an RMA. The machine worked for about two weeks after it was returned and then developed some unrelated problem. Rather than waste another 4 hours on un-intelligible tech support, I bought my son another computer from a different manufacturer. It's worked flawlessly for the past 3 years.

Judging from what I read on the net while I was researching my son's second problem, I don't think my experience with poor quality product and poor quality tech support from Dell is unique.

There's a limit to cost cutting - go too far and you destroy the reason people initially bought from you. In my case, it'll be a long time before I ever buy another Dell. In the past 4 years, that's 3 computers Dell hasn't sold me.

Re:Shoddy product and customer service will do tha (3, Funny)

A.Chwunbee (838021) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517365)

After quite a bit of trouble with customer service reading scripts in Indiglish
Sahib, let me tell you that I am wery much ressembling that remark.

Re:Shoddy product and customer service will do tha (1)

Renegade88 (874837) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518005)

Sahib, let me tell you that I am wery much ressembling that remark
-- A.Chwunbee
Marked down to -1? When a guy with an Indian surname says this, it's funny as it was intended to be.

HP Quality (1)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517451)

All their recent espionage aside, I have bought 2 HP computers over the years (desktop about 5 years ago, laptop last year). I am very pleased with the quality, but 2 does not make a very good sample. Does anyone have opinions on the quality of the machines themselves?

Re:HP Quality (2, Insightful)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518135)

I've installed about a dozen HP desktop PCs in the past 3 years, and probably 30 Dells, as well as 20 HP servers. Problems have been few with both manufacturers. I don't really put much faith in brand x = quality value y. It's all made in China. Both have been pretty good about ease of getting inside the box and getting to slots, drives, etc. That used to drive me crazy about OEM machines. Compaq was the absolute worst.

I'd say HP machines have given me less problems, but not a lot less. Support is abysmal for both companies, but I've become adept at webchatting my way to success without becoming angry or insulting. Either of those will ruin my day and decrease my chance of support giving me what I need.

I like HP as a company, just because it was started by engineers and I loved my hp11c in high school. I'm not very loyal, though. I'll buy whatever the company I'm doing work for buys without complaint. For personal use or friends, I buy on price.

Re:HP Quality (1)

TClevenger (252206) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518857)

Seconded. I've worked in exclusively Dell and exclusively HP shops before, and each has had their ups and downs. Dells had problems with motherboard capacitors in their GX270s and GX280s, and a rash of motherboard failures in their Precision 370s. HP had great machines in the Vectra VL6 and VL7, but had random sound chip failures in their VLi8s (although I just retired my wife's VLi8, with no problems in 6+ years.) For business desktops, I've recently been buying the HP dc5100 desktops, and they've been working out very well.

Re:Shoddy product and customer service will do tha (2, Interesting)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517501)

I'm about in the same place with Apple. My wife's old iBook G3-600 was in the shop four times under warranty, and she's had to replace the power adapter three times, with the current adapter being a third-party model that is *much* sturdier (and way cheaper) than the crap Apple shipped with the iBook. Against my better judgement, I bought her a new 2GHz MacBook (she much prefers OS X to Windows), and I've yet to get that machine to a usable state. Random shutdowns that resetting the PRAM/PMU won't fix, and the machine won't stay connected to the wireless network for more than 10 minutes at a time when it *is* able to stay powered up. And for those that will ask, yes, it's set to a preferred network and the software is up-to-date, which wasn't easy to do with the constant shutdowns. Which reminds me - I need to call Apple *again* tonight.

It's a shame, as I have a number of older Apples, none of which have given me the first bit of trouble. I just don't forsee another Apple laptop anytime in my future, though.

Re:Shoddy product and customer service will do tha (4, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517693)

Just for the record, never buy a first generation apple. I will wait till they do a complete line update on the macbooks before buying one. Every new design has bugs. Even from Apple. But the story is always revision a models tend to need more TLC(with /without a hammer) than later versions.

My 12" powerbook G4 acted up once. I finially figured out that several of the fonts had gotten corrupted on the HD, ncreasing their size by an order of magnitude.(yea 3 gigs of fonts when it's supposed to be less than 200 megs) and it was doing random things to the OS. I was upgrading to 10.4 at the time so I wasn't too upset. But I also waited until the second or third revision came through of the hardware.

Personally I would deal with it for a couple more months and upgrade to the "new" macbooks when they come out in a few more months. Then sell the old one on ebay for as much as you can.

there is a sucker out there who wll pay you good money and at least underwrite part of the replacement costs.

Re:Shoddy product and customer service will do tha (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518227)

Personally I would deal with it for a couple more months and upgrade to the "new" macbooks when they come out in a few more months.

I refuse to reward Apple with yet another sale after dealing with their shoddy engineering twice now. If I do end up replacing the MacBook, it most assuredly will not be with another Apple.

Phone Quest time! (2, Funny)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517597)

"Rather than waste another 4 hours on un-intelligible tech support, I bought my son another computer from a different manufacturer. It's worked flawlessly for the past 3 years""

1)Customer looks for tech support number in product manual and literature. No luck.

2)Customer looks for tech support number on web site. No luck.

3)Customer finds the support number by looking in the company's domain registration record.

4)Customer calls number. After being re-routed and bounced and made to call other numbers, customer finally reaches tech support.

5) Customer waits 37 minutes to talk to someone.

6) Customer gets a filtering person, who creates a service record after giving the customer the third degree (When the process is repeated, the filtering person always has to re-create the service record because the previous one forgot to save it)

7) Tech support person asks what the problem is. Customer describes. Support person asks customer to be put on hold. The company disconnects customer after 10 minutes of waiting.

8) Repeat #5,#6,#7 several times. Usually in the same order.

9) Real tech support person on the phone! He asks: "Xvswwwovv wavvwat qzxwzvxx?".

Quality stats case study (3, Interesting)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517997)

I have some stats that would actually contradict your situation. I attended a 4 year university in their business school. Part of being in the business school, every student reveived a brand new laptop, and then two years later, you turn it in for another brand new one. When I was a freshment, the school had a deal with HP, and all of us received HP OmniBooks. Everyone complained. They were always causeing problems. The next year, Dell won the bid and now the CIO of the school will not even consider giving the contract to another manufacturer. The reason? The number of hardware related complaints/cases received by the schools help desk dropped 50% after switching to Dell Latitudes.

However, I think Dell needs to seriously reconsider its hard drive suppliers. Whenever I have seen any hardware related problems with a Dell laptop, it has always been the Harddrive. Most people with the school laptops ended up replacing the hard drive at some point during the 2 years the school suppported it. I'm a rare exception and it continues to chug along. The GF's hard drive also failed recently (bought herself, bargain laptop, but from Dell). I believe the hard drive I took out was a Seagate, but I think most of the latitudes have Toshiba, so not sure really what to say there. I have always had success with WD, so I'll be sticking with them.

Re:Quality stats case study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16518955)

You went to a University? And emerged with a degree? You have horrible syntax, spelling, and grammar. I am not impressed.

You get what you pay for (3, Informative)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518203)

"Four years ago, I purchased a Dell laptop for my son when he went off to college. It lasted all of a year before the hard drive died."

We've got a fleet of notebooks from Dell, Gateway, and HP. The hard drives in laptops all seem to die much more quickly vs those in desktops. I've always assumed it is due to the increased physical traumua a traveling laptop gets subjected to.

"After quite a bit of trouble with customer service reading scripts in Indiglish we finally got an RMA. "

When Dell sells you a computer, they also offer you a choice of service plans. If you go the cheap route, you get the guy in India reading a script in broken English for hours, and mail in service. If you buy the Gold support, you get a native English speaker, 1 minute hold times, and next-business-day, on-site service. Plus Accidental Damage replacement (you drop it, you break it, you get a new one).

With Dell, you get exactly what you pay for.

Re:You get what you pay for (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518987)

By the time you pay for the support, you might as well by from someone else who had better support to begin with (and probably a better product).

Re:You get what you pay for (3, Informative)

patryn20 (812091) | more than 7 years ago | (#16519151)

Maybe on the corporate side.....I had a four-year, on-site support for a home desktop that I could never get them to honor. I was actually told by the Indian call-center employee that he could not approve the on-site visit because he would be fired if he did. They were hired to keep costs low, so they were not allowed by their management to do anything that would result in a charge to Dell.

I didn't pay chump change for that support and over the course of two hard drive failures, sound card death, and eventual motherboard toastiness, I always ended up having to replace the parts myself on my own dime after days of trying to get them to honor the contract.

I have not bought a Dell since except for corporate installs. The corporate support has always been spectacular. Home became crap once they outsourced it. I hear tell, though, that they are bringing all support back to the USA. I hope so, because maybe then I can order from them again.

Re:You get what you pay for (1)

archen (447353) | more than 7 years ago | (#16519561)

I've always assumed it is due to the increased physical traumua a traveling laptop gets subjected to.

I sort of assumed the same thing myself until I was looking at putting a mini hard drive in my firewall. I've read a LOT of posts from people saying their drives die after a year. Manufaturers all seem to say the same thing - the drives aren't made to run 24x7. Simply put the smaller drives just aren't as robust as their larger counterparts. It makes me sort of leary about my mac mini.

Re:Shoddy product and customer service will do tha (1)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518267)

Just a note - I have found that yaw'ing is bad for the spindle bearings in hard drives.
My experience shows that by not moving the laptop while the drive is spinning (regular desktops too) your hard drive will last longer. For a feeling of why, remember those toy gyroscopes you had as a kid ... the resistance the gyroscope gave you to changing the direction of the axis - now envision a 5400rpm gyroscope. Same thing.

Put the laptop on a hard flat surface.
Turn on.
Use.
Turn off.
Move laptop.
Hard drive lasts almost forever.

I've seen it a hundred times, and the guys that come crying to me about crashed drives are the same ones that wouldn't listen when I barked at them about picking up their laptops while running, swinging them under their arm and walking them all over the office.

2003 article. Slashdot has really gone downhill (1, Funny)

DrDitto (962751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517179)

Time to move on to something else.

Re:2003 article. Slashdot has really gone downhill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16517563)

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words [deviantart.com] .

fuc4 a Fagorz (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16517391)

from within. liSt of other lube or we se`ll

Err.. (3, Insightful)

bberens (965711) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517475)

Calling HP a top PC maker is like calling Wal-Mart the top retailer. Technically it's true, but that doesn't really tell the whole story.

Correct me if I'm wrong... (1)

rHBa (976986) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517531)

...but when HP says it shipped X value of hardware, that would be to retailers no? Where as Dell sells direct so when they say they shipped Y value that amount has actually been sold.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16519247)

Dell sells in every channel that HP does. Dell Direct is a misnomer.

huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16517539)

From the article:
IBM, the world's third-largest PC maker worldwide and the fourth largest in the United States, saw market share gains in the fourth quarter globally and in the states.
That alomst makes sense, but not quite...

Remember when HP made _technical_ news... (4, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517549)

...instead of business news?

So, HP is now the top PC vendor.

And this means what? Vista will run in some new, exciting way different from the way it runs on Dells? Interesting new _kinds_ of peripherals will come to market first on HP boxes, the way the Sony 3.5" diskette did?

Or does it just mean (yawn) that on the right day with the wind behind it, some HP models may offer incrementally more RAM or an incrementally faster processor than the equivalent Dell, especially for corporate purchasing agents purchasing them in quantities of a thousand?

How long has it been since HP tried anything like NewWave?

Yoda the project manager (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16517561)

See, the thing about Yoda is, his grammar is totally confusing in his spec documentation, which I think is what led to the X-wing. See, the X-wing was designed to have the wings like your typical airplane: two wings, one on either side. Because of Yoda's strange syntax, the Jedi engineers mistakenly thought he wanted two wings on either side of the spacecraft, resulting in the very distinctive look of the X-wing.

After Yoda saw this, he was upset, as evidenced in his weekly meeting: "Upset, am I at this. Very clear was the specification. Stupid, are you engineers." Because of budgetting problems, they could not afford changes to the completed prototype, and were forced to perfect the X-wing as it stood.

It's because Dell sucks (2, Informative)

cyberkahn (398201) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517587)

I have worked with both Dell and HP business class solutions. Dell servers suck. I had RAID fail on me numerous times to include both hot spares failing to merge into an array to address a failed drive. In this instance I had to rebuild the entire volume and restore from tape. With Dell workstations lets talk about the GX270 constant issues with power supplies and capacitors going bad. These are known issues with this model yet Dell insists on a one for one swap for each PC. As soon as one PC is fixed and returned to the floor another one goes bad and we have to request either a motherboard or power supply to be replaced. On the other hand my HP DL series servers are like Maytag washers. I practically forget they are running in my racks. The same goes for HP business class workstations.

Re:It's because Dell sucks (1)

majortom1981 (949402) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517891)

I have not had a single problem with any of the dell servers that I have worked with. We have dell servers here that have been running for a year plus with not a single hardware problem. I dont have any experience with hp servers but I have experience with compaq servers and they stunk. Also we have hp procurve switches that You cant bring their web interface up on and forget trying to do a vlan on them.

Re:It's because Dell sucks (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#16517963)

Eh, most rackmountable servers from venders you might buy a home machine from suck. I'm talking IBM, Dell, HP, the whole lot. Dell gets special points for choosing only the loudest possible fans for their machines. A whole rack of them practically requires ear protection to work near.

Re:It's because Dell sucks (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518395)

Horse puckey!

We've got four 1650's that have been running for over 4+ years now. Only one drive started reporting errors and the replacement & RAID rebuild was no problem.

Now that I've jinxed these machines...

Re:It's because Dell sucks (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 7 years ago | (#16519767)

Why is this modded down? Its just this guy's experience iwt them. BTW my college hates Dells and I have seen them fail so much that the techs walk around with a deskette with their proprietary tcp/ip stack. I have never heard of this?

Re:It's because Dell sucks (1)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 7 years ago | (#16519899)

Pro-Tip: Nobody is going to take you seriously if you admit to having rackmount Maytag washers in your server room.

IBM the real story here... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16518185)

HP has IBM to thank for the lead they now have. Since IBM sold off its laptop division to Lenovo, the corporations ran for cover. I know my own company stopped buying Thinkpads, and now buys HPs... The corporate types want to buy from the biggest, most reliable vendor. For many that was IBM, but Lenovo didn't fit their bill, and I'm hearing a lot of them went with HP over Dell. It is an indictment of Dell and Lenovo more than a vote of confidence for HP.

Dell's Unfair Advantage (4, Funny)

Revenge_of_Solver_Ta (862178) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518271)

Oh come on! Everyone who has ever bought a Dell product knows the difference lies in their customer service...

"Hello these ees 'Dan'...may I be of knowing and becoming on the eashew?"

HP, Toshiba, Acer, Whatever, just not Dell anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16518497)

As a consultant I used to purchase only Dell's.

They seemed to provide the best end-user support depending on warranty level(which isn't saying much) so I wouldn't have to trouble with all of that.

But lately (and since I'm no longer a consultant), the leap from, say Latitude 610's to 620's showed an increase in price and a decrease in overall quality/performance (when 620 first came out it only offered intel graphics? comeon!)

And for lower level business class specs, you can spend $1600 on a d520, or get the same specs for $800 from a Toshiba A8-EZ8312, with (at this point) better and faster support!

It's really just up to whoever is more aggressive in the market to chew away at Dell's carcass, to determin who is the top dog.

Ahem... (2, Interesting)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518507)

I told you, Dell is a one-trick pony.

Dell's penchant for hollowing out suppliers is just one of the 'thin-line' tactics that finally knocked the company off. No one wants their business these days and they certainly can't compete in the current growth markets.

Don't expect Dell to ever regain from this...going down, down, down.

Good riddance to bad rubbish!

Not just PC's (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16518983)

But servers and devices too. I finally got fed up enough with Dell with the apparent inferior machines, high prices, and poor technical support.

But we recently had need of a server to use for RSnapshot, and Dell wanted too much money so we hit up HP. Got a hell of a deal on a server with 2TB of disk space. Now if they'd just ship the damned thing.

If it was good enough to say to Steve Jobs (3, Funny)

blacktalonz (1007979) | more than 7 years ago | (#16519275)

I think Michael Dell should close the doors and return the money to the investors.
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