It might be time to start a deadpool for Dell - they are getting out of the "build to order" business:
Dell Inc., the personal-computer maker that pioneered selling custom-made machines directly to clients, is moving away from its build-to-order model to reduce costs.
Dell is limiting the degree to which buyers can dictate specifications while expanding its line of prepackaged models, operations chief Mike Cannon said Wednesday. Dell will also outsource more PC manufacturing to partners, he said.
That reminds me of a sales call I made back in the late 90's, when I was at ObjectShare (the one that had been ParcPlace-Digitalk). We were at a Wall Street client, pitching "Parts for Java". They liked the demo, and they were interested in Java - but then I watched (with an admitted sense of Schadenfreude) as the guy said to us: "That looks great, but why would I buy Java from you guys?"
You might recall that this was just at the point where ObjectShare was trying to claim that its "core competency" was objects, not Smalltalk - and this client just shot that idea right out of the sky.
That's what Dell is doing now. Why would you buy from Dell, if they are simply putting together run of the mill packages like everyone else? Dell is known as the "custom order" place - this is a complete violation of their entire Brand. I wonder what Laura Ries thinks of it...