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Dell Trails Its Rivals in the Worst of Times
source: New York Times

"It's O.K. if everyone doesn't understand what we're doing," said Michael S. Dell, founder and chief executive.
Manish Swarup/Associated Press

Its services hopes are pinned on providing new automated tools for managing PCs in corporate offices and data centers. The company looks to undercut rivals like I.B.M. and H.P. with the software-based services push, while also opening up Dell-scale PC services to smaller companies, which have traditionally turned to local companies for help managing their equipment.

Today, Dell brings in about $7 billion a year from services and is banking on the businesses growing at pace in the coming years.

Wall Street analysts continue to question whether the sum of these measures will translate into a more well-rounded company.

Mr. Dell is dismissive of such doubts. He is particularly piqued by those who say Dell's lateness to various markets was the result of deeper cultural issues.

"You mean by growing 10 times in a decade?" Mr. Dell asked. "Was that a mistake?"

Mr. Dell disagrees with suggestions that the company is taking more risks as a reaction to complacency.

"Here was a company that was manically focused on an approach to its business which caused an enormous amount of success," Mr. Dell said, "and when it kind of realized that that wasn't working as well as it did in earlier periods, decided to make a number of changes."