Dell lays plans for life beyond the desktop

Michael Dell is adamant that the PC market has a bright future. But unobtrusively, Dell Computer is laying the groundwork for new ventures that will take the $US20 billion company beyond the desktop.

Four months ago, Dell quietly consolidated its engineering efforts in the OptiPlex and Dimension PC areas to look at technologies that are driving the industry. The company's peripheral, platform and software groups are looking into storage, LCDs, chip sets and graphics, according to Dell spokesman John Thompson.

"You can start thinking about form and function areas" now that base performances of PCs are solid, Thompson said. For example, all-in-one PCs, one of Dell's new development areas, will combine large LCD displays with a lightweight computer.

On other fronts, CEO Dell last month said his company will start its own Internet service provider in the US but provided few details. The company also said it's getting into the online auction business. And in the next few months, Dell plans to unveil new electronic services, according to Thompson.

Perceived Wisdom

Some industry observers said Dell is wisely responding to shrinking profit margins throughout the industry and predictions of slowing PC sales.

The $US170 billion PC industry "is doing well, but it's a cyclical business. At some point it will slow," said Wendy Abramowitz, an analyst at Argus Research in the US. Dell is already seeing its stock price slump -- to $US37 per share on June 30, down 33 percent from its $US55 high in February.

Other industry watchers said the US-based company's phenomenal growth rate won't subside any time soon.

"There's a lot of PC growth left. The new devices will tend to be ‘in-additions-to' as opposed to ‘instead-of PCs'," said Roger Kay, an analyst at International Data Corp. (IDC) in Framingham.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stacy Collett

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?