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back to article Dell's PC biz craters as servers and networking chug along

If you want a proxy for what people think about the proposed $24.4bn buyout deal of Dell by company founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, don't look at the company's stock price, look at its financial results for its fourth quarter. Wall Street is worried about what Dell is going to do with the PC …

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Overpricing => falling sales

I'm not surprised Dell's PC numbers are down. When we came to quote a client for a few additional PCs in November, and asked Dell to give us prices for some SFF Optiplexes with identical spec to ones ordered a year earlier, they came back with prices that were higher than the original machines. And then by the time the client made up their mind about six weeks later (about something they'd said was "really urgent") and actually placed the order with us (sending a cheque through the post to cover the pro-forma we issued), Dell had withdrawn the specific models we wanted, so we asked them to come up with an equivalent, current, Optiplex and they came back with an even higher quote. In the end, they did match their own (by now almost) 2 month old quote, but they nearly lost the deal.

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Re: Overpricing => falling sales

To be fair to Dell, quotes usually have a limited time of validatity - usually 30 days.

Dell honouring a two month old quote is quite good (even if it did take some persuasion) I had one company recently refuse to honour a one week old quote !

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Re: Overpricing => falling sales

Oh, I didn't mind that the original quote could no longer be met. My point was that Dell were asking more in Nov 2012 than in 2011 for a 2011-spec PC, and then gave an even higher price for an equivalent new model in Jan 2013.

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Mushroom

Friends don't let friends buy Dells

I have a Dell at work, and there's no way in hell I'd ever buy a POS like that, or let a friend buy one. They're on the shitpile along with HP, Acer, Packard-Bell, and Gateway.

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Anonymous Coward

My experience with Dell had been reasonably good until two 15" XPS laptops failed within three weeks of each other, one 2 days past the three year warranty and one a little later. Both were motherboard/graphic chip major disasters. It is only now I know that there had been overheating problems with the Nvidea graphics cards, that had been 'repaired' with a Bois update to change the fan speeds. Always wondered why the laptops were so loud.

Repair costs were outrageous Dell didn't want to know now they were 'out' of warranty. One was replaced by a new Dell XPS 1645 and for the last nearly three years it has been frustration after frustration. In a rush? It takes ages to boot, need to send an email, do an urgent quote? It hangs around, use the facial recognition? Uninstalled, Half way through a document, fails to respond.

It is as if the laptop and proprietary software were developed by two people who spoke different languages, lived a thousand miles apart and had never heard of Windows. The laptop has been like a petulant teenager.

Finally had enough and went over to Apple, I can run Win 7 and OSX on the same machines and the last two months have been bliss, no waiting , no hanging, no crashing, no no responding. Maybe the new Dell line up has matured, too late for me though.

No I was not blinded by a retina display, I needed a disc drive and stand alone Ethernet connection. Im not Fanbois enough to buy an adapter.

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Anonymous Coward

Have they confirmed the share price for the offer yet?

If not then a set of bad results would tend to depress the share price, which would be helpful to the potential buyers.

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Sil

Logical

When you tell to anybody that will listen that you don't care for pcs and want to only do high margin enterprise stuff, same as HP btw, don't expect customers to continue to purchase your pcs.

Add a very badly run buyers' dep, see the 2-months long or more delivery time for the xps 12, a 0 goodwill gesture policy for consumers with high end laptops in need of repair or replacement, overpriced upgrades such as 200-300$ for a full hd screen on an xps 13, as well as a non existing marketing department and you have a recipe for disaster.

As a long time loyal customer for both work and personal I am very disappointed.

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I noticed in Computer Shopper April issue how for the first time in my living memory (20 years anyway) Dell is not advertising in the inside cover. A sign of the times.

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One of the problems around the SAN attach rate and network uptake...

...is that VARs, at least around me, are sticking to what they know best.

On the storage side I'm still getting the EMC and NetApp sales pitches with a few IBM as well. I have to go out and ask repeatedly to see Compellent or 3PAR options. One vendor even has a golden reference on Compellent, 360TB main site with replication and all the cool functionality licensed and used regularly with awesome performance (supporting server and desktop virtualization and a significant Oracle RAC cluster), the client simply adores it.

On the networking side you're looking at Cisco. That's just a fact. One vendor is starting to slot in Brocade where HP ProCurve used to be a good fit (they think A-series is garbage and they think E-series has no future). But if you wanted to hear about them or Force10 or Arista or Juniper you pretty much need to go through the manufacturer itself and have them hook you up with someone locally, and even then they'll probably try to steer you towards what they know best.

I don't want "what they know best", I want the actual "best solution to the problem".

It sucks to see since there's a lot of cool stuff out there, and we aren't seeing very many converged offerings as a result. This has to be impacting the bottom line, at least in smaller markets with smaller VARs with narrower skill sets.

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IT Angle

What Really Happened at Dell

"What Really Happened at Dell"

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No wonder they are tanking.

I was in the market for a new notebook to get in July or August before we were "blessed" that turd called Windows 8 and went pricing around for a replacement. I have bought Dell notebooks in the past and was generally pleased with them, but when I went to their site I couldn't believe their pricing and the lack of customizing I could do to the various notebook configurations I was interested in. Crappy or nonexistent cpu upgrade choices, crappy or nonexistent hard drive choices and pricing way out of line with the competition. No wonder Dell is tanking in the desktop and notebook consumer market.

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Meh

No Interest...

Looks pretty clear to me they don't see PC's, desktops or notebooks as 'their thing' moving forward.....can't say I blame them. The success of their early forays and strategy no longer deliver.

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Buying Dell for Personal and Work for over 20 years but...

Yup buying Dell on and off for over 20 years for both personal and work use. Recall when Dell had manufacturing in Bracknell, small affair then and not buying IBM in those days was a big decision which we took and pleased we did.

Moved out of buying kit at work (for the moment) and looking for a PC at home last year to replace XPS 420, already had an HP Home Server and when comparing HP kit to Dell, HP by a long way was so much cheaper like for like.

It felt a bit odd having for the 1st time in 20 years not having any Dell kit running in my home, now an HP shop, not because Dell is a bad product, just that HP and its products and price was a better fit. Wonder who is listening at Dell as seems I am not alone?

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