Despite all the economic doom & gloom, Dell it seems is as happy as a pig in swill these days, and apart from having solid sales figures and nice growth figures, the company is also on a massive R & D roll, one that seems to be leading it into the realm of entertainment.
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Dell is creating a new “cloud computing” business for thousands of servers for the likes of Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and Yahoo. Now generating “hundreds of millions” of dollars in sales, cloud computing could be a $US1 billion business “in a couple years,” company founder Michael Dell says.
The company says it is looking for new ways to expand beyond selling commodity PCs, notebooks, and servers. It’s stepped up the pace of acquisitions, and with nearly $US10 billion to spend, it has making eight acquisitions since 2007, compared with half that in the company’s first 22 years and says Dell, it also is gearing up to expand its services business.
Dell has also firmly dipped its toes into the entertainment business and taken a swipe at the Apple MacMini and Sony at the same time, with the unveiling today in the US of a mini desktop PC that’s 80% smaller than the average desktop minitower and uses 70% less energy. Known as the Dell Studio Hybrid runs Intel’s Core 2 Duo processor and Windows Vista.
As the No. 2 global PC maker, Dell has been chasing rival Hewlett-Packard on both the desktop and laptop fronts for months now and with every new launch, it seems the space between the two PC giants just gets narrower.
Moreover, according to some reports, the company has also re-hashed the mobile phone rumour and is said to be exploring the idea of making its own smartphone –with the recent global hype over Apple’s iPhone, it is of little wonder that this old chestnut is being re-scoped.
In a recent article, it was noted that “the development of smartphones for Dell seems like a logical step so as to expand its presence in the mobile market”, according to Neil Mawston, director of wireless device strategies at analysis firm Strategy Analytics.
The hiring of former Motorola executives has done nothing to dispel these smartphone rumours.
Here in Australia, the company has joined forces with OfficeWorks and is now selling its PCs through the office supply vendors’ retail network, directly challenging the likes of HP, Acer and Asus.
According to Joe Kremer, DELL MD ANZ, “what happens OS is pretty much echoed here”, adding that “we are very excited about what is happening”, in fact he notes that at present “we are aggressively hiring for a number of positions”.
Insofar as OfficeWorks goes, Kremer notes that “we are very happy with the relationship, OfficeWorks is a great retailer and we looking to a long relationship with them”.
In an interview with channelnews.com.au earlier, Steve Felice, Dell regional president for Asia-Pacific & Japan said that the recent move into retail with retailers like Officeworks is all part and parcel of the company’s [world domination] strategy.
The move into getting retail space said Felice, “is a critical part of this strategy and is complimentary to our business”.
Far from being a back down of its online channel, Felice says there is a “symbiotic relationship” between the two channels.
Moreover he noted that, “what you are really seeing is that Dell wants all types of business, and at $US 60 billion in sales, we have to make sure that we access all types of customers”.
And in an interview with techworld, company founder Michael Dell noted that, “If you think about these two massive spaces, you have 4 billion cell phones and 1.4 billion PCs. And in the little pond in the middle you have some amoebae popping up called smartphones, netbooks, mobile Internet devices, and ultramobile PCs, and terms that people make up in meetings that don’t mean anything. From 2 inches to 12 inches, there will be all kinds of different devices that will be opportunities”.
So it seems quite clear that Dell wants to be number 1 in the global PC market and it looks like they are going to use every vehicle possible in order to achieve it. Watch this space!