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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dell Outlasts Jobs, If Not Apple

Posted by on Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 7:15 AM

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders."
Michael Dell on Apple, shortly after Steve Jobs' return in 1997

After years of stagnant growth and declining stock prices, Dell Computer has been taken private in a $24.4 billion leveraged buyout led by founder Michael Dell. Microsoft will loan Dell $2 billion as part of the deal.

I'd say that Apple's Steve Jobs got the last laugh on Dell, but Jobs is dead and Dell isn't, so, um, no.


Comments (5) RSS

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watchout5 1
Is this a post trying to paid the death of Apple's spokesman in a positive light? I don't get it, unless Dell is coming at us with a new strategy I don't see what's supposed to peak my interest, aside from dancing on someone's grave.
Posted by watchout5 on February 5, 2013 at 8:18 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 2
@ 1, yeah, I think the whole thing is past you. Jobs was Aople's founder and CEO, not spokesman. This post is about how the tables were completely turned on Michael Dell, whose 1997 comment about Apple was simultaneously rude and hubristic. There's no grave dancing here, although there may be a hint of schadenfreude.
Posted by Matt from Denver on February 5, 2013 at 8:28 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 3
How will this affect Dell's sweatshops in China?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on February 5, 2013 at 8:45 AM · Report this
Fnarf 6
I'm a Dell customer, not the largest but not the smallest either, and I gotta say, they do what they do well better than anybody, and they do what they do poorly worse than anybody. Basically Dell is a collection of the most outstanding employees in the computer business surrounded by a shell of corporate bullshit so think and impenetrable it makes you want to scream.

My sales rep is great. The online configurator for systems is better than great (especially for servers). The paid support network is outstanding in every way, both on the phone and onsite.

But man, oh man, is the billing department fucked in the head. They once went to an incredible amount of trouble to convert an unpaid invoice of mine for $0.00 to a loan, which happens to all unpaid invoices after X number of days. And then, when I neglected to start paying those $0.00 monthly bills, they shut down my account. Since the billing department is actually a separate company from the computer company (sort of like how GMAC is a separate company from General Motors), my account rep couldn't help me, and I spent what seemed like several lifetimes wandering around helpless in the support phone queue, talking to an endless series of drones who did not know what department they were working in, what department I needed, or how anything in their company worked. Each one of these people required me to give all of my account details over again. I am convinced to this day that my problem was solved purely by accident.

I have had similar experiences in the phone queue for service, with the major difference that when you eventually do get ahold of a human, he or she invariably turns out to be spectacularly, almost psychically gifted at diagnosis and problem-solving. Every experience I have had with the technicians has been A+++.

The computers themselves? Pfft. They're computers. Computers are a commodity item.
Posted by Fnarf on February 5, 2013 at 10:35 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 7
My office was oddball in that we had Apple computers from the office's founding to three years ago when we were acquired by another company. Our production department still uses Macs, but the rest of us were switched to Dells. Well, three years later, my hard drive is already dying. Meanwhile, the old Mac that I was forced to use until it was on its last legs was already three years old when I originally took the job. (It was eventually retired at six years old.)

Dell is one of those companies where I wonder if it would still exist if it weren't for corporate America. That and Staples.

Both companies offer products and services that are just barely good enough for corporations to refuse to switch, since it's just us little people who have to put up with those companies' shit, but still are a shining example of American bullshit and mediocrity.
Posted by keshmeshi on February 5, 2013 at 10:52 AM · Report this

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