Dell Computers just hasn't been the same since it lost the top spot in PC sales to Hewlett Packard a couple of years ago. As it stands now, Dell is actually back on top in the United States. But, it still lags behind HP worldwide.
For the first twenty and some odd years, Dell Computers had a clear vision of their "niche"; their marketing position within the PC industry. They sell build-your-own, direct order PC's. They still do. They just got scared that wasn't sexy enough anymore when they lost the top spot. Ever since, it's been a different corporate persona that has changed almost as frequently as Texas weather.
There was the village people approach. Dell launched IdeaStorm, which still exists (quietly); a place for the customer base, I mean community, to be a voice within Dell.
Then there was "Discount Dell" that started selling cut-rate models at Wal-Mart. It hasn't exactly been a failure. But ewww!
Now, there's Apple-Wanna Be Dell. It started with candy colored laptops. Now, this week they have unveiled the Dell Adamo, the world's thinnest laptop. It's even thinner than the new MacBook Air, launched last year. The MacBook Air was the world's thinnest laptop until this week.
My question: What's up with these anorexic laptops? I can understand lighter laptops. But who says thin is in?
You must, must, must click on this link. It's the streaming video promo on the Dell site featuring the new skinny laptop.
It looks like a perfume ad; complete with underweight supermodels (my feminist hackles are hackled, by the way) and Vera Wang-esque gowns.
I showed this video to my seven year old daughter. In all her wisdom, she pronounced, "That is sooooooo stupid."
What's next Dell?
McDell? Every computer comes with a toy and apple dippers?
Last updated: Mar 19, 2009
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio