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Dell hits No 1 in global PC market

Now it fancies a piece of the server action

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The Dell juggernaut keeps on rolling, with the latest market share figures from IDC putting the demon of the direct sales model at the top of the worldwide PC hit parade. Both the desktop and portable markets are now Dell's, IDC reckons, with the fourth quarter of 1999 seeing particularly rapid growth in sales. In the portable arena, Dell saw sales to what IDC calls "medium and large businesses" grow by 57 per cent, compared with the same period in the previous year. IDC breaks the figures down to give details on the US market as well. Here, Dell saw sales up by 30.3 per cent, which was almost double the growth rate of its nearest rival. IDC, like most research companies, doesn't like to name names in its releases, but you can be sure Compaq ain't too happy about how well its bete noire is doing. Dell is also sitting pretty on the desktop, with global sales up by 40 per cent in Q4 99, to give the vendor 20 per cent of the worldwide commercial desktop PC market. In the US, that growth was 31.3 per cent for Q4 99, and 48 per cent for the full year. Again, we're talking about sales to "medium and large businesses". So, what next for the company that ate everyone else's lunch? Why, the server market of course. Dell claims to hold the number two spot in the server market, at least that's what Joe Marengi, Dell's VP and GM for relationships (and Burt Reynolds lookalike), told BusinessWire. "Delivering high quality products and providing a superior customer experience have propelled Dell to the leading position in notebooks and desktops. We're applying that same focus to the server market, in which we increased our market share from 10 per cent to 14.5 per cent last year and currently hold the No. 2 position worldwide," Marengi said. Although he doesn't say it, Burt, sorry, Joe, is referring to the PC server market, which - as any fule kno, and Sun and IBM would be only too happy to point out - is not the whole story. It's also not the same sales proposition with servers being inherently less commodity products than desktop or notebook PCs, but let's not take anything away from Dell here as it has good reason to be feeling pleased with itself. ®

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