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Blackstone Drops Dell Bid, Cites Declining PC Market 137

Posted by timothy
from the we-didn't-want-that-anyway dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Blackstone Group has notified Dell's board that it has ended its bid for the company after performing 'due diligence' on Dell's books. The private equity firm gave two reasons for its withdrawal in a letter to the special committee of the board reviewing privatization offers: the 'unprecedented 14 percent market decline in PC volume in the first quarter of 2013' and 'the rapidly eroding financial profile of Dell.' IBM's recently announced intention of withdrawing from the x86 server market may have also spooked investors. Blackstone was one of two outside bidders that emerged after founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners announced a deal to take the company private for $24.4 billion. The remaining bidders did not comment on Blackstone's withdrawal; however, the Bloomberg piece notes that Dell's original deal with Silver Lake Partners contains language preventing the latter from backing out."
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Blackstone Drops Dell Bid, Cites Declining PC Market

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  • by tedgyz (515156) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @08:31AM (#43503173) Homepage

    I'm a doctor, not an investor.

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      If the rumors are true...and i really REALLY hate to say this as I fricking HATE Windows 8, but if the rumors are true? Dell and MSFT may actually be able to pull a win out of their ass, shocking yes but it looks like they really have a shot.

      For those that haven't heard? Haswell based Intel Atom tablet for less than $250, rumors have it at $225, possibly even lower. Intel has a ton of leftover capacity and the Atom duals are dirt cheap to make and the new Atom is supposed to be able to do 1080P over HDMI du

      • Dell and MSFT may actually be able to pull a win out of their ass, shocking yes but it looks like they really have a shot.

        A chance for Microsoft to spend too much money on a sunset business? A chance for Dell to have whatever life remains squashed by Microsoft's toxic corporate culture? Sure, they have a shot at something but I do not think it is what you think it is.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          So tablets are a sunset business now? Me think doth hate the company too much if you are trying to claim tablets are a sunset business. oh and FYI PCs ARE NOT GOING AWAY they simply were in a bubble from 94-07, to say its a sunset business is just as stupid as saying houses are a sunset business sense they aren't being flipped like before. the modern PC, even the cheap ones at Worst Buy, are multiple core with plenty of RAM and HDD space. I mean they are selling AMD quad laptops for just $400 and quad deskt

      • by unixisc (2429386)
        So Blackstone is out, and Icahn is capped by what he can buy? Looks like Dell could yet survive w/ the Michael Dell/Silver Lake Partners plan. I'd hate to see a leveraged buyout of Dell, which is why I do hope that Michael Dell's plan succeeds. Other companies that want to do other things w/ laptops, tablets, all-in-ones and so on are free to do so.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        There is no such thing as a Haswell-based Atom. Haswell is the code name for the upcoming desktop/laptop skew that is i3/i5/i7. Atom is the low-cost, low-power line. The new Haswell chips are low power, and can fit in fanless chassis like tablets, but they'll likely retail for $400-$800. The upcoming Atom line is very nice (22nm, out-of-order, etc.) and should find its way into $250 tablets, but their performance & power is in the ballpark of an ARM A15. Intel hopes it'll actually be a bit better than t
      • by Anonymous Coward

        You're astroturfing for a non-existent product? You think people only buy based on price? How would Dell be able to turn itself around on the basis of one product? Why isn't Dell selling Win 8 tablets already? Why isn't there a Dell smartphone? Michael Dell wants to turn Dell into a services company, even though the company has no experience in this area, yet you want them to suddenly cling to their existing business, where low price rivals are eating them alive. And nothing would stop a competitor fr

      • Where's Microsoft's 85% profit margin in this scenario?

      • Dude, have you taken a look at Dell's website lately? I can't tell if it's the browsers I'm using + extensions or what, but their 'customize' PC options do not allow any actual customization. It's all pre-fab, default configuration stuff, from what I can tell, and last year's technology to boot. It honestly looks like they fired all of their developers and IT staff, then hired someone with WordPress knowledge to run the site...which is super-bad for a company that wants to bill itself as must have IT. The c

        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          Cheap android tablets do NOT come with fast NAND flash that is featured in many SSDs.

          They come with cheap off the shelf mini-SD or micro-SD built in, or memory from those. We're looking at class 6-class 10 products if we're lucky, class-4 if we're not.

          That's about ten times SLOWER then your average desktop HDD.

          The reason why they tend to seem "fast" is a combination of lack of hardware sounds/light that people learned to associate with slowness combined with smallness of actual applications and a lot less o

          • by smash (1351)
            Cheap Windows tablets do this also. I recently evaluated an Atom based HP Envy tablet, which would have been fine if not for the SD storage. It was so slow as to be virtually unusable.
      • by smash (1351)
        Problem is, in typical PC-hardware style, they'll do some brain-damaged shit like the last Atom based machine I used did (an HP Envy tablet of some spec I forget exact model) - pair it with SD card based storage for full fat windows 8, rather than SSD. It was so slow as to be almost unusable.
    • by geoskd (321194)

      Easy, bring back the Dell Dude [foxnews.com]

      Yeah, sure, the only problem Dell is facing is a lack of quality advertising, and an out of work actor has really managed to outsmart the board of directors.

      I'm not a stock analyst, but I'll wager that the overall decline of the PC market in general, coupled with Dells complete lack of innovation in any space, is why the investors backed off. Dying companies' books have a certain smell, even if the company is showing no other outward signs of trouble.

  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @08:40AM (#43503213)
    Dell just makes computers out of the same Chinese parts that everyone else uses to make computers. They once had an appealing brand, which gave them an advantage over all the other people who were selling an indistinguishable product. But this is not the case anymore. The "we don't care about our exploding capacitors" fiasco has forever tied Dell to an image of a company that cuts corners on quality. Sure, they kept some deals with the corporate and education sector, but my employer is going through hardware upgrades and now we can choose a new Dell or a new iMac. I won't miss you, Dell!
    • Dell just makes computers out of the same Chinese parts that everyone else uses to make computers.

      Then which Chinese computer maker should we patronize instead? Is Lenovo still making good laptops?

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        just buy the model you want from whoever happens to make it. they all source parts from same companies and past performance on not having exploding caps(or other quality issues) is no guarantee whatsoever that the next batch they buy is any better, as shown by dell and others. acer used to have all their hinges break from their laptops for a year, but that again could not be guessed by looking at their models prior and after those.

        what I'm trying to say is that brand loyalty is just a recipe for the brand t

        • by oldlurker (2502506) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @09:19AM (#43503387)

          just buy the model you want from whoever happens to make it. they all source parts from same companies and past performance on not having exploding caps(or other quality issues) is no guarantee whatsoever that the next batch they buy is any better, as shown by dell and others. acer used to have all their hinges break from their laptops for a year, but that again could not be guessed by looking at their models prior and after those.

          what I'm trying to say is that brand loyalty is just a recipe for the brand to sell you shit.

          I agree about not having "brand loyalty", but disagree about all being the same in terms of quality. In my experience the Lenovo Thinkpads fx are certainly more consistently solidly built and have less issues than other PC laptops. A long time ago Toshiba had a similar thing going for it, but lost it. If Samsung should prove to be able to step up (they are making good attempts in their top end), I'd be happy to switch to Samsung over Lenovo, so not married to Lenovo by any means.

          Even as a PC user I admit that same argument can be made for Macbooks, even if they too are just using standard PC components and Chinese production, there is a build quality difference vs the cheapest PCs.

      • Lenovo is about as Chinness as Toyota is Japaneses - which means you millage will vary.

        IIRC, Lenovo has it's headquarters and a good chunk of it's design team in America. I even think it has a assemble plant (not sure if it's open, being built, or just under consideration.).

      • For classic laptops and minitowers, try Gateway. I did and I'm very pleased with the value for money. I'll be a repeat customer.

      • by Dr. Spork (142693)

        I wasn't trying to give advice about whose computer to buy, but making a statement about the value of Dell the company. I think they're cruising on the inertia of their past corporate deals, but apart from that, they're having to compete on price in a very low-margin market. That does not make for a good financial outlook.

        If I were to advise on computer purchases, I'd say this: For desktops, buy the parts you want from Newegg and plug them together. That's a no brainer. For laptops, figure out the sort of

      • by unixisc (2429386)
        Has Acer's biz model changed over the years? They've always manufactured them there, so if we are gonna patronize Taiwanese/Chinese companies, why not just go w/ one which has had one of the longest presences in the US - good ole Acer?
    • by Rich0 (548339) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @10:19AM (#43503749) Homepage

      They once had an appealing brand, which gave them an advantage over all the other people who were selling an indistinguishable product.

      The reason Dell became big was because of really good just-in-time manufacturing control.

      The biggest selling point for computers back when Dell became big was the CPU and its clock speed. It was also the fastest-depreciating component of the computer. In order to get good prices you needed to buy them in bulk, but if you stockpiled them and then took six months to sell them you'd be wiped out by the depreciation (you pay $1000 for a CPU that is worth $300 in six months).

      Dell did build-to-order, mail-order, and just-in-time extremely well.

      Build-to-order means that you don't end up with 47 models where you end up with 10 that don't sell well and have to be sold at firesale prices. It means that each customer gets exactly the computer they want, at the lowest price possible for that computer (well, assuming they want to buy a copy of Windows and MS Works). Their very-friendly website meant that people didn't have to walk down rows of PCs at the local retailer and try to compare the 47 different models their competitors were selling.

      Mail-order means that they had little warehousing/distribution, which means less PCs stuck depreciating in the pipeline between consumers and the manufacturing plant. If they didn't sell as many model 3 video cards they just didn't order that many - they didn't have 30,000 PCs with those cards sitting in stores all over the country depreciating.

      Just-in-time means that the part comes in from Intel/etc the day before it gets mailed out as part of a PC, or close to it. Again, inventory is rapidly depreciating, so you don't want to sit on anything. They were able to react to changes in the market - they didn't have a stake in one model or another selling better - they could just go where the customers were. If they offered a particular model and nobody bought it they didn't lose much, because they didn't build it until somebody ordered it.

      Things like this are what made Dell big. Everybody else figured out what they were doing, and the MHz war wound down making the CPU less critical and slowing down depreciation.

      Note - I'm not particularly close to the PC hardware market, so if there were other factors I'm all ears.

      • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @11:54AM (#43504317)

        Not that I disagree with anything you said, but early Dell also had a reputation for quality in the days when the hardware/components industry hadn't consolidated as much as it has today, which parts you picked really did matter, and a lot of PCs suffered silly problems because of careless assembly. If you wanted a solid, reliable office PC, buying a Dell was about as safe a bet as you could place.

        At the same time, their reputation for customer service and after-sales support might not have been anything special, but it wasn't bad either. They provided a good level of customisation earlier than many suppliers, probably because of the flexible process you mentioned.

        Today, they've squandered both, with a succession of quality control problems and with lousy support and much hand-washing any time anything goes wrong. Apparently some of the equipment they make is still pretty good, when it works, but downtime can make a massive difference to the TCO for business equipment so that "when it works" is a serious drag on everything else they do, and much of what they make is nothing special anyway.

        That leaves Dell is much the same position as Cisco: a big name brand that is hoping businesses will still buy their high-priced gear because of the name on the front while somehow not noticing that what's inside the box often isn't very good these days and you might find a better business relationship elsewhere as well. Unfortunately for them, the "no-one ever got fired for buying IBM" strategy doesn't really work any more, at least not for long.

        • Yes, I too remember back when Dell had a great reputation for quality. And service. Then they abandoned that in pursuit of a race to the bottom, trying to compete with the low priced Chinese outfits. Of course, the only way they could do that was to offshore everything and...well, the results were predictable. Flimsy hardware assembled by low skilled labor. Support calls get transferred to Mumbai answered by some dude mumbling in half-english half-hindi following some outdated support script. News flash Del

      • by jcr (53032)

        The reason Dell became big was because of really good just-in-time manufacturing control.

        I'd say that was half of it. The other half was their technical support and customer service. Back when I was using Dells for NeXTSTEP, they were one of the best vendors around.

        -jcr

        • by dfghjk (711126)

          You got it right, plus Dell transitioned to new technologies faster than their competitors and they knew the importance of large accounts. Their focus on "JIT" manufacturing was important during a phase of their dominance but it was not of primary importance during the time they "became big". Offering the latest technology at good prices with the best support and customer satisfaction was what made them big.

          At one time Dell produced 3x the revenue per employee of their closest competitor. It was not abou

    • and with IBM out of the picture and Lenova making darn near the same cheap junk Dells the only one left that's big enough you can trust them not to fold and bail on warranty. Yeah, I know they're hurting, but they're a long way from dead. For those of you citing Hostess they really just folded so they could get out of paying the workers pensions. Dell's got everything in Mexico except a tiny bit of support staff that's non-Union, so that liability's a non-issue for them.

      I guess what I'm saying is if you'
    • by unixisc (2429386)
      I pretty much share this. The recent laptops that I have bought - all Dell - have a worrying issue of the touchpad, and while touchfreeze works sometimes, sometimes my work does get derailed. Part of the fault is also the more recent designs of Internet Explorer, where hitting the back button sends you to the previous page even while you're editing, instead of deleting the character immediately before the cursor. I do hope the new chromebooks are better.
    • Id say its deserved, since they do cut corners on quality, hence the exploding capacitors.

      Not many tears shed, the only thing they have that I remotely care about is their servers because theyre easier to spec and order than HP's crap.

  • This says it all... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 20, 2013 @08:41AM (#43503221)

    The Blackstone Group has notified Dell's board that it has ended its bid for the company after performing 'due diligence' on Dell's books.

    They didn't like what they saw. Dell ran that company very lean and I bet that Blackstone couldn't figure out how to get the returns they want from any investment in that company. And since PC sales growth has stagnated, they couldn't count on expanding revenues and cash flows to support an obscene amount of leverage (ie debt) that these types of firms like to burden takeovers with.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And since PC sales growth has stagnated

      No, not just the rate of growth. PC *sales* are in rapid decline, as in, fewer devices are being sold year over year, and this trend is expected to accelerate.

      Quarterly Shipments Drop 14% as Windows 8 Fails to Stem Advance of iPads [wsj.com]
      PC Sales in Steep Decline [forbes.com]
      Intel Corp said its current-quarter revenue would decline as much as 8 percent and trimmed its 2013 capital spending plans, as personal computer sales drop due to the growing popularity of tablets and smartphones. [yahoo.com]

      And about a million others. Average cons

      • by tepples (727027)

        PC *sales* are in rapid decline, as in, fewer devices are being sold year over year, and this trend is expected to accelerate.

        Is it getting to the point where a substantial fraction of households will choose to own only an iPad and no PC within the next three years?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          a year ago I bought my mom, who's NEVER used a computer in her life, an iPad 2 to be able to facetime with the kids (she has MS & traveling is getting progressively harder/less frequent) & see pictures on facebook, etc. I figured anything else she used it for would be gravy but she took to it like a duck to water & now my dad has pretty much abandoned his PC in favor of it!

          I keep posting this on different threads on different sites but bottom line is the two dominant macro trends right now are

        • by yoshi_mon (172895)

          How the actual market will trend is I think still going to be very driven by how the overall reaction of the integration of tablets into the consumer market ends up. Or to put that market speak another way, how people are going to react as this initial wave of tablets is over. That is because as much as tablet/smartphone devs/makers/"experts" want to make them into a replacement for all the needs that a PC (be that a desktop or laptop) fills, they just do not.

          In some areas you can get by with them and in

          • data manipulation (burning discs)

            Why must one burn a disc instead of connecting the tablet to a stereo system or television?

            power PC's will still have a role

            Yet Apple switched away from them to Intel in 2006 :-P Power Architecture has been pretty much restricted to workstations and PlayStations nowadays.

            One other platform that I think is somewhat ignored is the HTPC and or SmartTV functionality.

            Apple makes a wireless extender for iPad video called Apple TV.

            With the ability to have a huge HD TV these days you can scale up Win7, give the user a wireless keyboard and mouse, and then they still have access to a computer even they don't view it as such.

            And put the wireless keyboard and mouse where? I've discussed HTPC with others on Slashdot, and they can't seem to understand how the ergonomics of using a PC for both PC tasks and home theater tasks would work

            • by yoshi_mon (172895)

              Lots of fail:

              Why must one burn a disc instead of connecting the tablet to a stereo system or television?

              A DVD/BRR is a much better archival tool than filling up tablet after tablet. Never mind that some people actually still seem to want to use them for some things that they really don't have to.

              Yet Apple switched away from them to Intel in 2006 :-P Power Architecture has been pretty much restricted to workstations and PlayStations nowadays.

              I clearly did not word that as well as I could have but really? Try reading it again with you Apple fanboy goggles off. (Hint, I'm NOT talking about CPU architecture, but I am talking indirectly about CPUs.)

              Apple makes a wireless extender for iPad video called Apple TV.

              Great, not everyone is an Apple fanboy like you.

              And put the wireless keyboard and mouse where? I've discussed HTPC with others on Slashdot, and they can't seem to understand how the ergonomics of using a PC for both PC tasks and home theater tasks would work.

              On their coffee table, in their lap, on a tray t

              • About archiving photos, videos, and the like to a hard drive, you make a good point. I'd like to see what certain staunch iOS advocates on Slashdot would say about that.

                About the PowerPC joke, perhaps it was my fault for not coming up with a clearer symbol for tongue-in-cheek than ":-P".

                About Apple TV, I'm not an Apple advocate; I'm just stating what's available. The Apple TV does a lot of what people expect out of a set-top box for over-the-top music and video services. I bring up the facts because so

                • by gozar (39392)

                  About archiving photos, videos, and the like to a hard drive, you make a good point. I'd like to see what certain staunch iOS advocates on Slashdot would say about that.

                  iOS users use the free 5GB of iCloud storage for backup, and when that is filled, they pay Apple for more storage. All automatic and no maintenance. Device dies/is replaced? Start it up and tell it to restore from iCloud. Everything is right back where it was. This even works going between the different iOS devices (have an iPhone and get an

                  • iOS users use the free 5GB of iCloud storage for backup, and when that is filled, they pay Apple for more storage.

                    This page [apple.com] advertises that adding 50 GB of more storage would cost $300 over the three-year expected service life of an iOS device. That's enough to buy three 1 TB hard drives, even after the recent Thai flood.

                    assuming they have wifi

                    And assuming their home Wi-Fi is backed by fiber, cable, or DSL, not satellite or microwave.

                    • by smash (1351)
                      3x 1tb hard drives that have no level of hardware fault tolerance, are prone to theft, need to be lugged around, plugged/unplugged, etc. I'm no fan of the cloud as a be all and end all, but it doesn't mean you need to carry the storage in your device. Even if its not icloud, storing your work on a home NAS with fault tolerant storage is a lot more sensible than trusting it to a single drive in your portable device.
                    • Even if its not icloud, storing your work on a home NAS with fault tolerant storage is a lot more sensible than trusting it to a single drive in your portable device.

                      I happen not to currently own an iPad, but I do know the iPad has no direct counterpart to the "Finder" on a Mac or the file manager that one can download for an Android device. Do most applications support storing documents, photos, videos, and the like on a home NAS, or are they hardcoded to use the application publisher's or Apple's servers?

                    • by smash (1351)
                      I wasn't necessarily referring specifically to the iPad in particular as a replacement for the PC with the NAS comment. But a device of it's nature. Whether it is an iPad, android, or other mobile device. The future is to carry something extremely light with long life and minimal storage and stream the data you need over the network (be it your own network or someone elses subscription based service) from a location which is fault tolerant, backed up, secure, etc. If you lose the end device, expire the
                    • by tepples (727027)

                      The future is to carry something extremely light with long life and minimal storage and stream the data you need over the network

                      The future is wireless data networks with universal coverage and enough capacity to support this use case without costing several hundred USD per year. The present is not.

                • by yoshi_mon (172895)

                  So, just so we are clear:

                  About archiving photos, videos, and the like to a hard drive, you make a good point. I'd like to see what certain staunch iOS advocates on Slashdot would say about that.

                  I win. You lose. Point to me. Me 1 you 0.

                  About the PowerPC joke, perhaps it was my fault for not coming up with a clearer symbol for tongue-in-cheek than ":-P".

                  My point was that a desktop would have more power than any sort of mobile solution. You, via your humor, declined to even address that point. I win. You lose. Point to me. Me 2 you 0.

                  About Apple TV, I'm not an Apple advocate; I'm just stating what's available. The Apple TV does a lot of what people expect out of a set-top box for over-the-top music and video services. I bring up the facts because solid counterarguments to Apple advocates' arguments interest me more than ad hominems.

                  You talk a lot of game about not being an Apple fanboy, but you seem to still shill for them rather well...even thou the point is that Apple is not the end all be all of what PCs can do on the desktop. Whatever. We need more data to see if you really fai

                  • I am not interested in scoring points. I am interested in truth.

                    You are correct that a desktop would have more power than any sort of mobile solution. Now please prove that the average end user has any use for such power.

                    Are you claiming that these other Slashdot users are mistaken when they claim that the majority are uninterested in connecting a computer to a television? Even if this is the case, my research shows lack of interest as well. I've mentioned some advantages of a home theater PC to other membe

      • Well my needs for Video Editing, Recording and having complete control over my OS and Hardware can't be served by a Phone or Tablet. I am not average and Millions of other people aren't average either; you 'PC is dead' people are only fooling yourself. While the PC may not be in Billions of Homes, it does have a niche market that has to be filled.

        So unless you can write Apps and do very high level work on a Phone and Tablet, you NEED a Desktop. It must really piss you Mobile people off that your Apps are de

        • by Alioth (221270)

          But none of what you argue rules out a sharp decline in PCs. For example, a lot of the demand for PCs in the home is that each person wants their own. But 99% of the time what they can do is more comfortable and easier on a tablet - perhaps a typical household of 4 people will move from buying 4 laptops to only owning one laptop and everyone has a tablet for 99% of their internet use. That alone would represent a significant decline in the market for a home PC.

          Business PCs will last a lot longer, but it's n

      • by khallow (566160)
        I don't buy that. Sure, the PC market is losing sales now to tablets and such, but I think you're ignoring that there's a lot of stuff the PC is superior at. Here's just I do that's better on the PC:
        • anything that can be done better with a keyboard and mouse - most data entry, game playing where speed is a factor, entering in URLs and file names, posting to Slashdot, etc. The touch screen keyboard is painful to use and you don't have access to hotkeys and keyboard macros.
        • More powerful apps. Programming, s
  • let's create a kickstarter and buy it.

    I mean, shit, we need a manufactuer that actually doesn't hate the FOSS community.

    The value might actually get low enough that it's possible... :P

    • by geoskd (321194)

      let's create a kickstarter and buy it.

      I mean, shit, we need a manufacturer that actually doesn't hate the FOSS community.

      The value might actually get low enough that it's possible... :P

      The kickstarter community doesn't have anywhere near that kind of money. Dell has a long way to slide before they do have enough.

      All of that aside, The whole point of privatization is that a relatively small group of people own the business. If large groups of people want to buy something, they are more than welcome to go out and buy some stock. It is, after all, publicly traded. They can then start a proxy fight for control of the corporation. It would require far less capital, and probably be easier to

      • The kickstarter community doesn't have anywhere near that kind of money.

        It's **ONLY** $24 billion.

        Control (that magical 51%) is only about $12 billion.

        And yes, it's far easier to do this through NASDAQ than kickstarter.

        • by geoskd (321194) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @01:10PM (#43504849)

          It's **ONLY** $24 billion.

          Control (that magical 51%) is only about $12 billion.

          No, you need the full $24bil. If you try and do a piecemeal buyout, the price per share goes up, and so you end up coughing up the full amount anyway. That is why buyout offers are done this way instead.

          As far as it being " only" $24bil, the largest kickstarter projects attract less than 100k contributors for an average of $100 each. This would require 1 million contributors for an average of $24k. It just isn't going to happen.

          Kickstarter is not nearly as big as people think it is The whole site has only generated a few hundred millions dollars in its entire history. Its an interesting idea, but is not terribly useful beyond a very narrow scope of projects.

    • by Rich0 (548339)

      Stop and think about how Dell managed to do so well in business. They sold PCs that were desirable to the average consumer - they sold them by the trainload.

      There is no way that some kind of FOSS community is going to be successful with that kind of model. The kickstarter would never end - any time you wanted a newer model you'd have to get the community to kick in to buy the parts to make 10 million of them so that each of the 2000 investors can get their 2 units and throw the rest in the landfill.

      If you

  • Is what this is.
  • Beware Icahn! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 20, 2013 @09:09AM (#43503353)

    Well Icahn's still in the game, he's claims to offer $15 a share vs Dell's $13.65 per share, I don't like Icahn. He tried to scam Yahoo shareholders (inc me) by claiming a deal was worth more than it actually was.

    In the deal, he stripped Yahoo of all it's cash, handing it to shareholders, counted that money (the money we already owned) as money given by the Microsoft deal. He then added a loan from Microsoft which required Yahoo to pay it back with interest back to Microsoft. He counted that loan as income from the deal too. If a company CEO had done it, the SEC would be on him for fraud, but Icahn is a third party asset stripper and he's not obligated to be truthful about the value of a deal.

    "Icahn's offer, which was also submitted the day before the deadline expired, includes purchasing $2bn of the firm's shares at $15 per share, and offering $2bn of cash equity financing."

    So basically, Icahn is trying to buy only a portion of the shares (company is worth 22 billion), enough to scupper a full buyout. And there's the loan with interest.
    He tends to list those as income to pretend an inflated figure on a buyout value. Loans are loans, you pay them back with interest, they're not income, they're not part of a buy price. If the company doesn't need the cash, they're a charge on the company. If the loan on Dell is to pay Icahns buyout, that's a leveraged buyout and its not worth squat to existing shareholders.

    Dell shareholders, we Yahoo shareholders had bitter experience of that turd Icahn, you read his numbers very very closely, he tends to flat out lie in the summary about the true value of a deal. He didn't get rich by giving you his money. Classic games to watch out for: buying blocking positions to prevent a buyout, leverage buyout, buying a company by borrowing money against the assets of the company. Third party deals, e.g. agreeing with a competitor some gain if he poisons a company during buyout.

    If you don't understand what I mean, look at the Yahoo deal. That would have stripped Yahoo of cash, made it dependant on Microsoft for short term money and made their income also dependant on Microsoft. MS for its part promised to buy a portion of shares in the future at a higher price. The likely block of shares that referred to was Icahns block, I believe that was to be his reward for poisoning Yahoo.

    BEWARE!

  • Dell's prices are much higher than Xmas last year when I bought my last laptop, so this would appear to be news to Dell. And that is with a high Aussie dollar.
  • I tink dat this has 2 doo with dem mobile devices. Dem mobile devices are found in your ARM, which is inside your smartphone, inside your tablet, and inside your car (!!!!!!!!!). I hope dat you get one soon, and now the apple has their ipad and the android devices everywhere. But Windows 8 is good! And soon dey will have it running office on a tablet with 3 hour battery life@! Kewl.
  • The aside about IBM exiting the x86 server business has me wondering. Perhaps the "International Business Machines" corporation needs to change its name to the "International Software as Services" corporation. Or how about the "American Software as Services" corporation? I prefer the acronym generated by that name.

  • by houbou (1097327) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @10:46AM (#43503923) Journal
    What do people want to do most with computing devices?
    1. games
    2. email
    3. chat
    4. lookup info / read news, books, etc
    5. music
    6. videos
    7. pictures

    So, obviously, smartphones, tablets, any device which is mobile is going to be more attractve than a desktop PC, for the casual user, since for the most part, it's cheaper and more convenient to get a mobile computing device than it is to get a Desktop PC.

    Netbooks and Laptops or even Desktop Replacements will get more popular as they get lower in price and offer way much better battery life.

    The Desktop PC won't go away soon, it has its use in business or for the hardcore "PC" gamers. But it will never again be the dominant form of computer usage, those days are gone.

    But there is another reason why Desktop PC sales are down.

    In the recent years, hardware specs even at the lower end of the spectrum are more than powerful enough to handle the demands of new software, and thus people have less reasons to upgrade. "Remember: if it ain't broke, don't fix it!" :)

    Then you see Microsoft trying to get Windows 8 out there, but it's not working, because Windows 8, isn't flying with people. At this point in time, people who use a PC, don't want to use a PC like a mobile device.

    Microsoft would have been better to stick to Windows 7 and keep improving it, adding an optional mobile interface layer and get people to purchase touch screen monitors instead.

    They could have built a momentum towards a mobile OS experience, without alienating users.

    Oh well :)

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      I dont really hate that thats happening, once upon a time people that used pc's actually controlled the market, then the influx of the normal's came in needing peeeceees to aol their email on the webernet. That's when stuff started really going downhill, we have spent so much effort dumbing down the computer for people who get confused by a toaster that our entire UI is now "durh hurh hur facebook button on screen".

      Let those people move to phones and tablets, pray they never need to use a PC again then mayb

    • What do people want to do most with computing devices?

      1. games
      2. email
      3. chat
      4. lookup info / read news, books, etc
      5. music
      6. videos
      7. pictures

      So, obviously, smartphones, tablets, any device which is mobile is going to be more attractve than a desktop PC

      How is it obvious, your point has nothing whatsoever to do with the list o'stuff you rattled off.

      • by houbou (1097327)
        Wow.. people want to play games, do email, chat, lookup info, play music, videos and see pictures.. Most often, that's pretty much all the mainstream user does. and DUH.. the mobile devices provide them with those exact capabilities. For those who must choose between a desktop and mobile.. they will go mobile. THAT would be the POINT.. :)
        • At the risk of dignifying what slashdot has descended to, tablets and phones are useful for people who have to stand on a bus while they commute, as in Japan. For the rest of the world, people go from desktop to desktop, so no, your point has nothing to do with the list of stuff you rattled off.

          • by houbou (1097327)
            You are very narrow minded. And I know from experience with the people I interact with that many have bought a tablet instead of a desktop, because it suffices their needs and it's mobile, they aren't stuck to a desk. But we can agree to disagree, I've wasted enough time on this.
    • by JThundley (631154)

      Then you see Microsoft trying to get Windows 8 out there, but it's not working, because Windows 8, isn't flying with people. At this point in time, people who use a PC, don't want to use a PC like a mobile device.

      Has anybody ever told you, that you go a little overboard, overboard with the commas?

  • The end of Wintel (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Dim-bulbs will dribble on about Intel's and Microsoft's current profits. The irony is that the doom of the traditional PC marketplace is fully visible within the same. The Intel Tax (no decent CPU unless you spend 200 dollars) and the Microsoft Tax (no per-seat licence for the OS+Office unless you spend a fortune each year) means the entire world is ready for lower cost alternatives, none of which can possibly be provided by a future Intel or Microsoft.

    Dell attempted to take the changing market head on by

    • by dfghjk (711126)

      "Those of us with a memory know the last great change for Dell came when it stopped developing its own proprietary PC hardware..."

      I don't think you have much of a memory. Dell was doing that in the 90's. The entire Dimension line was founded to be outsourced.

      "The problem with the PC market today is massive over-pricing of key components, especially the Motherboard, CPU, and to a lesser extent the RAM and HDD. "

      That has remained unchanged for 25 years. Funny that it's the problem with the PC market today.

      • by zlives (2009072)

        +1 insightful if i had the mod points

        "Somehow I doubt anyone cares about your views of the future considering your inability to grasp the past." the past ends at the last quarter and the future is the next quarter numbers ;)

  • i am loving it

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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