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back to article Reliant on Dell for PCs? Start looking around, says Gartner ball-gazer

Can it really be that enterprise customers should make sure they have an emergency raft ready to head to the shores of rival PC makers should Dell jettison its desktop and notebook portfolio when it goes private? Yes indeed, says Gartner research director Adrien O'Connell, who reckons Dell will not quit this year but may do …

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Facepalm

"The involvement of Microsoft in the LBO..."

Dell may get out of the desktop & notebook business? Makes sense, MS seem to be trying the same thing after all.

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Errrrr....

If that's the case why did they buy wyse?!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Errrrr....

Because they have money but no ideas of what to do with them.

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Re: Errrrr....

A few years back they had a nice advertisement where they showed a VT100 (I think). Maybe they got lots of requests for Terminals so it makes sense to buy a terminal maker.

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Facepalm

<Yawn>

So, Dell might stop making PCs some time in the future, should the client model change, etc., etc. Wow. In other news, equally visionary analysts declare that one day, maybe in a million years or so, when we have developed flying cars, Michelin may exit the car tyre market....

Seriously, this guy works for Gartner?

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Re: <Yawn>

IBM exit the PC market, that they invented?

Inconceivable!

Sell the famous ThinkPad line to some chinese OEM ?

Inconceivable!

- this word, I do not think it means what you think it means !

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Devil

Re: <Yawn>

Umm

analyst:

a bean-counting bloke trying to find his 'niche' among the many markets and segments, armed only with a tad more understanding than a totally clueless person but a tad less than an enthusiastic home user and unwilling to ever listen to anyone with technical expertise (eg engineers, management etc) who's not interested in short-term gains or in his pitiful game to play up his own positions.

In short the so-called 'analyst' is really a clueless bean-counter or less - being called an 'analyst' is pretty much a derogatory term if he works for these hilarious 'market research' outlet...

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Anonymous Coward

"...but will need to monitor the situation for danger signs, such as delayed deliveries, incomplete or improperly fufilled orders or lack of account team responsiveness."

So given my many negative experiences with Dell, they have been planning this for the last seven years then.

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So True...

Their account managers moved to India a few years ago and it's been crap ever since. I imagine a lot of purchasers are already looking elsewhere.

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Re: So True...

I'm a reasonably large enterprise customer and mine is in Ireland.

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Re: So True...

My Dell account manager is in Scotland. Almost as bad. :)

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Facepalm

So one of the biggest PC manufacturers may stop making PC's?

Well, Nokia stopped making their own phones and look how well that worked out for them.

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Facepalm

Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb...

The hell are they trying to accomplish lately? Microsoft loses its mind over Windows 8, will not back off from Metro like they have a death pact with the designer ("It's Metro or bust!"), while the marketing 'analysts' are calling for the death of the laptop / desktop with no viable replacements...unless you are purely a consumer of content. Who in their right mind would jettison a core part of their business, with no replacement for it? It's like they are purposefully trying to damage their companies...which sadly may be the truth here.

Meanwhile, businesses are screaming that they can't find enough STEM people on both sides of the pond, yet are incapable of paying a wage that would not be considered an insult (to your dead relatives). Or they can pay a decent wage, but need 5+ years experience for an entry level / junior position....which is insane (certifiable).

And then there's Cyprus...wow. I mean, just wow. That entire situation is a pig's breakfast.

I can't tell, has someone been putting something in our 'leaders' coffees / teas lately? Because it's either some of the best stuff money can buy, or something you shouldn't feed to animals.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb...

You're not wrong.

Do readers know that Bilderberg conference stuff that the regular media either didn't cover or told you to laugh at?

For readers who don't know it (yet), you're looking at their desired end state coming to a country near you in five years or less.

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Dell gone? There's always...

This small company that has two letters in its name. Based in silicon valley as well. Ready and willing to sell things.

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FAIL

Re: Dell gone? There's always...

>This small company that has two letters in its name.

Err, what they're willing to sell you is ink, the rest, not so much. Or it should be their entire PC division. Which they, a little later, reconsidered.

Not the best alternative, IMO.

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Re: Dell gone? There's always...

That the same two letter printer-ink seller that announced it was getting rid of it's PC business before suddenly changing it's mind when the all its customers said WTF?

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Stop

Re: Dell gone? There's always...

Uhh, actually the one that has the best chance taking over Dell's position in case of a blowup is most likely Lenovo, not HP - they have the balls, the agility and the will.

HP lacks all of them especially since HP'S UTTERLY CLUELESS, FRIGHTENINGLY INCOMPETENT, CLUELESS BOARD pushed out Hurd, the last knowledgeable guy on trumped-up BS claims, only to first nominate a recently-fired ex-software sales guy who in just about two speeches he gave quickly ERASED 1/3RD OF HP'S VALUE (remember? entire $1.2B Palm investment was sent down the toilet due to his utter lack of clue about the market, PC division was almost put up on a stoop sale, all announced MONTHS AHEAD) then proceeded to make the most incredibly retarded purchase of the industry, to buy a near-worthless UK auditing firm specialized in cheating for almost ~$9B which, not too surprisingly for anyone who knows these firms, turn out to be a complete fraud (again, it was their business model, to help companies to cheat, lie in order to evade paying taxes.)

Not content on resting on their laurels/newly found fame - of being the MOST UTTERLY CLUELESS BOARD OF THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY - these @ss-backward clowns (= HP's board members) topped it off by replacing the glorified sales guy with a glorified sales woman, their then-paid "board advisor", previously famous for pissing away 2.5 BEEEELIONS of eBay's money on Skype (her successor eventually sold it for $1.9B, retaining ~1/3rd and if it weren't for Andreessen-Horowitz/Silver Lake's golden deal with MS' insane $8.5B purchase of Skype eBay would have lost a boatload of money on it.) Fear nothing, Meg Whitman declared turnaround is just around the corner - a year later that corner looked more and more elusive, farther and farther away, she admitted, sending HP's stocks into new lows again...

...in the meantime the entire world+dog moved onto mobile systems, running Android and iOS, so with their $1.2B Palm investment still sitting in their portfolio as a shut project what did this glorified aging sales lady do?

Yep, you've guessed right, the exact opposite of the most logical decision - instead of salvaging their Palm/WebOS investment and restarting development etc she just ditched the entire dev group, turning some of the code into open source and selling the rest to LG to be used in TVs for ashtray change and - wait, wait for it - decided to release...

....WINDOWS 8 TABLETS. Yes, you are reading it right, the world's WORST-SELLING TABLET, with zero differentiation whatsoever, spending ANOTHER gazillion development bucks on developing ANOTHER bland tablet nobody wants to buy.

Let's face it: unless something radical happens and HP'S UTTERLY CLUELESS, CRIMINALLY INCOMPETENT BOARD is thrown out HP is DONE in ~5 years.

As for Dell my guess is that Michael Dell is very well aware of this short-term-oriented, retarded stock-jock investor view hence his move to take Dell private - no need to fear a similarly retarded board takeover in HP's fashion, they can focus on building something worthy of a couple of years investment...

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Windows

Here comes the cluetrain

Seems the analysts have finally discovered that making Windows PCs and laptops is not profitable.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Here comes the cluetrain

Too much competition? race to the bottom?

Google are doing the same for Android phones with their Nexus 4.

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Anonymous Coward

All these big companies somehow killing their own businesses because they don't think it has a future?

Just what on earth are people going to write software for tablets and phones on if there's no laptops or desktops?

What about people doing special FX for films? are they really going to sit at a desk looking at a 10" tablet trying to create a polygon model of something?

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Anonymous Coward

Are you serious?

"Just what on earth are people going to write software for tablets and phones on if there's no laptops or desktops?"

First, x86/Windows is not the future. Some people may be uncomfortable with that statement.

Second, Linux is a big part of the future, in lots of boxes in lots of places. A phone or tablet with an HDMI-connected monitor and USB host capability (already here) and Linux as the OS (prototyping now) is just as capable a software development platform as a typical legacy Window box, in general.

Where's the problem (unless of course you're certified Microsoft dependent or x86 dependent, in which case now would be a good time to start learning about migration options and tools)?

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Go

Re: Are you serious?

I'm using linux for 10-15 years and I'm still saying the same thing: wake me up when linux runs at least the same amount of games and apps Windows does. I WISH it would - unfortunately it has yet to happen, with linux still being nowhere near to even match OS X on the desktop when it comes to usability and user experience despite OS X is still being a niche compared to Windows 7 and its entire ecosystem...

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Vic
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Re: Are you serious?

> First, x86/Windows is not the future.

It is for some while yet.

I've install G/L and other FOSS in numerous places. I do so either because it out-performs the non-Free alternative, or else it fits with the customer's budget.

I'd guess about 70% of such installations survive; of the other 30%, some are replaced becuase they're "different to what we know[1]" or because some local monkey has turned up with a cracked copy and installed it for a tenner...

We might not like Windows, we might not like x86, but they're going to be here for some time.

Vic.

[1] This is often the most bogus excuse ever. I've had people, for example, *insist* that then needed IE rather than FireFox, and have crowed loudly when they eventually got IE about how they were right all along. And yet a glance at the title bar of the window you get when you press the blue "E" icon still says "FireFox"...

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Vic
Silver badge

Re: Are you serious?

> linux still being nowhere near to even match OS X on the desktop

I keep hearing this, but I don't get it.

I've got Linux machines. I've got OS/X machines. I prefer the former - by a large margin. I just don't rate the OS/X desktop.

It's rather more profitable, though...

Vic.

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Delayed or improperly or incomplete fulfilled orders?

The cutover from the Tx500 to Tx600 Precision line was, quite frankly, a f***ing joke.

Saw this written in the wall months back - they do not seem to give a toss about their Enterprise Workstation line anymore.

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Silver badge

Hmm, markets probably split again

Let's look back 20 years. In the early 1990s a consumer might have bought a C64 or an Amiga while businesses bought "IBM-PCs" if they were small, or some sort of Unix or VMS system if they were large. (or maybe an AS400) If you were doing serious computation/engineering you'd have a Unix workstation.

Then those 4 markets converged onto the "IBM-PC" at it's peak even running Windows for all purposes. Suddenly home computer owners got PCs, lager companies got PC-based servers and even engineers got PCs now often running Linux.

Those markets split again. Consumers who previously bought PCs now switch to tablets and other gaming devices. Businesses are contempt with what hardware they've got, and since they got enough hardware 3-7 years ago that's still useful, it'll take them a few more years to start buying again. And engineers, well that's a small market anyhow, but those increasingly get away from Windows to use Linux.

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Stop

Re: Hmm, markets probably split again

but tablets wont work for everyone though. You are still going to need drone computers. A hell of a lot of company software has been "online" for years, many being web apps or at least browser apps. These can run happily in a tablet but still arent suitable for the person on the phone logging a call or raising support tickets.

It is no fun typing on tablets even with keyboards added as a bluetooth option. Screen is too small, fiddly to set up in a hurry etc whereas a laptop can still do the business and with an SSD packing laptop costing less than a tablet with external screen, docking station and keyboard you will still have a taker.

Tablets have their uses but they arent the one-size-fits all.

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Silver badge

Re: Hmm, markets probably split again

Well tablets are good for the consumer part of the market. Those people who previously had games consoles.

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Anonymous Coward

That's a shame, will basically wipe out the desktop / laptop repair market overnight.

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FAIL

thing is, for bigger companies the only reason they have dell servers, storage and possibly switches etc is probably part of a discounted package with optiplexes and latitudes. Take away the latitudes and optiplexes and HP will have a few more customers.

Dell will seriously shoot themselves in the foot if they exit the "desktop" market as there will be no reason at all to stay with their server and storage kit.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Err, no

First, Dell's servers are actually really nice and their ProSupport is usually much better than HP's myriad of higher level support/CarePacks/whatnot - while HP's support people regularly told me they cannot do/won't do this and that Dell's support staff always starts with a WebEx and have no problems even trying to fix non-Dell-branded gear.

(Best story about HP: ProCurve support, brand new ~$30k switch, something does not add up when we were trying to validate 10Gb modules... support contract personnel picks up the phone, we worked a bit without much success then I asked him to set up a remote session to make it quicker and look around in the unit/fix it if possible - the answer is "we do not do that"... I ask back something along the line of "Come again? You are the support I am paying for" he then basically told me they are not allowed to do anything in customer units (sic!) "because what if we make a mistake?" (sic!!!)... I couldn't believe what I just heard... upon request he repeated it again and again, then his supervisor repeated it again... I had to take it up to 2-3 steps higher in the food chain to finally have someone admit it is indeed utterly retarded, someone really did screw up something along the chain... took days, of course.)

That being said yes, price is a very important factor albeit not the single deciding one - support plays a huge role when it comes to server and network rooms.

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Silver badge

The important question is, will there be a common ARM platform

Will ARM manage to convince SoC vendors to create a common platform so you have common operating system images across different devices. This is the current strength of the x86 platform, you have the "IBM-PC" around it which allows you to use just about any operating system without porting on it.

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