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Tuesday, 15 August 2006 18:59

Dell having dog of a time

Taking a look at Dell's past few months one must wonder what the people in charge at headquarters must be thinking.

First a laptop explodes into flames at a public exhibition. Then the picture of the unfortunate incident gets circulated around the world to the glee of all of the company's competitors.

This incident is followed in quick succession by a number of further combustible incidents.

After that, we hear of a scandalous error in which Chinese consumers receive computers containing inferior chips to the ones advertised by Dell. The error is compounded by the fact that the chips supplied do not support virtualization, a major feature of the chips that were supposed to be supplied.

While Dell is still sorting through the chip problem, another minor issue surfaces. It seems that someone at Dell China has advertised the incorrect price of a computer system on the web - by a factor of 10!

Finally, fearful that an incident might occur in which a combustible laptop might actually injure someone, Dell has recalled more than 4 million laptops worldwide, in order to replace the batteries which are being blamed for the fire hazard. Needless to say the expense incurred by Dell will be massive. However, the company has no choice.

All this has occurred when the notebook market is slowing and Apple with its dual operating system capabilities is starting to emerge as a threat.

Dell will no doubt recover from this unfortunate series of events. However, the regularity with which the events have occurred must serve as warning signs that all is not right with the company's internal processes and some serious soul searching may be in order.

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Stan Beer

Stan Beer assists with Digital Advertising installation and monitoring of advert performance. With 35 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications. Any previous news story submissions should be director to and advertising enquires to

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