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While computer makers fight to flog their stock this Christmas, Dell has been hit with shipment delays.

The direct PC selling giant yesterday admitted there were delays concerning two of its top consumer systems, the Dimension 8100 PC and Inspiron 8000 notebook.

Five per cent of orders for the Dimension 8100 have been affected by the problem - caused by a cock-up on Dell's Website which apparently let customers order a mouse and keyboard that were incompatible. Dell is now sending out an upgraded version of the mouse.

The Inspiron shortages stemmed from supply problems with 8x CD-RW drives and 32MB graphics cards. The situation has been sorted out, according to Dell, which did not reveal how many shoppers were affected.

"This is obviously mis-execution by Dell, and frankly it's quite dangerous," Gartner analyst Kevin Knox told AP.

"People went to Dell all the way back in November, and if they can't deliver product before Christmas, this is going to leave a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths."

On Friday rival US PC maker Gateway started to temporarily stock PCs in its stores in a bid to shift pre-Christmas inventory. It usually uses the outlets as showrooms for its products, which are then shipped to customers. It also promised Christmas delivery on build-to-order PCs bought by midday on 23 December. ®

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