1. A history on the origins of the company.
a. Dell was founded by Michael S. Dell in May 1984.
b. Mr. Dell began the company from his University of Texas dorm room. c. He bypassed the retail outlets and sold his computers directly to consumers. This allowed him to eliminate the retail mark-up and sell his PCs at about 40% of an IBM PC. d. In 1988 the company went public and began selling to larger customers such as government agencies. e. The company built its fortune with the Microsoft’s Windows operating systems and Intel microprocessors as its foundation. Other options for Dell computers are chips from AMD and a version of Linux f. In 2007 the company began selling through retail stores such as Wal-Mart and Best-Buy. g. It is headquartered in Round Rock, Texas
h. Dell generates nearly half of its profits outside of the US. i. Dell has manufacturing and distribution units in China, India and Malaysia
The company made major investments in its call center and development units in India. Closer to home, the company closed its Austin, Texas-based desktop PC manufacturing facility in 2008. It also shuttered customer care centers in Canada. In 2009 Dell sold its plant in Poland to Foxconn Technology, a unit of Hon Hai, the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer, and contracted for manufacturing services with Foxconn. Generating more than half of its sales from desktop and notebook PCs, Dell faces intense competition in the consolidating market it shares with Acer, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo. The company's PC sales are following an industry trend that favors mobile computers; Dell's notebook line, its largest revenue generator, accounts for almost a third of its sales. The company also made additional efforts to spur sales with high-end devices. Dell's gaming and multimedia PC offerings include its XPS and Alienware lines. It debuted a luxury laptop called Adamo in 2009. Far from limited to PCs, the company also provides servers, storage devices, and networking equipment. As with its PCs, Dell's servers are primarily Wintel devices, but it supports versions of Linux from both Red Hat and Novell on select servers, as well as the Solaris operating system. Dell's storage line includes its PowerVault systems and devices from EMC that it resells. In 2008 Dell acquired storage systems provider EqualLogic for $1.4 billion. The purchase expanded Dell's offerings for small and midsized businesses. Its PowerConnect Ethernet switches are also aimed at the SMB market. In 2009 Dell launched a portfolio of 14 new products -- including servers, workstations, storage systems, and third-party IT management software -- aimed at lowering costs in corporate data centers. The integrated product line competes with the comprehensive offerings of its chief rivals in the enterprise market, HP and IBM. Also that year the company made its long-rumored entry into the smartphone market, debuting a wireless handset called the Mini 3, which is based on the Android mobile device software created by Google. Dell will distribute the phone through China Mobile, which has more than 500 million subscribers, and Claro, a unit of América Móvil that serves more than 42 million customers in Brazil. It also struck a deal for AT&T to carry the phone in the US. The Android software is being utilized by a number of smartphone manufacturers, including HTC, LG Electronics, Motorola, and Samsung Electronics. The company's software and peripherals segment encompasses Dell-branded displays and printers, as well as third-party peripherals, consumer and enterprise software, digital cameras, printers, and televisions. Though not as acquisitive as some of its rivals, Dell made targeted purchases to grow its product line and service capabilities. In 2008 the company acquired MessageOne, a provider of managed email management and archiving services, for $155 million in...