Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 15th Jan 2013 01:24 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "Dell, the personal-computer maker that lost almost a third of its value last year, is in buyout talks with private-equity firms, two people with knowledge of the matter said. The shares surged." So yeah, like I said - no wonder Microsoft has entered the hardware business. The PC OEM era is over.
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Vulture capitalists?
by Kivada on Tue 15th Jan 2013 06:37 UTC
Kivada
Member since:
2010-07-07

So Dell is going to be chopped up and have all of it's employees thrown out without so much as a 2 weeks notice?

Edited 2013-01-15 06:38 UTC

Reply Score: 4

I don't get this
by justSomeGuy on Tue 15th Jan 2013 07:07 UTC
justSomeGuy
Member since:
2011-08-30

It's really not like me to defend Dell of all companies, but I really don't get this.

I remember seeing a graph a few weeks ago in some other story about this topic, but I have no idea where I saw it. It showed that Dell's market cap had fallen by about a third, but sales were relatively flat. They were down by low single digits year over year.

I know sales aren't indicative of profit, but for a pretty mature company like Dell, I'd think if their sales are steady they should be good. So what gives? Are they suddenly mismanaging money? Is previous mismanagement suddenly being discovered? Or is this speculation?

Even though they may be projected to ship fewer boxes in the future, Dell gets a good chunk of cash from organizational support contracts. And afaik, those aren't really in danger.

Can anyone explain? I'm basing off of experience working with Dell about 5 years ago. Have things changed that much?

Reply Score: 2

RE: I don't get this
by boblowski on Tue 15th Jan 2013 10:06 UTC in reply to "I don't get this"
boblowski Member since:
2007-07-23

I'm not an economist, but the idea seems to be that a company like Dell is an interesting target for private-equity firms, just because it offers a solid base (stable sales and stock valuation) in a declining market (which enhances the vulnerability of competing companies in this market). With enough fresh higher-risk capital it can be turned into (or even broken up into) one or more smaller parts that each can pursue a more aggressive expansion strategy with a higher valuation.

For a less mature company or in a stable or growing market the risks of such a disruptive strategy might not way up to the potential return on investment.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I don't get this
by OSbunny on Tue 15th Jan 2013 13:52 UTC in reply to "I don't get this"
OSbunny Member since:
2009-05-23

Share prices are based on prospects for future growth. Dell has limited prospects for growth so its share price suffers.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Tue 15th Jan 2013 07:15 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

Dell doesn't really innovate or lead in anything. That just means they'll get beat up if anything changes, which it has and they have

There is still market room for good standards-based hardware, it just can't be a beige box forever

Asus, razr, and other little PC makers have grown large from nothing because they did something. What has dell done. Dell done shit

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by Luminair
by Kochise on Tue 15th Jan 2013 09:24 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Bought last year 3 laptops, Dell Vostro 3555 with AMD APU A8-3500M with integrated GPU Radeon HD 6620G. This beast have everything you can expect : USB 3, BlueTooth, Wifi-N, Ethernet Gigabit, eSata, HDMI, VGA, SDHC, ExpressCard 34mm, antiglare screen, ...

The problem is the hardware support of parts. One year after, it's hardly even possible to get them a back-lit keyboard that was not available at time of purchase. And when they finally found some, it's out of guarantee so with higher price, and they even fail to make a correct invoice (I asked for 2, they make the first with 1, the second with 3)

And since then, they ditched away the AMD APUs altogether. So no more Dell hardware for me, thanks. Otherwise they are very good machines, as well conceived than Apple's hardware, very neat engineering. Perhaps outsourced to Foxxcon as well ?

Kochise

Reply Score: 4

sad
by SeeM on Tue 15th Jan 2013 08:36 UTC
SeeM
Member since:
2011-09-10

Is there any company with normal boxes like Dell? I have some of these, including two older PIII1000 and they are working like horses. And keyboards are awesome.

I think Dell have Sun's syndrome. They make too good products.

Edited 2013-01-15 08:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: sad
by darknexus on Tue 15th Jan 2013 15:21 UTC in reply to "sad"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Is there any company with normal boxes like Dell? I have some of these, including two older PIII1000 and they are working like horses. And keyboards are awesome.


Yeah, that was Dell five years ago. Have you had the misfortune to deal with any of Dell's more recent consumer-oriented hardware? Those things absolutely do not work like horses. Cost-cutting components, bad drivers, awful service, poor case designs that result in overheating, etc. You can still get good Dell hardware, but only if you buy their business class products which are far more expensive than the cheap hardware most associate with the company. If you buy a consumer-grade Dell now, expect it to last a year and then develop problems and, unless you're competent to fix it yourself (which I'm guessing most visitors to this site are), you're going to get the endless runaround when you want them to fix it under warranty.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: sad
by BluenoseJake on Tue 15th Jan 2013 15:32 UTC in reply to "RE: sad"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

I've actually had very good experiences with Dells warranty support. I have 3 Dells in the house, 2 laptops and a desktop, all older now, and when the hard drive died in the desktop, Dell had no problem shipping me a new one, and letting me ship the old one back.

I expected arguments, having to reinstall Vista, all the normal support bullshit. They surprised me. The phone call itself took less then 20 minutes.

I have been buying Dell laptops for years now, because I love their financing, easy, quick, and if you pay it off before the term, no interest.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: sad
by lucas_maximus on Tue 15th Jan 2013 20:04 UTC in reply to "RE: sad"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Depends whether it is business line or a consumer line.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: sad
by Drumhellar on Wed 16th Jan 2013 19:44 UTC in reply to "RE: sad"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

My XPS 15 laptop is solid. Works great, too.

Well, I had a DVD drive issue, and at first they wanted to claim it was a software issue (And, thus, something I did), but after I politely insisted it wasn't, they overnighted me a box to send it, and a week later it had been repaired.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kovacm
by kovacm on Tue 15th Jan 2013 10:26 UTC
kovacm
Member since:
2010-12-16

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders,"
Michael Dell, October 1997. about Apple Computer

http://news.cnet.com/2100-1001-203937.html


Michael Dell, year ago about Apple:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3YDKONQfis (1:30)

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by kovacm
by moondevil on Tue 15th Jan 2013 10:35 UTC in reply to "Comment by kovacm"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

This is why I hate shareholders' driven decisions.

There are many companies that get destroyed just because their current profit level is not in sync with shareholders wishes.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by kovacm
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 15th Jan 2013 11:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by kovacm"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

People should really stop bringing that up. Apple WAS dead. The ONLY reason it came back to life was Jobs. That's it.

Nobody could've seen that coming. Stop trying to make it seem as if Dell was some sort of rambling idiot - he was exactly right at the time. It's easy and cheap to look back 16 years and claim smug superiority.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by kovacm
by moondevil on Tue 15th Jan 2013 13:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kovacm"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

There are lots of people that only know the Mac OS X Apple it seems.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Comment by kovacm
by kovacm on Tue 15th Jan 2013 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kovacm"
kovacm Member since:
2010-12-16

There are lots of people that only know the Mac OS X Apple it seems.

and it seems that lots of people do not know for computers that had badged from my avatar ;)

Edited 2013-01-15 16:51 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by kovacm
by moondevil on Tue 15th Jan 2013 18:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kovacm"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

I miss those days. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by kovacm
by zima on Fri 18th Jan 2013 14:45 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by kovacm"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I miss those days. ;)

Finally with a ";)" ...did my pointing out 80s wasn't all roses worked? ;p

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by kovacm
by MOS6510 on Tue 15th Jan 2013 19:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kovacm"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Bonus trivia:

What does "atari" mean?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by kovacm
by ssokolow on Tue 15th Jan 2013 19:40 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by kovacm"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Ironically, I learned the meaning of "atari" in high school and it took me about three years before events made me stop to consider that, maybe, the company I'd vaguely heard of while playing NES and SNES games as a young child might have chosen that name because it was a pre-existing word.

...but then that's the problem with getting familiar with words at a young age. You often forget to re-evaluate them once you're old enough to appreciate their context.

Edited 2013-01-15 19:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by kovacm
by MOS6510 on Tue 15th Jan 2013 19:54 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by kovacm"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Atari was well known when I grew up, but long after their demise did I learn the meaning.

Well, we had no Wikipedia or Internet access back then.

If anyone of you is bored it can be fun to find out how companies got their names. Epson, Sharp and Sony are very nice ones.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by kovacm
by kovacm on Tue 15th Jan 2013 20:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by kovacm"
kovacm Member since:
2010-12-16

Bonus trivia:

What does "atari" mean?


touché! ;)

I mention Atari in response to Thom: "People should really stop bringing that up. Apple WAS dead." - yes, for most people Apple was on exactly same path as Atari, Commodore, IBM (in PC sector), NeXT, SUN, SGi... and all other GREAT companies... and before that, it was truly amazing time until...

...they all went down thanks to Microsoft (and sheep-like users)!

but Apple/Steve Jobs prove that MIRACLES are possible ;)
- return of Apple to mainstream computing AND beginning of Microsoft downfall today is biggest thing ever happened in computer world for last three decades ;)

...and I am very happy that WORLD finally recognized RIGHT path!


for end, let me quote Douglas Adams which beautifully illustrate 80s and 90s:

"The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining armour to lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos neatly ignores the fact that it was he, by peddling second rate technology, led them into it in the first place, and continues to do so today."

Edited 2013-01-15 20:29 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: Comment by kovacm
by MOS6510 on Tue 15th Jan 2013 20:42 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by kovacm"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I agree, with one exception: NeXT wasn't really a great company. They had some interesting ideas and technology, but could barely shed their start-up skin.

It was a rather small company. If it hadn't been for Steve Jobs and his return to Apple I suspect most people would never have known about it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by kovacm
by moondevil on Tue 15th Jan 2013 21:21 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by kovacm"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

My graduation project was to port a graphics framework from the (evaluated as) defunct NeXTSTEP (Objective-C) to the newly shiny Windows 98 (C++).

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by kovacm
by zima on Fri 18th Jan 2013 14:39 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by kovacm"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

NeXT [...] was a rather small company. If it hadn't been for Steve Jobs and his return to Apple I suspect most people would never have known about it.

I think most people don't know about NeXT, anyway - only ~geeks do.

But there's one thing for which we would remember it even without the return of Steve Jobs to Apple: WWW started on a NeXT machine.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by kovacm
by moondevil on Tue 15th Jan 2013 21:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by kovacm"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

I don't know how bad this would influence computer prices, because PC OEM were the ones driving them down.

But I really miss the Software+Hardware (without bloatware) experience that the other systems had, before the PC became the only game in town.

Sure it has portability issues, as the older from us can remember, or see again in the mobile space. On the other hand it really forces everyone, even against their will, to play nicer with each other in data formats.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by kovacm
by zima on Tue 22nd Jan 2013 23:03 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by kovacm"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

kovacm, you are detached from reality. ALL custom platforms died out, also Macintoshes (they are now completely generic PCs under the hood, with mostly generic software).

Wintel ecosystem was and is simply better than those "GREAT companies" http://www.osnews.com/thread?522221

Reply Score: 2

Dell oh Dell
by ameasures on Tue 15th Jan 2013 12:18 UTC
ameasures
Member since:
2006-01-09

Dell started by manufacturing their own. They then outsourced production to cut costs - it was all the rage and all good business schools were recommending it.

Roll on a few years; Asus had the outsourcing contracts and have gone on to use their own branding to eat Dell's lunch and dinner.

Reply Score: 7