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Dell: ‘When will Europeans embrace technology’

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Michael Dell, chief executive of Dell Computer, attributed the failure of European companies to "embrace technology fully" as a factor in the company's Q3 sales shortfall, the FT reports.

Speaking at a conference in Madrid yesterday, Dell said: "The market has not been as strong as we would have liked. When do I see it changing? Well when do European businesses embrace technology fully. Technology is the esssential ingredient in the modern capitalist system."

There were only half as many PCs in Europe as there are in the US, a smaller economy, he noted.

Cheeky monkey. Dell is simply not performing as well as it thought it would in Europe - Gartner and IDC have not changed their PC European sales growth forecasts for 2000 - down on the bumper years of 1998 and 1999 but still a respectable 11-13 per cent. HP and Compaq say their European sales remain on target.

Maybe the Dell direct model does not play quite as well in some European countries as it does in the US, or the UK for that matter. Maybe Dell's reliance on corporate sales - it is the world's biggest reseller, effectively - has not helped it achieve its targets at a time of a marked sales slowdown in the corporate sector (a trend noted by all the major PC dealerships). Maybe the lack of an Athlon-powered machine was unhelpful for retail consumer sales over the summer - AMD is after all much more popular in Europe than in the US. Maybe Europeans simply prefer Compaq and HP. ®

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