October 6, 1997 2:00 PM PDT

Dell: Apple should close shop

ORLANDO, Florida--When it comes to the state of Apple Computer, everyone has an opinion.

And at the Gartner Symposium and ITxpo97 here today, the CEO of competitor Dell Computer added his voice to the chorus when asked what could be done to fix the Mac maker. His solution was a drastic one.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders," Michael Dell said before a crowd of several thousand IT executives.

Dell's comments follow Steve Jobs's keynote address at the Seybold trade show last week in San Francisco, where the Apple cofounder seemed to win over attendees with his explanation of why he had made certain key decisions, killing the clone market and aligning more closely with Microsoft. The Seybold crowd--as well as some Apple employees--also seemed to be buoyed by the increasing role Jobs has taken on at the company as board member and interim CEO.

But others, like Dell, appear to think that Jobs's expanded role isn't helping. There is some concern that Apple will have a hard time recruiting a top-notch CEO because of Jobs's presence.

Others fear that Apple could end up completely in Microsoft's camp by deciding to use the NT operating system on its servers. Apple is reportedly planning to come out with network computers that would require high-end servers to function.

While many industry executives have offered opinions on how to right Apple's ship, no high-level executive has made as blatant a comment as Dell's.

40 comments

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I'm Insulted
Does Michael Dell really think people are dumb enough to not see his statements for the desperate add war propaganda that they are?

Steve Jobs has been assaulted for decades as a spendthrift, hopelessly devoted to research.

Well, what other company makes a COOL downloadable TV the size of a cell phone?

Just pay your engineers enough to design a good product Michael and you won't have to sound so silly all the time. Oops, sorry times up....Here drink this iTonic and you'll forget you were ever in the Tech Industry....just like everyone else has......AND....If you know the right people you might even wind up working for a record label some day.

Lame...so, so lame.

brendan
Posted by wheatus (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And how lame are you?
Brenden,

I'd be careful complaining about Michael Dell being weird. Look
more carefully at the date on this article. He said that back in
1997. I doubt he'd suggest closing Apple today.

Good luck in your future career.

Dave
Posted by superdave98 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I Stand Corrected
Sorry,

This was copy paste e-mailed to me today and I raged into a response mode.

Not sure there aren't those who feel that way now about Apple who deserve such a tirade but that doesn't stop me from being lamer than Michael Dell. That is the price I pay for not reading the header....hmm

But still....Apple doubters have paid a bigger price for thier lack of vision than I ever will for being hasty to come to Mac's defense.

I do stand corrected,
brendan
Posted by wheatus (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wow - Some leader
Wow. Michael Dell is some leader. It took someone much higher caliber than Michael Dell to turn Apple into a very successful company again.
Posted by garrettks (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Just goes to show you....
Michael has been a bit of an idiot from time to time, but someone
has kept Dell running as a company. It's difficult to picture Michael
in that role. So maybe Michael is just a powerless figurehead? And
if so, who's really running the store???
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just goes to show...
Every Dog has his day.. :-)
Posted by thedevilbegone (139 comments )
Reply Link Flag
10 years later...
What a diffference a decade makes! As of 27-7-2007 Apple shares
are up $9.02, at $146.28. With 864,948,000 shares outstanding,
Apple has a market value of $126,524,593,440.

DELL are valued at nearly half that - just $66,172,115,820
Posted by SydneyStephen (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Guess people don't like those cheap Mexican pc parts after all, huh Mike?
Posted by Dark_Mikus (2 comments )
Link Flag
My, how the worm has turned. Apple is now worth three times as much as Dell.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20080813/boom-apple-worth-more-than-google/" target="_newWindow">http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20080813/boom-apple-worth-more-than-google/</a>

If ever there was proof of Michael Dell being a complete putz, this must surely be it.

How does it feel, Michael, to know that in the period of time that includes the DotCom crash, you sat on your posterior doing nothing while the object of your derision rode the wave of each significant industry trend, and could now buy your company and shut it down just for the LOLz?

Putz.
Posted by Barnacle_Bill (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Steve made history. he is not only changed computer industry..he did much more.
Posted by kks_krishna (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I know this is a really old article, but I'd say that Michael Dell is the usual near-sighted businessman. Near-sighted in that he has no long-term vision of/for the future. Steve Jobs is a "big picture thinker," which is why he's more famous/respected than Michael Dell. We can talk all day about market shares, etc.. but Michael Dell didn't really do anything special: He started sourcing components, assembling those into a working computer, then licensing an operating system he had absolutely NOTHING to do with.

His computers were crap then, and they're crap now. I don't give a rat's @ss about how many companies that use Dell, etc (see: Institutional/Corporate discounts/giveaways). Apple builds a better machine (or, rather, sources and assembles FAR better components) , and I've all the manufacturers (including some from outside this country).

I'm not a fanboy, either. I used Windows 3.1-Windows XP. That's the last version I actually owned, and it will be the last.
Posted by JonnyNoxious (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Apple uses the same components as other PC manufactures. Essentially, Apple makes PC's. It is OS X that sets them apart from the crowd.

Granted, Apple offers one of the best 'packages' to the consumer on the market (cool looking cases, packaging). However, I'm a firm believer that if other manufactures charged a premium like Apple did, and reconstruct their offerings to reflect this, the "quality" line would be blurred.

At this point in time, in my opinion, OS X is the best consumer desktop OS, especially since Microsoft pulled the distribution plug on XP (or made the process of obtaining XP harder). I think XP was the better overall OS from 2001-2006, but has become outdated since. MS may gain ground on the 'new OS' market when Windows 7 is retail, but until then, people are looking for better alternatives to Vista.
Posted by SJokay (7 comments )
Link Flag
Oh Mike, sorry that Windows sucks, your MP3 player didnt work out and that your LCD TV sales couldnt boost you into another category. Good luck, ask Steve if he will give you a hand in finding a new niche.
Posted by stra0373 (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
given what has happened over the past 12 years with Apple, and with today's disappointing Dell earnings, with Dell being in a particularly precarious spot in the computer industry, I wonder, and I really do wonder when Mr. Dell will finally take back these comments. Does he believe that ultimately now he's going to win out over Apple?

Let's face it... Steve Jobs is the one with the vision, starting with the Apple II continuing with the Macintosh followed by the digital lifestyle and the iPhone, while Dell during the same period made a whole bunch of clones that work on Microsoft Windows.

Microsoft Windows?!?

If it were not so that in 1983 when IBM entered the market for personal computers with its IBM PC, creating the PC market, not the market for computers in the home, but the PC market, parents bought their children IBM PCs instead of Apple II. it is at this point that the war begins: between 1980 and 1983, Apple owners were considered weirdos, particularly in high school, but when these same children were finished playing Dungeons &#38; Dragons in 1983, and their parents gave them a PC because Big Blue had entered the market, Apple users became suddenly dinosaurs instead of just super geeks who had no friends and couldn't play Dungeons &#38; Dragons.

it is this kind of vitriol on the part of PC users, as exemplified by this comment by Michael Dell, based on is not yet retracted comment by Michael Dell, which keeps the religious war alive.

At this point, those kids who got PCs instead of apple computers are now and have been in key purchasing and decision-making positions in various IT departments at their places of employment for the past decade.

It is their continuing arrogance, as exemplified by this un-retracted comment by Michael Dell, which keeps windows machines dominant in business.

Given, now, however, that Apple computers actually run Windows better than Windows machines, there's no reason whatsoever, unless you're a hard-core gamer (the producers of which for some reason followed Microsoft marketing techniques where Microsoft urged software manufacturers -not- to produce their programs for Apple computers,) why would you want anything from Dell?

Even IBM didn't want anything to do anymore with PCs. They sold off their PC division to a company called Lenovo. And the best most reliable PCs are those that are put together by the user/consumer him or herself.

So it is actually Apple people who have been accused of keeping the war going, by actually having the temerity to continuously tell PC people that they have accepted second best. Windows is an inferior copy of the Macintosh GUI.

Why you people wanted this, and why you people continue to do this to yourself including all the viruses and Trojans etc. ad infinitum ad nausea, I have no idea.

But given the fact that after 12 years Mr. Dell has not retracted his comments about Apple from 1997, particularly about Steve Jobs is cited in this article, one wonders why PC people have any credibility left at all.

and I just love the new Windows 7 commercials which are attempting to sell Windows 7 using a three-year-old and Justin Timberlake playing smash--a-mole on television commercials... it tells us just how little thought is put into the purchase of a PC.

The religious war is over, and Apple won, despite the fully exemplary PC person behavior in defense of Windows in the still on-retracted comments of Michael Dell about how Apple should close up shop and give the money back to the shareholders. At $200 a share with a target of $265 a share and earnings which were over and above market expectations in almost unknown strength.

Dell has a market price of +/-$14 per share... need I say more? Perhaps Dell should close up shop and give the money back to the shareholders.

If this is good enough for Apple as a resolution for its problems, it's good enough for Dell as a resolution for its problems. One will notice that Steve Jobs has the class not to say such a thing.

Eric Johnson, Los Angeles
Posted by amsterdameric (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I agree do not buy dell products or services

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2605429/do_not_donate_to_haiti_thru_dell_inc.html?cat=3
Posted by MrsMonEPenny (3 comments )
Link Flag
Do Not Buy Dell Products...Buy APPLE

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2605429/do_not_donate_to_haiti_thru_dell_inc.html?cat=3
Posted by MrsMonEPenny (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well well.............

As of yesterday, Apples cap sits at 213.86 BILLION.

Just surpassed Walmart as 3rd largest US company.

Dell is at 29.31 billion.

Whats up Mikey?
Posted by scxfan (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Dell vs. Apple in terms of bringing new ideas to the market. Hmmmm. It's laughable.
Posted by bvdon (231 comments )
Reply Link Flag
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/27/technology/27apple.html?hp

Apple Passes Microsoft as No. 1 in Tech

"The moment came Wednesday when Apple, the maker of iPods, iPhones and iPads, shot past Microsoft, the computer software giant, to become the world?s most valuable technology company."

(DELL: $25.94 bn, about 11% of the value of AAPL.)
Posted by simonhac (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/27/technology/27apple.html?hp

Apple Passes Microsoft as No. 1 in Tech

"The moment came Wednesday when Apple, the maker of iPods, iPhones and iPads, shot past Microsoft, the computer software giant, to become the world?s most valuable technology company."

(DELL: $25.94 bn, about 11% of the value of AAPL.)
Posted by simonhac (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I love blogs I love apple I went from Dell to apple. Its like going from white to black you never go back.
Posted by RoyalMe2 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I recall the stupid prophecy made by Dell back in the day and knew he would live to eat his words someday. Well its been more than a few meals he has had to coke on over the last 10 years and finally in August 2010 his own shareholders get to wish he had given his own shareholders such assistance rather than worry about the competition. The Guy was an opportunist fake ripping of gullible consumers and well the bottom fell out of the cut price pc market he had nothing left to sell.
Posted by awalls_dotmac (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Well, today we have market_cap(DELL) + market_cap(MSFT) < market_cap(AAPL)...
Hoocoodanode??
Posted by urf2 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Market cap as of October 12, 2010:
AAPL $272.73B
DELL $27.07B
MSFT $214.87B
Posted by gslusher (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This is the quote the keeps on giving, all these years later. Thanks Mr. Dell!
Posted by CDubber (527 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Amen. Thanks Michael!
Posted by cvaldes1831 (2084 comments )
Link Flag
John Gruber caught this from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/20/technology/apple-reports-strong-results-topping-expectations.html

"As one example of its success, Apple turned its tablet into a $6 billion business in the quarter. That is twice as big as Dell's entire consumer PC business."
Posted by deemery (61 comments )
Reply Link Flag
and now fortune's wheel has fully turned around --

apple's market cap passed exxon today, making it the #1 company in the world.

http://www.macrumors.com/2011/08/09/apple-now-ranks-as-most-valuable-company-in-the-world/
Posted by noreg (110 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well, here we are 14 years later. I'm glad Steve Jobs didn't to Michael Dell's stupidity. Well, sucker eat your words and if you have any left stick in your A**.
Posted by Hamilton63 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Oh....this has to hurt!
Posted by other_situation (2 comments )
Link Flag
 

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