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372 comments

In other news... (5, Funny)

kpainter (901021) | about 6 years ago | (#22976508)

Dell changes its name to "Dull"

Re:In other news... (2, Interesting)

Sepiraph (1162995) | about 6 years ago | (#22976616)

There is actually some truth to that, I actually did find my last Dell laptop to be quite dull. Based on my own personal experiences in owning my last 3 laptops from Dell, HP and Lenovo. I'd say HP's design is by far much better than the other two, and I wonder if that's one of the reasons why it took over Dell's lead in the PC market.

Re:In other news... (3, Interesting)

Sanat (702) | about 6 years ago | (#22976774)

Getting Carly out of HP improved a host of areas within HP including morale. Of course a 21 million dollar severance package didn't hurt her too much.

HP is back to producing again instead of in-fighting.

.

Re:In other news... (4, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | about 6 years ago | (#22977012)

she was a terrible ceo, and it's amazing how many of these clowns are out there, jumping from CEO position to position picking up huge packages and leaving a trail of distruction behind them.

stonemasons, i swear it has to be something of that kind that allows completely useless people to run these companys.

Re:In other news... (4, Funny)

loteck (533317) | about 6 years ago | (#22977116)

I think you meant Freemasons [wikipedia.org], not stonemasons [wikipedia.org], unless you are cursing HP for their conspiracies to create beautiful sculptures and pretty stone engravings.

Re:In other news... (4, Funny)

timmarhy (659436) | about 6 years ago | (#22977134)

actually i meant stonecutters, i was trying to make a refference to the simpsons ep.

Re:In other news... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976744)

penis.

Wow (1, Insightful)

sltd (1182933) | about 6 years ago | (#22976510)

Will this affect their offering of pre-loaded Ubuntu systems? There isn't a huge market for them, unfortunately. But I remember all the old Dell commercials - the main thing they had going for them was customization. I guess they're just becoming an entrenched monopoly like IBM or Microsoft, now.

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

calebt3 (1098475) | about 6 years ago | (#22976686)

Remember: The market is steadily moving towards laptops. And laptops are harder to custom-build.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976826)

Meh. Lenovo is doing fully-customizable ThinkPads for about the same price as Dell ($1600 or so for an obscenely powerful workstation). There's certainly a cost difference in customization vs. mass-assembly, but I don't see how that difference increases significantly for laptops vs desktops.

Re:Wow (3, Interesting)

Swampash (1131503) | about 6 years ago | (#22977034)

The market is steadily moving towards laptops. And laptops are harder to custom-build.

Not only that; people want to see, touch, and hold laptops before making a purchase decision.

I'll leave the conclusion up to the reader.

Re:Wow (5, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | about 6 years ago | (#22976842)

> But I remember all the old Dell commercials - the main thing they had going for them was customization.

I think the point is that those were the old Dell commercials. If you look at ones today, they're all about price. Features and price, admittedly, but price is the biggest thing.

This is a reflection of the market for PCs. When they represented a substantial capital investment, you wanted to tailor them to your particular needs, and avoid paying for anything you didn't absolutely need. That made customization and U.S.-based assembly locations worthwhile. Now, people don't want that as much. The PC, as a unit, has become increasingly commoditized. I bet a lot of buyers today don't even look at specs; they just buy "a computer" and make a lot of assumptions about what they'll be able to do with it. (Assumptions that are actually pretty safe if you don't plan on doing much beyond typical consumerish tasks with it.)

As a result, the goal is no longer "build me a PC to my exact specifications," it's "build me as much PC as possible for $500". Or $300, or $250. I suspect before too long it'll be $99.

That doesn't favor having a lot of assembly points close to consumers; it favors doing all your assembly in a quasi-slave-labor camp somewhere, to better keep costs down, and then shipping tons and tons of identical boxes in bulk to wherever the consumers are. 'Who cares if it's not exactly what you want? It's $500 and it's more power/features/speed than you'll probably need, so just buy it,' is the message.

It's easy to blame Dell here, but it's buyers of technology that are driving it. Not enough people want essentially bespoke computers (or the ones that do aren't buying them from Dell), and Dell is going to eliminate the facilities that provide that service.

Re:Wow (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22977114)

It's easy to blame Dell here, but it's buyers of technology that are driving it. Not enough people want essentially bespoke computers (or the ones that do aren't buying them from Dell), and Dell is going to eliminate the facilities that provide that service.
Perhaps the consumers that are intelligent enough to know what they need from a customized system are also smart enough not to buy it from Dell.

Re:Wow (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | about 6 years ago | (#22977118)

Pre-loaded or not, it is in Dell's best interests to sell hardware that is linux-compatible. You shouldn't have any problems loading it on dell equipment. At least with servers.

Dell sells to a lot of very large companies (including government) that do a whole lot of linux.

Please learn to spell "its." (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976520)

Spelling matters.

Re:Please learn to spell "its." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976620)

This is slashdot, not an mid-term. It doesn't.

Re:Please learn to spell "its." (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976652)

Alongside treating the plural of datum as a singular noun, the popular habit of conflating possessive nouns with contracted verbs
just shows that grammar, like truth, and the US Constitution as written is something that the lumpen proletariat cannot handle.
Clearly we need some more federal bureaucracy to save us from ourselves.
It takes a village to raise a child into a man that can cry, and a full-on megalopolis to give that man a tax burden to cry about.

Re:Please learn to spell "its." (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 6 years ago | (#22976790)

and a full-on megalopolis to give that man a tax burden to cry about

I'll see your megalopolis with one divorce lawyer, and raise you a demand for alimony.

Re:Please learn to spell "its." (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976916)

Don't be a pedantic cocksucker.

thats right (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976532)

anal sex won't do anything but make your dick stink

Re:thats right (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976598)

Mod parent +1 insightful. He speaks the TROOOTH!

Re:thats right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22977048)

That's why I always bottom.

Rob Malda
Pants are optional, but recommended for you.

Deeper Downside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976550)

Why is outsourcing a downside? Dell is creating wealth for all of the consumers who will be able to get more bang for their buck.

Re:Deeper Downside? (3, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | about 6 years ago | (#22976640)

Outsourcing lowers the GDP of our country, reducing our buying power. What logically happens is jobs are removed from our country.

Now, tell me how people can afford to buy stuff if they have no job, or one that pays 1/2 as much?

Re:Deeper Downside? (4, Insightful)

torkus (1133985) | about 6 years ago | (#22976672)

Ahh...but you see that's 5-15 years down the road. The shareholders (e.g. uber-rich trading firms) all want to meet this years or this QUARTER's financial targets.

Re:Deeper Downside? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976780)

Well, if you want to talk about 15 years down the road you might as well mention that in 15 years all the demand from our outsourcing will make the Chinese as well off as us, forcing them to charge as much, cancelling out any benefit of outsourcing there.

You're a little capitalist, and you don't even realize it. Want all the jobs to stay in our country? That's greed; the same thing driving those shareholders to make more money. Unfortunately, whining doesn't get much done, so we'll all have to work really hard and offer some kind of advantage to keep the jobs. It's called "competing".

Re:Deeper Downside? (5, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | about 6 years ago | (#22976964)


Well, if you want to talk about 15 years down the road you might as well mention that in 15 years all the demand from our outsourcing will make the Chinese as well off as us, forcing them to charge as much, canceling out any benefit of outsourcing there.

Not a chance; not with the population they have. Maybe in a century, but fifteen years? That's ridiculous. There are millions upon millions of people in China (and India, and quite a few other places) who have grown up and are used to far cheaper standards of living than the average person in the U.S. That translates into dramatically lower labor costs for the foreseeable future, since they're going to be willing to work for less. Someone who remembers life in a mud-and-thatch hut on a rice paddy is probably going to have a markedly different bar for 'success' than someone who grew up in the U.S.'s heyday and expects to be able to do better than that.


You're a little capitalist, and you don't even realize it. Want all the jobs to stay in our country? That's greed; the same thing driving those shareholders to make more money. Unfortunately, whining doesn't get much done, so we'll all have to work really hard and offer some kind of advantage to keep the jobs. It's called "competing".

That's a great thought but it's a little lacking in substance. What do you propose the U.S. ought to specialize in? I'm quite honestly interested, and I've asked this question over and over to a lot of fairly intelligent people and have yet to get a satisfactory answer back. I'm not sure there is one. Do we try to go the Neal Stephenson route? Music, movies, microcode, and pizza? Other parts of the world are chipping into 'software' already, and there's no reason to think that we have some kind of automatic, natural, competitive advantage in any of those.

About the only thing we do have here in the U.S., at least at the moment, is a hell of a consumer market. Until we figure out exactly how we're going to keep ourselves going, I don't think it's necessarily illogical to want to carefully manage access to the one thing of value we have left. I'm not proposing or advocating for complete isolationism, just a careful analysis of exactly who we're allowing access, and to which markets, and what the effects are.

More bluntly, I don't see any reason why the U.S. ought to open any market to foreign competition unless there's a clear indication that opening it results in a net benefit to the United States. Now, it may be that fully-open markets are the best (or least-worst) policy for Americans in general, but I haven't seen any of the politicians pushing for open markets really going out of their way to demonstrate this. And from where I'm sitting, it looks a lot like we're just letting ourselves go bankrupt on imports without much of a thought towards the long-term sustainability of this situation.

Even if by restricting imports it increased the cost of non-essential goods to consumers, but in doing so bought us a few more years or decades of solvency in which to work on our comparative advantage (or for the Chinese and other developing markets to bring their labor force's standards of living, and thus costs, closer to par), I can't see why that would necessarily be bad.

National governments have a mandate to serve the best interests of the people they represent. If free trade and open borders are demonstrably the best path, I'd be more supportive, but right now they look suspiciously like a path that leads off a cliff.

Re:Deeper Downside? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | about 6 years ago | (#22977044)

It's pretty rich of you, an american, to wail about open markets hurting your country when in fact it's america that's the 800lb gorilla in international trade. just look at what happened to the canadian automotive manufacturing industry when it engaged in open trade with the USA.

the USA has consistently signed trade agreements then procceded to break them and refuse to stick to what it's signed.

While i'm all for open trade, because it brings wealth to everyone, I would be super careful of signing anything with the USA if i was in charge.

Oh and can we please drop the retarded myth that when a job is sourced over seas that persons buying power vapourises. it's just not the case, and has been proven many times over since the industrial revolution.

Re:Deeper Downside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22977046)

all the demand from our outsourcing will make the Chinese as well off as us

Dividing the wealth of America among the billions of people "out there" won't make anyone very well off at all. Unless, of course, you're in a position to keep your wealth from being shipped out.

Re:Deeper Downside? (4, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | about 6 years ago | (#22976802)

Thats exactly it: nobody with power cares for the long term maluses by strongly pushing outsourcing.

As long as the quarter looks good, its golden. Another question would be this: Why do the uber rich trading firms want to only see short term gains, and not longer term ones?

What financial disadvantage would there be if companies developed new things and technology, and continued further research going ahead up to 30-100 years? Ma Bell did that and we ended up with the transistor, lasers, Unix, C...

Re:Deeper Downside? (0)

jlarocco (851450) | about 6 years ago | (#22976934)

Thats exactly it: nobody with power cares for the long term maluses by strongly pushing outsourcing.

Maybe you're not seeing the long term gains of outsourcing.

Maybe you failed to consider all the new factories that the outsourcing companies will have to build to handle the increased load? And what about all the people who will get new, higher paying jobs in those factories? And what about the the standard of living increase those people and their families get because of this? Oh wait, all those people will live in a different country. Racist much?

In that case, maybe you're forgetting the poor people in our country that will be able to afford new computers now? And what about all the money that will be saved by people/companies who buy Dells?

If nothing else, look at it this way: Now that Dell has fewer employees doing manual labor, they'll be able to hire more people to design new, better machines.

At least get your insults right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22977006)

Oh wait, all those people will live in a different country. Racist much?
That's not racism, that's nationalism. What country a person lives in doesn't say anything about their race.

Re:Deeper Downside? (2, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | about 6 years ago | (#22977064)

---Maybe you're not seeing the long term gains of outsourcing.

I understand all right. It raises the whole world out of poverty by spreading the money where labor is cheap until they're equal with everybody else. That that means for me, my generation, and my children is that it effectively lowers our wages. I dont like that, and I think its fairly easy to see why.

Selling out our ability to create is just a bad idea altogether. It weakens our military and our ability to protect us.

---Maybe you failed to consider all the new factories that the outsourcing companies will have to build to handle the increased load? And what about all the people who will get new, higher paying jobs in those factories? And what about the the standard of living increase those people and their families get because of this? Oh wait, all those people will live in a different country. Racist much?

Smart much? Cause you aren't showing it. It's called nationalism, and yes. I have it. Since our world has no real idea of free travel and migrating citizenship (what Adam Smith believed), we are bound to our country. Because of that, I will attempt to make this country good to live in, and that means having jobs and money abound.

---In that case, maybe you're forgetting the poor people in our country that will be able to afford new computers now? And what about all the money that will be saved by people/companies who buy Dells?

If the poor people worked HERE instead of over there out of our territories, they could afford to buy them now. And pray tell, dont we see what the quality is when we seek the bottom? Or do you think lead is safe for children?

---If nothing else, look at it this way: Now that Dell has fewer employees doing manual labor, they'll be able to hire more people to design new, better machines.

In actuality, they will spend more on advertising, along with paying more to their top execs. The stock prices might go up some.

Re:Deeper Downside? (3, Insightful)

ivoras (455934) | about 6 years ago | (#22976800)

Ah yes, but you see, working for your living instead of getting the money by playing the stock market or owning Dell is so Middle-ages, and people who depend on it should really move on or die off. By removing menial jobs from the country the Big Boys are actually helping people to transition to pure royalties-based industry, and get the money the way it's meant to be had - by sitting in leather armchairs and smoking Cuban cigars while reading the stock market reports, not something as vulgar as working in an office.

(If you don't see Alien-grade sarcasm dripping from the above words, get yourself new glasses.)

Re:Deeper Downside? (3, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | about 6 years ago | (#22976820)

tell me how people can afford to buy stuff if they have no job, or one that pays 1/2 as much?

They can't. In the words of Marriner Eccles:

As mass production has to be accompanied by mass consumption, mass consumption, in turn, implies a distribution of wealth -- not of existing wealth, but of wealth as it is currently produced -- to provide men with buying power equal to the amount of goods and services offered by the nation's economic machinery ....But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied to themselves the kind of effective demand for their products that would justify a reinvestment of their capital accumulations in new plants. In consequence, as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit ran out, the game stopped.
Guess where we are right now?

Re:Deeper Downside? (2, Insightful)

homer_s (799572) | about 6 years ago | (#22976956)

Outsourcing lowers the GDP of our country

Can you please explain how that is so? Reading countless economics text books about the benefits of division of labor have confused me.

Re:Deeper Downside? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 6 years ago | (#22977080)

consider "GDP of our country" vs "total global GDP". That's how.

Re:Deeper Downside? (1)

homer_s (799572) | about 6 years ago | (#22977130)

I still don't get it.
When I, as an individual, outsource graphic design to my friend, the both of us benefit and both our 'GDPs' increase. I can focus on programming and she can focus on graphics.
If I stopped 'outsourcing' this to my friend, I'd have to learn both, spend more hours doing both pieces of work. And she'd have nothing.

Why would it be different for countries/cities/states/companies?

Typical kneejerk business move... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976554)

I'm a fan of Dell kit, but when HP hae beaten you in sales for 6 successive quarters - as stated in the article - limiting the amount of customizing may save you cash, but it isn't going to get more people buying your kit is it?

The 'fix' doesn't seem to be the solution to the highlighted problem... sure it'll save you money in the short term, but no gains in share there at all. Less customization is never going to make a punter go "oh, I'll buy that because it's not as customizable".

Add to that the outsourcing of manufacture and it all looks like a world of hurt waiting to happen.

*baffled*

Re:Typical kneejerk business move... (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 6 years ago | (#22976688)


Customization one of the few things Dell had going for them. Now what reason is there not to pick HP?



Only upside for them selling packaged deals is now they can try to force customers to buy stuff they don't want.



When ordering a system at retail, they do already offer lots of extraneous options like Cameras to go with a new PC, totally extra sw, etc.



W/ the package deal I suppose they may now impose their junk crapware that they forcefully preload on new systems... getting original OS install media no longer a customization option.

Re:Typical kneejerk business move... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976938)

> I'm a fan of Dell kit

I'm calling BS unless you provide a URL to these kit computers you claim Dell sells. I bought just over seven figures worth of hardware from Dell last year and have bought from dell for over 15 years, and I have never seen a Dell kit computer. They sell complete computers. They don't sell parts kits like you claim. You're full of crap.

Re:Typical kneejerk business move... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22977000)

Kit is a british-ism meaning 'equipment'.

Dell doesn't sell computer kits! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22977002)

I just looked through about twenty pages of searches for products with the word kit at dell.com, and the only things I saw were things like parts kits for rack-mount equipment. There were no computer kits.

I think that AC just owned you!

-- Proud unregistered user since Oct 1998

Re:Typical kneejerk business move... (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 6 years ago | (#22977112)

Less customization is never going to make a punter go "oh, I'll buy that because it's not as customizable".
What if Dell passes along some of that $3B in savings?

Hardly. (5, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | about 6 years ago | (#22976558)

When companies seek to recover these kinds of profits, they cut something more important.

Their reputation.

Most likely, they will move their call centers out of India and into a lower paying 3rd world country. The lower techs will be given even less latitude to help fix problems. Along with that, they will reduce access (and numbers) of higher up support, along with "new policies" of the 'not our fault' game.

They will obviously cut their unprofitable programs, such as their IdeaStorms website, all Linux support for low and middle tiers, along with the cheaper customizable options. They will leave customizing available for the higher packages, as all businesses cater to the big spenders.

Yes, our system is based upon a race to the bottom, but depending how you get there means if you survive or not. That really depends on how their deals with Microsoft go, as they are parasites upon MS.

Outsourcing Gets a Bad Rap, Race to the Top (4, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | about 6 years ago | (#22976786)

Our system isn't a race to the bottom. It is a race to what people want. People want computers at the cheapest possible price and they do not care about tech centers or even support.

Outsourcing is a good thing for the economy, not a bad thing. If Ford did not outsource, for example, it would have to make everything from the drills for the oil, the refineries for the gasoline, the machines to make the steel and the chips and the plastic, really, recreate the entire economy and in doing so lose the efficiencies that come with shared costs. We can lament outsourcing of some function at a company, to make ourselves feel good, but, if there were no outsourcing, there would be no cars, no tvs, computers, or any of the millions of products, in all their choice and complexity, because those products would not exist without outsourcing.

We ourselves, each and everyone one of us, outsource all of the time. Go ahead can say Dell is terrible because they outsourced a call center to India or the Philippines, but we outsource every time we use a stapler or a printer, or for that matter, even a computer. How many developers recommend using MySql or Postgres or even Linux over some solution developed in-house. That is outsourcing too, and without that outsourcing, it is very likely that there would be less jobs and more economic stagnation. Few products have the margin or merit to justify the creation of a custom database server or operating system solely for them.

In that vein, outsourcing a call center might actually result in -better- customer service. If a place in India has 200,000 people answering the phones, they are going to get the economies of scale that even Dell could not possibly get.

Outsourcing actually -creates- opportunity. Any time you see more than one company engaged in a similar practice, that is an opportunity for a product or a service than can be outsourced to someone else, and that person might as well be you. If outsourcing did not exist, then, there would be no opportunity, the companies that could have benefited from outsourcing would stagnate, and products would remain more expensive, rather than less.

Bottom line is, outsourcing is a good deal, rather than a bad once, and the dramatic increase in the standard of living in much of the world - from the skyscrapers in China, the surge of wealth in India, to the internet of south korea and the massive works in Dubai, the world is getting richer and better off for it. Even in the USA, where outsourcing has been the subject of much debate, everyone has benefited from outsourcing.

Re:Outsourcing Gets a Bad Rap, Race to the Top (3, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | about 6 years ago | (#22976858)

Ok then. Take for example our current manufacturing situation... We are hemorrhaging jobs from all markets for the manufacturing of goods. Instead, those jobs first went to Mexico. They ended up being too expensive, and the deals with China were brokered.

Along with China, India was also brought forth as a manufacturing country. Now, it appears they are too expensive, and our companies are off for cheaper places. Now, it is not arguable that China and India benefit from our presence. They do, however, is it advantageous that we put ourselves at a distance in terms to create?

I know where the USA wants to go towards: the brain of the world. Intellectual Property Capitol. Except they do this by selling off what got us here: our very industry to create. How would we do a Manhattan Project without every country knowing now? Buy this kit from this country, that kit from that country...

Re:Outsourcing Gets a Bad Rap, Race to the Top (2, Insightful)

homer_s (799572) | about 6 years ago | (#22977072)

Finally, someone speaks the truth about the damage outsourcing does.My city (woodridge,il) is hemorrhaging jobs because we outsource everything.

We outsource car production, computer production, etc. Heck, we don't even make our own offshore drilling rigs to drill for oil so we can get petroleum that we can use to make plastic to make little spoons.

It wasn't always like this. A couple of hundred years ago, we manufactured almost everything we needed right here. Everyone was employed.
In fact, there was so much work, people had to work about 18 hours a day.
With all the outsourcing now, there isn't enough work. In fact, there is so little work, people actually sit in front of their TV and do nothing.
Hopefully, the govts around the world stop outsourcing so we can go back to living like we did in the 1700s.

Re:Outsourcing Gets a Bad Rap, Race to the Top (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22977004)

Yes, all us unemployed people are much better off because the Chinese have our jobs. Maybe you can buy me some sandwiches and Thunderbird wine with all the money you save by shopping at Walmart the next time I moan at you on the street.

Re:Outsourcing Gets a Bad Rap, Race to the Top (1)

homer_s (799572) | about 6 years ago | (#22977040)

You seem to suggest that division of work is good. That productivity gains due to specialization is good for the economy.

Next thing you know, you'll suggest that people trade only when it benefits them and hence the local economy.

We don't take kindly to economic truths and common sense around here.

Re:Outsourcing Gets a Bad Rap, Race to the Top (1)

xkhaozx (978974) | about 6 years ago | (#22977094)

Sorry, but you cannot argue that an Indian telephone support outsourcing will result in a better customer appreciation.

My mom works as for computer support at Dell, and she always receives calls where the customer is greatly happy to hear their finally on the line with someone who "can speak English". These kinds of greetings were even more common at the previous call centers she has worked at.

And while you argue that you may get better customer service by having more representatives, I find this hardly the case. I still have quite long wait times even when I get an Indian representative.

So while there may be other benefits to outsourcing, doing so for call centers will not result in better customer satisfaction.

And btw, I've heard Dell is prospecting the idea of selling a "pro customer support" contracts, so that they can pay for the call centers in Canada or in the USA. (not sure if this is public)

Re:Outsourcing Gets a Bad Rap, Race to the Top (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22977126)

What people normally complain about is offshore outsourcing, which some have actually suffered from. But yes, one's loss is another's gain.

But you knew all that, didn't you, Mr. Pangloss?

Re:Outsourcing Gets a Bad Rap, Race to the Top (1)

hemp (36945) | about 6 years ago | (#22977128)

If Ford did not outsource, for example, it would have to make everything from the drills for the oil, the refineries for the gasoline, the machines to make the steel and the chips and the plastic, really, recreate the entire economy and in doing so lose the efficiencies that come with shared costs.

That would make Ford a vertical monopoly. That is not allowed in the US. To take your example to its furthest conclusion - Ford would require only Ford brand tires on each Ford car wheel, Ford brand motor oil in the crank case, etc. They would love to be able to accomplish this.

Re:Hardly. (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 6 years ago | (#22976932)

Look, the business plan of "you can have any color you want, as long as it's black" may have been brillant and inventive when Ford did it, but the rest of the world has caught on to that. Most businesses have something they make volume on, and something related (which they wouldn't get without volume) they make margins on. Cutting out all the other things and try to only make money on volume is fighting for pennies per computer, they're hardly the only ones capable of setting up an efficient assembly line these days. I'm agree that cost control is important, but building cheap "noname" PCs is a pretty poor idea. That said, I can understand that their customization market isn't what it used to be, for one laptops are taking over and secondly the prices of hardware has come down so far it's probably cheaper to do a little overkill than spend the money on building it "just right".

As a data center operator that buys dell.... (1)

LWolenczak (10527) | about 6 years ago | (#22976560)

I think I may be looking to move to HP or IBM. While the last time I ordered HP, it was a room full of boxes for five servers and some drive shelves, I do believe they went into the custom built model in the last few years.... Hmmm..

Re:As a data center operator that buys dell.... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | about 6 years ago | (#22976862)

I think I may be looking to move to ... IBM.

Ahem... IBM doesn't make PCs anymore.

Re:As a data center operator that buys dell.... (1)

ciellarg (899150) | about 6 years ago | (#22976984)

I think I may be looking to move to ... IBM. Ahem... IBM doesn't make PCs anymore.
Ahem Ahem....IBM does make servers still. :)

Re:As a data center operator that buys dell.... (3, Insightful)

binaryspiral (784263) | about 6 years ago | (#22977098)

You should have been looking into alternatives years ago.

Anyone can build and sell a server - supporting it is where the company wins or loses.

I call IBM at 3am when a server up and dies. Tech is onsite in two hours, new parts arrive 45 mins later... a bad power regulator fried all 16 sticks of ram. They didn't have enough on hand, so three other couriers were dispatch from two other states with more than enough ram to get the server up and running.

Three hours later the box was back up.

Dell - will argue to the enth degree about predicted drive failures alarms from their raid controllers... we just call them dead now so they'll send replacements. The drives take about two days to show up which is about enough time for the drive to finally fail.

software is easier to "customize" than hardware (1, Insightful)

voss (52565) | about 6 years ago | (#22976572)

Ubuntu is just another disk image like windows xp, or vista.

Re:software is easier to "customize" than hardware (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | about 6 years ago | (#22976722)

What's your point? You aren't going to be playing Civ4 on an 8 meg video card no matter what you do to your software.

Re:software is easier to "customize" than hardware (1)

voss (52565) | about 6 years ago | (#22976878)

My point is customizing the OS is easier than customizing the hardware, thats why dell will keep linux as a customization option. How this got modded off topic is moderator schenanigans

Outsource more manufacturing? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976576)

Are you high?

Dell already outsources just about all their manufacturing. All that will happen here is that now they can streamline the supply pipeline because they only ship x different configs instead of 100x. Less work at the (already) outsourced supplier/contract manufacturer, less work on the order fulfillment side.

How it's going to save 3 billion, I don't know. I think they're aiming a little high. Expect support to be outsourced to even crappier Indian call centers....

Re:Outsource more manufacturing? (1)

Schnapple (262314) | about 6 years ago | (#22976946)

The article actually says

Dell will also outsource more PC manufacturing to partners, he said.
That sounds to me more like they're going to let other companies manufacture their stuff for them. Like you said, Dell already outsources all of their manufacturing, so this just sounds like a shift rather than "DEY TUUK ERR JAAAHBS"

Dell changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976618)

I make all my own parts choices and assemble all the computers I need so this mean bupkus to me! After all they have done to MUTATE the city of Round Rock it is about time they scaled back...

A current "Dell House" (5, Insightful)

UrgleHoth (50415) | about 6 years ago | (#22976632)

I work for a small (about 100 person) company with a heterogeneous environment (Linux, OS X, Windows). In the past few years the IT team has settled on Dell for quick turnaround of ordering customized systems and consistency (the devil you know). They order Dell laptops, desktops and servers. It has pretty much turned into a "Dell house." The quick turnaround on customized orders is extremely important to meet developer needs. If Dell makes custom ordering take longer or involves increased hassle, I would bet that our IT management would start looking into other vendors.

Re:A current "Dell House" (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 6 years ago | (#22976788)

Agreed. We purchase 200-300 Dell servers a month. If we weren't able to customize them anymore (which would mean we'd be wasting our time swapping components after they arrived all the same), we'd find another vendor (as others have pointed out, HP or IBM). Alienware may want to move into the server space, as they're use to high margins as it is (custom, high end desktops) and their customization they currently do with desktops/laptops could easily be extended to a server platform.

Re:A current "Dell House" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976854)

You do realize Dell owns Alienware? Right?

Re:A current "Dell House" (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | about 6 years ago | (#22976910)

Alienware? You know they were bought by Dell back in 06, right?

Re:A current "Dell House" (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 6 years ago | (#22976952)

I wasn't aware. That's depressing =( I checked their website before posting my comment, and didn't see any sign they were owned by Dell.

Re:A current "Dell House" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976834)

i work in a company that is similar in size, we have been using HP servers for some time and haven't had any issues with customizing them. the only down side is that the extra parts that you wanted to upgrade with come in a separate box and you have to install them.

Intel IT & Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22977022)

The rumour was that ~8 years ago Intel was looking around for a new laptop manufacturer. I believe this is when Intel was making the desktop to laptop switch.
They desperately wanted Dell to supply all PCs for corporate use. However, Dell just couldn't make enough PCs.
IBM could. So Intel became an IBM shop when they transitioned over from desktops to laptops.

It doesn't hurt that IBM Thinkpads are very modular and easy to replace component by component.

Richard Corsale (1)

darkchubs (814225) | about 6 years ago | (#22976644)

I just bought a Dell, specifily because I could customize it. I needed a high end video card on a 15' platform and suspect most computer professionals have specific hardware requirements. Without the option to build the system ( which all ready has pretty limited customization options and 80% is up sell pitching anyway ) they would be removing something that gives them an advantage in a crowded commodity market. On the other hand, it creates opportunity for new manufacturers

What does "cut back customizing" mean? (2, Insightful)

Tim[m] (5411) | about 6 years ago | (#22976658)

e.g.

1. We will cease customizations through our "Dell Home" program but will continue with it in our "Dell Large Business" program.

2. We will cease customizations for our "Dimension" line but continue customizations for our "Optiplex" and "PowerEdge" lines.

2. We will continue supporting some customizations (e.g. RAM and HD) but cease support for other customizations (e.g. anti-virus software).

3. We will increase the price on customized models and decrease the price on prepackaged models in order to reshape demand.

Re:What does "cut back customizing" mean? (1)

mpeskett (1221084) | about 6 years ago | (#22976832)

So what... no more customising at all in the "Home" section? If they're only doing custom orders for Large businesses then the rest of us are all getting screwed. The Dimension line is the only one of those 3 that I've heard of. Looking at Dell's site, the Optiplex is only available in the business sections, and Poweredge is servers. Again, home users getting shut out it seems. My cynical side is reading the 3rd point as "we will sell you antivirus software you don't want, just bend over and accept it. Last point... oh, great, charge us more for the one thing that sets you apart from the competition, great strategy there Dell. Really, I applaud whichever bright spark decided they needed to cut costs by not doing the thing that makes them worth giving money to. They aren't known for impressive quality, so how they expect cutting down on the customisability to help I do not know. The only reason I'd consider Dell over any other make is that I get some choice over what goes inside. A desktop I can build my self, but laptops... not so much.

There goes their one selling point... (2, Insightful)

wiwa (905999) | about 6 years ago | (#22976682)

So, remind me again what I can now get from Dell that I couldn't get from any other manufacturer? Nothing? Oh well then I might just take my business elsewhere. Hrmph!

Customizing "not needed" (1)

linux pickle (974544) | about 6 years ago | (#22976684)

A friend of mine just bought a Dell XPS laptop because he loved how configurable it was. I bet there are plenty more people who agree. It would make sense for them to cut customization on the more basic models (Inspiron, Dimension) but keep it for the gaming models. As for outsourcing, I just hope their quality doesn't degrade. Right now I'm using a 9 year old Dell desktop that has been chugging along just fine the whole time.

Apostrophe's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976704)

and they're use's.

Anti-Foreign Bias (2, Insightful)

NEOtaku17 (679902) | about 6 years ago | (#22976756)

"The deeper downside: Dell will outsource more production and assembly."

Which will result in lower prices which is good for consumers. How is this the deeper downside? Why are Americans, which have one of the highest standards of living in the world, more deserving of these jobs than people in other countries?

Re:Anti-Foreign Bias (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | about 6 years ago | (#22976986)

The concern is that America is importing more than it exports. Overtime, this causes long-term damage to an economy.

By itself, outsourcing isn't bad. However, combine that with exports (manufactured goods are more expensive here than elsewhere) then there is a problem.

Re:Anti-Foreign Bias (1)

homer_s (799572) | about 6 years ago | (#22977086)

The concern is that America is importing more than it exports. Overtime, this causes long-term damage to an economy.

If the Chinese are giving you free stuff (if you are giving them less than what they give you, you are getting something for free), why is that bad?

Are the Chinese and every other country that dumb that they want to give away their wealth and work to you for free?

Re:Anti-Foreign Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22977016)

> more deserving of these jobs than people in other countries

It has nothing to do that. Stop trying to turn this into a race issue. It has to do with quality. Typically when you buy American-made products you get better quality than when you buy something made in China. It's like with pre-unification Germany. When you saw the "Made in West Germany" label you typically got a product that was very high quality, even higher than American-made. Before Germany was sucked into mediocrity about fifteen years ago by uneducated and unmotivated people from East Germany, I bought all of my tools and shop machinery from West Germany. Now I buy American for things I need to last, but I do buy plenty of Chinese garbage for machines or bits that I will only use a few times. Typically the Chinese garbage will only last 10% of the line of a real American-made machine or bit, but for certain purposes that's acceptable.

Where are you from that you don't understand quality? Are you an inexperienced and naive college student w/o real world experience?

Re:Anti-Foreign Bias (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 6 years ago | (#22977100)

Which will result in lower prices which is good for consumers. How is this the deeper downside? Why are Americans, which have one of the highest standards of living in the world, more deserving of these jobs than people in other countries?

I think he was talking about the downside as it applies to the build quality, not the economy. But I agree with you in general - when people talk about slashing gov. sponsored R&D funding, I ask a very complex simple question: why are janitors in America paid many, many times those in India for doing the same work?

Re:Anti-Foreign Bias (1)

homer_s (799572) | about 6 years ago | (#22977106)

Because Americans do not want cheaper goods and services. They want full employment.
Even if such employment makes everything more expensive and results in Americans working longer hours.
Remember, only evil economists say that productivity gains make everyone richer. The truth is, slogging away for 20 hours a day is what people really want.

something Dell neecs to consider (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 6 years ago | (#22976806)

not everybody buying a PC is a first time buyer, take me & lots of others, i recently bought a new LCD monitor (wide screen) that can do 1680x1050 and i don't need another monitor, i already have a decent keyboard & mouse, if anything all i want is a new motherboard & CPU combo, but sometimes i dont want to build my own but a new tower with a great motherboard & CPU sounds great providing the motherboard has a Linux compatible chipset (especially ethernet and audio) and upgradeable - PCIe is a must nowadays, i search around at newegg & tigerdirect but i dont always want to build another = Hey Dell! show me something that makes buying a pre-assembled system from you just as good (maybe better) that what i can get from newegg or tigerdirect, if Dell can do that then they would have captured a chunk of the market share that made newegg & tigerdirect successful...

Re:something Dell neecs to consider (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976968)

Thanks for the idiotic rambling paragraph without any logic, sentence structure, or cohesive thought. As such, we at Dell feel that you would fit in perfectly with our Business Planning and Development department. Let me know if you are interested and when you will be available for an interview.

Cheers,
Michael Dell

still boycotting Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22976812)

I keep old postcards from Dell on my desk. Here's one:

DELL MAIL-IN REBATE

Dear Consumer:
Thank you for participating in this promotion. Unfortunately, we could not honor your request because of the following reason:

YOur request was postmarked beyond the eligibility period of this promotion. [BULLSHIT!]

BTW the rebate was for 150 USD, which was MY MONEY that probably went into Michael Dell's Pebble Beach CC Membership Fund instead. Yes, this was from several years back. No matter.

After 12 years, our agency stopped purchasing Dell (1)

Jameson Burt (33679) | about 6 years ago | (#22976850)

Until a year ago, the workstations everyone of my agency's employees used
came from Dell.
Before Dell (in the early 1990's), we had problems with companies like Micron and Compaq.
Now, for a couple years, we have had problems with Dell; eg,
my computer is on its fourth motherboard in as many years,
and I know if I leave my computer on 24 hours a day
that its motherboard will burnout.
Dell has replaced every one of our agencies motherboards on our Dell computers,
but they keep burning out.
For our 1000 personnel, over the last year,
we no longer buy Dell, but buy HP workstations.

Re:After 12 years, our agency stopped purchasing D (1)

clifffton (912293) | about 6 years ago | (#22976936)

Gotta love those GX260's eh? Glad those are only 3 of the 600 PCs I take care of! The new Vostros look like eMachines (inside and out), but the mobos are at dead stock ATX ones you can get at "Fred's computers and screen doors".

Re:After 12 years, our agency stopped purchasing D (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 6 years ago | (#22976976)

One of my first computers was a Dell. A 4MHz PC-AT that had a turbo button that could send it to a blazing 8MHz! It was a fine machine, and I never had a single problem with it for several years. Of course Dell was one of the most expensive PC's you could buy, second only to an "original" IBM machine. However since the mid 90's I have heard nothing but complaints from Dell owners - apparently they sacrificed quality when they decided to drop the price. There's no reason at all for an electronic device to fail for YEARS after the initial burn in period, unless it's poorly designed or made with dodgy components (or your electric company sucks or you get a lightning strike). Yet most Dell owners I know, including the computer lab at my alma mater - regretted their choice.

Meh, I wish them luck redesigning their business, but the only people who buy "Dell" nowadays are the ones swayed by the media hype.

I still build my own PC's, ever since the day of the 386, and have never had ANY problems.

Re:After 12 years, our agency stopped purchasing D (1)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | about 6 years ago | (#22977060)

I have 3 Dells in my household, as well as a couple at work. I pretty much run on Dell everywhere. I am writing this on a Ubuntu Dell. I mean, their support is craptastic, like everyone elses. But I have been running Dell for 5 years and never had any failur#64vg

******** NO_CARRIER *******

Expensive options (4, Informative)

Dzimas (547818) | about 6 years ago | (#22976896)

My experience is that customizing a Dell always costs an arm and three legs. Upgrading RAM costs twice what it would to buy retail, and please don't tell me that a 320 GB hard drive costs $100 more than a lowly $160 GB model. They make money hand over fist when small/medium business purchase customized machines (I've seen co-workers add on $1000 in not-so-necessary option), but the company has a much harder time with price-sensitive customers. I've purchased three Dells for home use over the past six years, and in each case I waited until they offered an extremely good deal and bought a minimally configured system and added my own memory, second hard drive and video card.

Dell has been losing ground against other manufacturers, and one often sees off-the-shelf machines at Best Buy that offer better value and immediate availability. Part of the reason is that more and more buyers are opting for notebook PCs that are made in China alongside machines from HP, Acer and countless other competitors. In essence, Dell adds an extra layer of complexity to their manufacturing process by allowing customization of these laptops to occur once they arrive in North America. In the meantime, Acer is able to ship preconfigured systems directly to retail outlets without additional expense. The days of the big beige box are coming to an end, and much of Dell's business advantage centered on getting people to buy overpriced (and often unnecessary) upgrades that simply aren't feasible in a notebook form factor.

Well, that sucks (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 6 years ago | (#22976962)

I've bought several Dell's in the past, and been happy with the driver support and things

My latest purchase is about a year-old Inspiron E1705 with a GeForce 7900GS, C2D, 2GB RAM.

Every Single pre-selected system I've ever seen of theirs doesn't work for me. I have strange needs - I don't need a 600GB hard-drive, that's what my GigE is for. I don't need a whopping-huge screen because I need a faster processor. I don't need 3GB ram installed because I need a faster processor.

Basically, I order a system built for what I need it for. I don't want to (and haven't had to) pay for things I don't use. If they change that, I guess I'll need to go HP... anybody else have suggestions?

Ron Garriques/Motorola Connection? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22977032)

Many former and current Motorolans will wonder if this has anything to do with Ron Garriques [dell.com] joining Dell. Maybe he'll run Dell into the ground just like he did at Motorola.

Sumbission is flamebait? (1)

thealsir (927362) | about 6 years ago | (#22977088)

Does anyone here get the same feeling that the submission is flamebait? Why is outsourcing production and assembly a necessarily bad thing, again?
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