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Michael Dell To Buy Dell Inc.

timothy posted about a year ago | from the dell-by-any-other-name dept.

Businesses 175

awarrenfells writes "After a shareholder vote, Michael Dell is expected to buy out and take Dell Inc. private. This move comes in the wake of plans to move Dell into position as an enterprise computing provider, but some analysts state this move may have come too late, much of the target market being taken by IBM and HP already." Nerval's Lobster provides some more details at Slash Cloud: "[T]he final buyout price was $13.75 a share, which includes a 13-cent-a-share “special dividend.” All told, that puts the deal’s price at $24.9 billion. In order to reach this point, Dell and Silver Lake had to fend off activist investor Carl Icahn and investment firm Southeastern Asset Management, which made their own combined play for a restructured capitalization. In a series of public letters, Icahn argued that Dell’s privatization proposal undervalued the company, and—at least until the beginning of September—made it very clear that he was willing to fight things out in court. By convincing the shareholders that his plan is the best route forward, Dell avoids what could have devolved into a very protracted and messy battle. Michael Dell wants to focus the majority of the company’s efforts on services, essentially remaking it into a tech firm more along the lines of IBM."

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175 comments

Good (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831365)

We need more CEOs with egos tied to their companies. At least they don't just loot them and run...

Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (4, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year ago | (#44831595)

We need more CEOs with egos tied to their companies. At least they don't just loot them and run...

I get the sentiment and there is a degree of truth there but here is a counterexample: Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC

Always practice due diligence. Even if someone's name is on the sign, even if the founders are still running the place.

Re:Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (2)

chuckugly (2030942) | about a year ago | (#44832111)

McAfee, although he did leave the company for almost 20 years BEFORE becoming infamous.

Re:Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (2)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | about a year ago | (#44832617)

"He's so famous, that he's *IN* famous."

Re:Good (-1, Troll)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#44831753)

We need more CEOs with egos tied to their companies.

Cute. The company he's buying happens to have the same name as he does. So It would be like someone name McDonald buying a burger company, or somebody named Ford buying an automobile manufacturer.

Re:Good (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44831783)

He happens to buy? The company is named after him, he founded it!

Re:Good (4, Informative)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about a year ago | (#44831813)

Cute. The company he's buying happens to have the same name as he does. So It would be like someone name McDonald buying a burger company, or somebody named Ford buying an automobile manufacturer

The reason the company he's buying happens to have the same name as he does is because he founded the company in the 1980's. It later went public, and this is not the first time he's tried to take it private again. Many, many times over the years, he's made large stock buys/sells in the company to try to force an adjustment to the share price and/or reassure investors.

Obligatory disclaimer: I used to work for the company, and while I wouldn't say he's a friend, I've met him several times.

Re:Good (4, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year ago | (#44831819)

More specifically, it'd be like Henry Ford buying Ford Motor Company. Michael Dell founded Dell, the name is not a coincidence.

Re:Good (4, Informative)

prelelat (201821) | about a year ago | (#44831921)

What are you even talking about. Micheal Dell started that company from the ground up building computers one at a time by himself. He put a lot of hard work and time into that company and he sees it's in trouble. So instead of cashing out and getting the fuck away like most people would he takes it appon himself to buy up the company, make it private and try and fix it. He's definitely tied to that company he's treating it like he would a child that has lost it's way. What you are suggesting is that he's just some random guy who happens to have the same name and it's not a big deal. It's a huge deal, you know he's not going to come in there and run it to maximize profits short term, that he's not going to sell off everything to show profits to investors. A move like this suggests that he wants to go in there an fix the company long term without worrying about investors breathing down his neck.

Your trivializing this action in a day when it doesn't usually happen with large companies. Even apple was still publicly shared when Jobs took back his roll.

Re:Good (2)

MouseR (3264) | about a year ago | (#44832249)

Speaking of which, Steve Jobs must be laughing in his tomb. Dell should "re-embourse the shareholders and close the shop".

Not shutting down, just leaving Wall Street ... (4, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year ago | (#44832469)

Speaking of which, Steve Jobs must be laughing in his tomb. Dell should "re-embourse the shareholders and close the shop".

While he is returning money to shareholders he is not shutting down Dell. Its going private, its not going to be beholden to the quarterly desires of Wall Street. Dell is probably better of this way.

Re:Not shutting down, just leaving Wall Street ... (1)

MouseR (3264) | about a year ago | (#44832629)

Maybe you're too young to remember but... to put you back in context: http://news.cnet.com/2100-1001-203937.html [cnet.com]

In essence, I made a funny.

Re:Good (1)

Kinwolf (945345) | about a year ago | (#44832705)

After Apple showed the IPhone 5c this week, I'm pretty sure nothing could make him laugh in his tomb right now.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44832267)

Beet red much?

Re:Good (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year ago | (#44832523)

Well played, congrats.

Re:Good (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#44832389)

I much rather have people as stakeholders rather than shareholders in a corporation. Shareholders can just drop and run at any time, and really tend to not care about the long term future, assuming they have a sign of when to sell. Stakeholders are in it for the long haul.

Sadly, due to the hedge fund BS and the shareholder lawsuits if a company decides to put off some quarterly profits into R&D, the long term road tends to be ignored. Hopefully this will change.

I'm glad Dell is off the public exchange. They may not be as glamorous as Apple, but they are a major part of a lot of businesses, so if they are not subject to the constant lash of earnings, maybe they can make solid machines for business.

Dude! (5, Funny)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about a year ago | (#44831389)

He's getting Dell.

Re:Dude! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831759)

Does this mean he is doing another version of the IBM clone?

Re:Dude! (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44832263)

No, it means he's stoned.

Re:Dude! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44832661)

You're fired!

M.Dell (4, Interesting)

djupedal (584558) | about a year ago | (#44831393)

"Michael Dell wants to focus the majority of the company’s efforts on services, essentially remaking it into a tech firm more along the lines of IBM."

Problem is, IBM committed to that approach years ago, in a different world. I'm not sure that would work today, given how long traction would take and how things will continue to evolve in the mean time. You can't commoditize this kind of thing, after all.

Re:M.Dell (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831515)

> You can't commoditize this kind of thing, after all.

Commoditize is the right word. When people hire professionals to provide services, they want to hire an expert. They want someone they can trust. Dell has always been about selling the lowest quality crap they can get away with and then not honoring their warranties.

Just look at their recent keyboard fiasco. The KB212 drops keypresses, and Dell has decided that instead of honoring their warranty and replacing the keyboards that they instead would strike-out and insult the people that call them for replacements. When my boss called Dell about the eight we had that were dropping keypresses, they said that our employees that had trouble were incompetent and did not know how to use a keyboard. He is a Dell fanboy so he fired a couple people. He actually believes that the people that complained didn't know how to use a keyboard. That sort of dishonest crap over a $12 keyboard proves that Dell has no intention of ever becoming a trustworthy company.

Re:M.Dell (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831639)

Firing people over broken keyboards? Wow, you should try to get out ASAP!

Re:M.Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831845)

> you should try to get out ASAP!

I don't think so. Think about it logically. If you're the typical Dell fan, then you have very little to no technical knowledge. If they tell you that you have an employee that does not know how to use a keyboard, and you believe them, would you really want to keep that employee? From the point of the manager, it is logical. That is why Dell's intent to become a service company that will do more of this sort of thing is so disturbing.

Re:M.Dell (1)

sribe (304414) | about a year ago | (#44831727)

Commoditize is the right word. When people hire professionals to provide services, they want to hire an expert. They want someone they can trust. Dell has always been about selling the lowest quality crap they can get away with and then not honoring their warranties.

For consumers, small businesses, even medium businesses, yes, absolutely. I have my own share of horror stories, with Dell support outright lying to my face about warranties.

But if you're a big enough business to deal with their enterprise support, it's a whole other world. Call up support about a broken part, no questions asked, the replacement is in your hands 2 hours later!

Re:M.Dell (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44832287)

As always, you get what you pay for.

Re:M.Dell (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#44832505)

This is my exact experience.

Consumer side is crap service, lowest cost commodity components. Dell Enterprise grade is really worthy of that name. What gets me, is that people want Enterprise Support at Consumer Pricing, and there is no such thing. I Laugh at the people who say "I can build a NAS for so much less" (so can I, but my job isn't worth saving a few bucks over) and then complain about how it failed spectacularly. The same people think that RAID is backups and backups are RAID. I don't even bother to argue with them any longer because their ignorance is greater than my ability to cope with it.

If you want enterprise service, pay for enterprise grade equipment. There is a reason it is more expensive. If it isn't worth it to you, keep buying the cheap products. But at least understand the difference.

Re:M.Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831745)

> Dell...strike-out and insult the people

That was my experience. They called a coworker of mine to tell him I didn't know how to use a keyboard. They asked him to make sure I was "pressing firmly, deliberately, and with a pause at the bottom" while typing. They probably spent $20 on labor on the call to insult me when the keyboard doesn't even cost that much. They spent more time and money just to be jerks.

The reviews aren't good:

http://reviews.dell.com/2341n/331-2249/dell-dell-kb212-b-usb-104-quiet-key-keyboard-reviews/reviews.htm

The one that states "Drops about 20% of key presses" nailed it. We have about 150 of them. All that I have tested drop keys. Our CIO doesn't think he needs to replace them since Dell says they're not a problem. So, we have a bunch of expensive developers typing slower than normal just because of a $20 Dell piece of crap. No, I don't see companies paying money for services from a company like Dell.

Re:M.Dell (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44831817)

Why are the devs not bringing better one thens?
You think my Model M is company owned? You think all those folks with split keyboards had the company buy them?

Re:M.Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44832143)

Might be company policy that you can't.

Might in part be just that they shouldn't have to, so they won't.

Re:M.Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44832163)

You work at a company that will let you plug personally-owned hardware that hasn't been blessed by the IT department into company-owned machines? You lucky bastard. I can't even bring an unapproved USB device into the fucking building.

Re:M.Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44832171)

It must be nice to work for a company that lets you plug whatever you like into the corporate systems.

Re:M.Dell (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44832297)

No, I don't see companies paying money for services from a company like Dell.

Yet your boss thinks it's fine.

Guess who's more likely to be in contract negotiations?

Re:M.Dell (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44831975)

I'm gonna make the presumption here that you don't have Gold support from Dell. Their m.o. is to treat you like shit until you buy the gold contract, and then treat you like, um, gold. That's where the money is - the boxes are loss-leaders, or at least minimal-margin devices that probably just break even.

If you boss is a fanboi, tell him to buy the gold support contract - it will make your life easier, and if you're stuck in a Dell shop, you likely don't need more aggravation anyway. Heck, outsource all of the IT to this new Dell services arm if you're the last guy left.

Re:M.Dell (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#44832341)

Get a new job. You're working for an idiot.

Re:M.Dell (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#44831557)

"Services" encompasses rather a lot of possible avenues. Google and IBM aren't (for the most part) competitors, but their products both constitute "services".

That said, I'm not sure I understand where Dell is heading with this one. IBM had a significant business that wasn't "Putting new PCs in boxes and selling them" when it transitioned away from PCs. Dell... every corporation I've worked for has bought Dell computers, specifically, and outside of warranty and equipment rental services, I'm not sure what they sell on the service side. Put another way - they're moving from the business they're known for and have a high mindshare in to something that they need to build from scratch.

In that context, it might be easier for Michael Dell to invest the money in a new start-up, rather than an existing PC manufacturer.

But I'm an idiot programmer who posts to Slashdot and has no money and no insight into Dell's thinking. So I'm guessing (actually, I pretty much know) I'm wrong, I'm just curious to know what the truth is.

Re:M.Dell (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44831765)

But I'm an idiot programmer who posts to Slashdot and has no money and no insight into Dell's thinking.

Dell has a large chunk of cash in the bank. The purchasers now get that cash instead of the stockholders, so that's why it is worth taking private. That is also why Carl Icahn thought it was worth fighting for.

I have no clue if they're going to do anything really different with the business, though. Maybe just grow smaller and smaller over time.....

Re:M.Dell (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | about a year ago | (#44831893)

Dell's commodity services are generally centered around selling hardware: hardware roll-out (desktop/laptops to all seats), server install / config / upgrade, Exchange migrations, etc. Basically tasks that are more tightly controlled in terms of scope and complexity. They also purchased what was Perot Systems for less commodity type services.

Re:M.Dell (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year ago | (#44831613)

The question is if Dell can challenge IBM, SAP, HP, et al at "services" for IT systems?

Then the question is can Michael Dell get the executives with the skills and vision to make it happen in an arena that is cutthroat.

Re:M.Dell (1)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#44832129)

You can argue that IBM had always sold services to the enterprise. Mainframes built and deployed in the 60's are still running today, and IBM continues to support them like they did over 50 years ago.

The restructuring they did in the 90's was merely changing from a hardware-centric service model to a software+hardware model. That, and they cut their consumer devices division that was turning into a cancerous tumor.

Dell once had incredible enterprise support. For a while, they were know as the company to buy enterprise servers and workstations from. Then, they tried to branch into the consumer market and failed miserably. The razor-thin margins not only were unsustainable, but it also cost them both a chunk of the support infrastructure they had built for the enterprise, as well as their good name. That's where they went wrong, and where IBM did right twenty years earlier.

If this is the direction Michael Dell wants to take his company, then there's a chance of success. If he wants to compete with IBM in hardware+software services, then he's got no chance.

Re:M.Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44832357)

Right, because there's never going to be more than 10 computers in the world

I'd shut it down... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831399)

I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders

Re:I'd shut it down... (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year ago | (#44831425)

Well, he's not shutting it down, but what do you think it means when they say he is going to "buy Dell"? It means that he is going to give money to the other shareholders in exchange for their share in Dell.

Re:I'd shut it down... (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44831485)

Yes, there is some delicious irony there.

Not that. (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#44831623)

No the Delicious Irony is Apple is giving money back to shareholders...to protect its share price. When it should be doing something exciting with that money.

Re:Not that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831733)

Imagine that, Fandroid has to find a way to wedge a slight against Apple into a conversation that doesn't involve either one of the entities.
 
If it weren't for the goosesteppers around here you wouldn't have any karma and you'd have already been modded -1 Off Topic.

Re:Not that. (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44832121)

I'd rather they give it to me than sit on it or spend it recklessly. You can only ramp up your organization so fast, and efficiencies are lower beyond a certain organization size (Microsoft -ahem-).

I bought Apple and Dell after the tech crash. Guess which stock I'm happier with? :)

Re:Not that. (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44832333)

It would *actually* be ironic if Apple was not still growing their cash position, even when giving back a dividend.

But they're doing both.

Out of innovation (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#44832675)

It would *actually* be ironic if Apple was not still growing their cash position, even when giving back a dividend.

But they're doing both.

...But in context of this article they didn't buy Dell...or Netflix...or Blah blah blah, While their profits shrink, Market Share (and sales in case of its iPad/Mac) shrink, Gross Margin compressed. There response has been to over promise and under deliver. The result the iPhone 5C and 5S I think they speak for themselves.

Re:I'd shut it down... (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about a year ago | (#44832105)

I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders

Yeah! Those 109,000 employees can just go fuck themselves.

Re:I'd shut it down... (1)

WheezyJoe (1168567) | about a year ago | (#44832329)

I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders

Why? Are you a shareholder? Will you be after the buyout? Do you have any self-serving reason to shill for shareholders?
If not, you're trolling. Time wasted. Get a life.

Re:I'd shut it down... (4, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44832445)

Save your scorn for Michael Dell - it's a direct quote [cnet.com] .

Any Dell share owners out there? (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about a year ago | (#44831401)

If you own(ed) part of Dell in the past, how's this impact you?

Re:Any Dell share owners out there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831569)

If you own(ed) part of Dell in the past, how's this impact you?

It means I can GTFO at a premium to the market.

The PC industry is in it's decline phase. Yeah, they are still selling dektops and laptops but the market is coninutally shrinking and eventually, it'll become a stable (but MUCH smaller) business.

Yes, i know, there will be a need for folks to do their spreedsheets, development and whatever else a desktop/laptop computer is required. But all those people who bought desktops and laptops for email, webserfing, and entertainment - other than serious gaming - are using their tablets and phones.

The trends are quite definitive: PCs and laptop use is going to decline for a bit longer.

Re:Any Dell share owners out there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831651)

web-SERFing... I like it :)

Re:Any Dell share owners out there? (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about a year ago | (#44831777)

Except for a small sentimental holding, I'm glad I sold out when I did.

Good for you Mr. Dell... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831409)

Now YOU control the destiny of DELL, as it should be (like Microsoft &/or Ford Motor Inc. - they're examples of companies where the ownership NEVER LOST CONTROL, because THEIR NAMES WAS ON IT (meaning they have a stake in it along with their reputation)), instead of venture capitalists (who *MAY* have their own "hidden agenda" ala buy it up to sell it off into dismantled separate parts as corporate raiders are wont to do), or "1,000,000 bosses" via the biggest setup insider trading rigged craptable there is - the "stock market" (they ought to call it the craptable instead).

* I, for one, wish you good luck!

APK

P.S.=> This is a good thing to see imo - after all: The guy started the company himself, iirc, from a college dormitory no less, & PROBABLY didn't like what he saw going on per the above (as only a PARTIAL set of possibles that would upset me too)...

... apk

Re:Good for you Mr. Dell... apk (2)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#44831489)

Now YOU control the destiny of DELL, as it should be (like Microsoft &/or Ford Motor Inc. - they're examples of companies where the ownership NEVER LOST CONTROL, because THEIR NAMES WAS ON IT

Hey Anonymous Coward, what the hell are you talking about? Microsoft and Ford are publicly-traded companies. Ford's CEO is Alan Mulally - Best known for creating the 777 for Boeing.

Re:Good for you Mr. Dell... apk (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#44831615)

Actually, he has a point about Ford. William Clay Ford Jr. is the Chairman of the Board, and there are two more Fords on the board. What's more, although the Ford family only owns a small fraction of the outstanding stock, they own all of the Class B stock, which controls 40% of the stockholder votes, giving them effective control.

Majority voting stock control's what... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44832135)

Afaik, Mr. Bill Gates ("King Billy" as I call him out of respect) & the Ford family itself (descendants of Mr. Henry Ford himself) STILL retain 51% or better control of voting stock.

Done thus?

Yes (afaik @ least): You can still be "publicly traded", but not be "publicly held" (meaning controlled, & especially by others) - via 51%++ or better control of voting stock, which is what I meant - I figured most of you would KNOW that, but instead you're forcing me to explain this in detail.

(Correct me IF I am 'off/wrong' here as to who owns what %-age of the stocks, preferred or common, for voting purposes & control...).

Once you have that? It's hard to "overrule" it, being forced to "compromise" by others or blocks of others pooling together in other stockholders.

Especially with REAL stock (preferred) vs. bullshit common-stock (that's NOT as legally secured by FAR, by way of comparison, as in the case of bankruptcy Ch 13 iirc from my Business Law I/II courses 20++ yrs. back during my 1st degree (MIS)).

---

* In fact - This guy (Chris Mattern (191822)) http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4204445&cid=44831615 [slashdot.org] HIT ON WHAT I MEANT exactly & "2nd's my motion" in fact (but /.'s STUPID delay on us AC posters stops me from posting it before he did here).

Very unfortunate the rest of you trolls don't have these concepts mastered (which tells me a LOT about you in fact).

(Man - I shouldn't HAVE to explain this, but apparently, I do: It's practically an indictment of the US educational system, or your own stupidity/laziness, take your pick, that you don't KNOW this stuff!).

APK

P.S.=> So, yes - I DO *think* that's what Mr. Dell wants here in fact:

I.E./E.G. - To guide the company HIMSELF, not having to deal with potentially interfering others (Icahn & SAM), who are probably no better than most "corporate raiders" are, buying into a place to bust it up & sell it off for more than the entire body is estimated to be worth, albeit, via sale of the parts, only (hoping to get MORE than the whole sale, the sum being 'greater' in the parts, than the whole is) - to "their kind"? What Mr. Dell built BY HAND, is no more than an item in a stock-portfolio (would bug me too were it MY company I started also)

... apk

Re:Majority voting stock control's what... apk (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | about a year ago | (#44832305)

Bill Gates owns less than 10% of voting stock.

Furthermore, preferred shares are *non* voting stock (with rare exceptions). The "bullshit common-stock" is the type that gets you a vote.

Re:Good for you Mr. Dell... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44832319)

Did the CEO create the 777, or did the aerodynamic engineers?

Re:Good for you Mr. Dell... apk (5, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#44831549)

(like Microsoft &/or Ford Motor Inc. - they're examples of companies where the ownership NEVER LOST CONTROL, because THEIR NAMES WAS ON IT

Ah yes, who will ever forget the great tycoon Bob Microsoft.

Re:Good for you Mr. Dell... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831791)

Hey, it's mean to mock Bill and Melinda's baby!

Re:Good for you Mr. Dell... apk (1)

Intothe Middler (3027595) | about a year ago | (#44831869)

I properly LOL'd at that.

Re:Good for you Mr. Dell... apk (5, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44831953)

Well, actually the names got accidentally reversed by a city clerk: The guy's real name was Microsoft Bob [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Good for you Mr. Dell... apk (1)

zztong (36596) | about a year ago | (#44832265)

I recall there once was Mike Rowe, who had "Mike Rowe Soft." Somebody else apparently remembers this and documented it...

http://txfx.net/2004/01/22/mike-rowe-soft/ [txfx.net]

Re:Good for you Mr. Dell... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831559)

Now YOU control the destiny of DELL, as it should be (like Microsoft &/or Ford Motor Inc. - they're examples of companies where the ownership NEVER LOST CONTROL, because THEIR NAMES WAS ON IT

Yeah, don't remind me. Barely a day goes by in Slashdot where some whiner brings up all the horrors that wrought upon the computing world by the company made by Steve Microsoft. But, it sure is a good thing neither Microsoft nor Ford ever became publicly-traded companies, right? Man, things would've been so much worse if they did. I mean, it's not like Microsoft was one of the most valuable stocks in history for a while there.

Dell servers (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about a year ago | (#44831415)

Didn't have any problem when I used them ~5 years ago. Not sure how they are now but if you are just running Linux/windows I found them fine and their support was good (in europe at the time anyways). We still had Sun boxes kicking around for special needs but otherwise we were commodity. With a SAN setup and most if not all data living on disk arrays the servers take a back seat somewhat. You might die but you won't lose data which was the biggest thing in internal IT services were I worked and likely everywhere. If corporate email has to do go down for a day that is one thing if it comes back up but loses your 20k message archive you'll get lined up and shot. Having a warm standby for almost everything is good enough for a lot of things. There are exceptions of course, banking systems, webcentric businesses etc but the vast majority of companies are Twitter with nothing to sell but bytes on a wire.

Re:Dell servers (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44831545)

Not sure how they are now but if you are just running Linux/windows I found them fine and their support was good (in europe at the time anyways).

That's the problem. They are a "fine" player in a commodity market with declining volumes. They made a couple of half-hearted attempts at other markets: personal organizers, re-badged iPods, phones, reselling TVs, etc. But their margins will always reflect their business model, and they have chosen a very low-margin model. In other words, they kind of won the race to the bottom. I'll miss them if they exit the PC market - I think competition is a great thing, even if I was unwilling to hold their shares any longer.

It's hard to sell services... (2)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#44831441)

I work for a company that makes a Software-as-a-Service product. Our main sales channel is via OEMs like Dell. With hardware margins in the toilet the OEMs are all trying to realign themselves as 'service vendors' but they're not having much luck. It's my experience that it's very difficult to realign a sales team used to asking "Would you like a case and an SSD drive upgrade?" to one that sells high-margin services. The type of salesperson you need is much more expensive & sophisticated. You need to invest millions in training, marketing and support. Can be done of course (witness IBM) but it's a long, expensive process.

Re:It's hard to sell services... (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44831517)

IT people would be dumb to ask for these since most of them are simple things like installing and migrating a MS Exchange environment to new hardware and software. or installing Windows with a new PC purchase. the prices are very high for jobs that your IT department is already getting paid to do

as an IT drone why would i send a PO to my management for approval with a line item to install software that i'm already getting paid to support?

Re:It's hard to sell services... (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#44831621)

It's not migrating Exchange - Think MUCH bigger. It's things like this:

http://www-35.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/consulting/ [ibm.com]

Re:It's hard to sell services... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44831913)

There might be some people who love their Dell sales rep, but most see them as a commodity. Shops who order Wintel from Dell and have the Gold contract are about easy and mainstream, not about shopping for the best pricing on the best solutions, and those represent a lot of the well-monied corporate interests in the US.

Dell has as much a chance at this as anybody else. When it comes down to it, if both Dell and HP are offering the same service and the client is already a Dell customer, it's *very* unlikely that they're going to see any product differentiation between the two and even more unlikely that they're going to expend the energy to switch vendors.

so Michael... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831503)

When will Dell (as a company) stop kissing Microsoft's ass and make a "N" line of machines ready for Linux that actually costs LESS than the Microsoft Tax model?

Re:so Michael... (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44831571)

apple and google own the desktop ^nix market

Re:so Michael... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44832017)

apple and google own the desktop ^nix market

And Atari "owned" the console market and Nokia "owned" the GSM market, ow! market ownership seems to be very volatile.

I've btw never seen a Google desktop in the wild. Many of whatever-brand of no-brand desktops with *buntu, yes.

How does going private help Dell the company? (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about a year ago | (#44831527)

The company has been stuck in idle for years and is now in reverse due to macro trend from desktops/laptops to tablets. The oft-repeated claims from private equity guys is that a company has a better chance to succeed if it doesn't have to deal with the demands of being a public company. Demands like growth, profitability, aka success. I don't get it. Maybe they can enact longer-term business plans that would torpedo the stock price if it were a public company...but isn't the idea of every public company to maximize the long term value of shareholders?

Re:How does going private help Dell the company? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#44831577)

Demands like growth, profitability, aka success.

What a limited view of what makes a business successful.

Yeah, I know this is the corporate view. But just because it's the corporate view doesn't make it right. And unlimited growth is also called cancer.

Re:How does going private help Dell the company? (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about a year ago | (#44831631)

Unless your investing in a charity or for charitable/social change reasons it's the only view that makes objective sense. A business requires a return on investment otherwise it has no reason to exist in the eyes of investors/shareholders.

Re:How does going private help Dell the company? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831717)

Return on investment != growth.

Re:How does going private help Dell the company? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44832075)

Ask Amazon.. they really haven't had a big ROI.. most of the profits have been sunk into capital investments.. same with Costco..

Re:How does going private help Dell the company? (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44831601)

pension funds and other large investors who own most of the stock hate risk. and a down and out company like dell will never be able to implement a risky plan without a shareholder revolt. CALPERS and the NY State pension plans will kill the idea.

going private means someone else is taking on the risk. usually rich people who invest in these things knowing the risks involved

Re:How does going private help Dell the company? (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#44831663)

Maybe they can enact longer-term business plans that would torpedo the stock price if it were a public company...but isn't the idea of every public company to maximize the long term value of shareholders?

No. The goal of a public company is to maximize SHORT TERM profits. If you lose money or only generate small profits because you are working on a long term plan that will eventually have a big pay off, you will most likely get fired.

Re:How does going private help Dell the company? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831861)

Correction: short term stock price, not profit. You can get just as much bump with hype as with actual results.

Re:How does going private help Dell the company? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831805)

Desktops and laptops will never truly go away, but not every consumer will have one anymore. Hence Dell could still be profitable if it doesn't always have to focus on growth. They still have great servers and small/medium sized companies love dell laptops and workstations because they are cheap compared to the rest. Combine lower OEM sales volume with SAS and I have no doubt they will make money, probably not anywhere as much as they used too but enough to stay viable and profit. Wallstreet doesn't like when companies make less and less each year, they consider that a failure. The reason has to do with more with shifting market forces then the company itself, Michael Dell probably sees this and realizes Dell can still make money if it is retooled slightly. After all they have a name brand that every one knows and remembers which alone is worth something. They just need to avoid pissing off there current customers while focusing on a bigger picture for long term success. Sadly many companies ignore long term planning because of the way their value is perceived by Wallstreet.

lots of embedded systems are running off of X86 pc (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44832057)

lots of embedded systems are running off of X86 and X86-64 pc hardware some are just an PC box with usb based IO boards / dongles.

Dead of the last large U.S. PC manufacturer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831563)

Will this be the end of commodity PC's for the masses? Seems like there is not much choice left then.

The Once Mighty (1)

jamesl (106902) | about a year ago | (#44831653)

... but some analysts state this move may have come too late, much of the target market being taken by IBM and HP already.

And before Google, much of the target market had been taken by Alta Vista. And the NFL had a lock on pro football. And Sony had a lock on portable entertainment devices. And Microsoft on operating systems. HP on printers. Ford/GM/Chrysler.

Re:The Once Mighty (1)

_Ludwig (86077) | about a year ago | (#44832425)

The NFL doesn’t still have a lock on pro football? Is the XFL coming back?

Re:The Once Mighty (1)

jamesl (106902) | about a year ago | (#44832657)

The American Football League (AFL) was a major American Professional Football league that operated from 1960 until 1969, when it merged with the National Football League (NFL).

The upstart AFL operated in direct competition with the more established NFL throughout its existence.

While many AFL players and observers believed their league was the equal of the NFL, their first two Super Bowl performances did nothing to prove it. However, on November 17, 1968, when NBC cut away from a game between the Jets and Raiders to air the children's movie Heidi, the ensuing uproar helped disprove the notion that fans still considered the AFL an inferior product. The perception of AFL inferiority forever changed on January 12, 1969, when the AFL Champion New York Jets shocked the heavily favored NFL Champion Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. The Colts, who entered the contest favored by as many as 18 points, had completed the 1968 NFL season with a 13â"1 record, and won the NFL title with a convincing 34-0 win over the Cleveland Browns.

The Jets won, 16-7, in what is considered one of the greatest upsets in American sports history.

With the win, the AFL finally achieved parity with the NFL and legitimized the merger of the two leagues.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Football_League [wikipedia.org]

Dell is toast (1)

kilodelta (843627) | about a year ago | (#44831713)

I know - a company I worked for got bought by Dell a couple years ago. We watched as benefits got wiped, and the switch to a new platform meant WORSE service for our clients. A bunch of us jumped ship.

Re:Dell is toast (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about a year ago | (#44831963)

I know - a company I worked for got bought by Dell a couple years ago. We watched as benefits got wiped, and the switch to a new platform meant WORSE service for our clients. A bunch of us jumped ship.

Your statement is a little ambiguous

I imagine you're saying "Michael Dell bought our company" and Dell Inc. is now screwed.

But it also reads like "Dell Inc. bought our company" in which case you're saying that Michael Dell has his work cut out for him (aka, Michael Dell is going to be busy trying to right the ship)

Re:Dell is toast (1)

Deflagro (187160) | about a year ago | (#44832109)

As a previous employee for over a decade, I was on the team that started their foray into "services" and you may have a point. MD will always want to develop his own software and use that in lieu of acquisitions of companies that actually know how to develop sw.
We tried using a Dell developed sw on a huge services client and it failed horribly nearly costing Dell the whole account. Acquiring Perot brings that knowledge to the table but the philosophies are so different between the two that it will take some time to figure out a middle-ground. The "it's not ready until it's 100%" approach of Perot vs the "80% is good enough, we need this now!" approach of Dell. Dell has a speed and it's always at the redline. (yay, car analogy!)

They will keep the enterprise business running strong as they can attach services at a premium. Consumer and SMB might be sold to whoever wants that nightmare and there may be solutions to provide virtual helpdesks but I doubt there will be any more laptops or PCs coming out.

Michael DELL?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831907)

Any relation?

Re:Michael DELL?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44832573)

I suggest you check Wikipedia.

Conusmer Market (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#44831965)

Dell is positioning itself as a enterprise computing provider just when the consumer market is taking off. Where are its Meego Phones; Chromebooks and *Next Generation PC*...the phone space is not the only place that can be innovative. Dell strength was logistics how about they get back to that only supplying interesting products.

Re:Conusmer Market (1)

_Ludwig (86077) | about a year ago | (#44832449)

Dell going into the interesting products business is a much bigger leap than going into the services business.

Dell and the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44832557)

I haven't heard much about the relationship between Dell and the NSA, but it's clear that there is one. Snowden worked for Dell, and Dell makes servers and VPN gear. Dell also acquired Perot Systems. Given all the NSA shenanigans and people running as fast as they can from systems with compromised security, it would seem that Dell has another significant obstacle between them and the cloud services model they think they need to move toward.

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