Michael Dell: Netbooks go sour after 36 hours
You'll be happier if you give me more money
According to Michael Dell, a netbook is a dream purchase - until it's about 36 hours old.
"If you take a user who's used to a 14- or 15-inch notebook and you say 'Here's a 10-inch netbook,' they're gonna say 'Hey, this is so fantastic. It's so cute. It's so light. I love it,'" Dell told Silicon Valley's tech-obsessed Churchill Club during an appearance Tuesday night. "But about 36 hours later, they're saying 'The screen's gonna have to go. Give me my 15-inch screen back.'"
Turning up in Santa Clara, California just hours after a speech at OpenWorld in downtown San Francisco, the Dell Computer founder and CEO did his best to convince the Valley elite that the average consumer now prefers high-end PCs to their low-cost brethren.
"On the direct business, we're seeing a lot of excitement on the new processors, on Windows 7. Performance is kind of coming back," Dell said. "There was this time where the price point was drifting down, where people were just buying the lowest-end device."
Which is pretty much what you'd expect from the head of a major PC manufacturer still struggling to recover from the meltdown of the worldwide economy. Asked if his company would need more time to recover than its the likes of HP, considering its greater dependence on consumer dollars, Dell pointed out that more than 80 per cent of the company's business has nothing to do with the consumer. But he also did his best to play up the prospects of his consumer biz, which now taps into more than 42,000 retail stores across the globe.
Then he took another understated swipe at the netbook. "We see a fair amount of customers not really being that satisfied with the smaller screen and the lower performance - unless it's like a secondary machine or it's a very first machine and the expectations are low," he said. "But as a replacement machine for an experienced user, it's not what we'd recommend. It's not a good experience, and we don't see users very happy with those."
But he did say there are certain niche situations where a netbook makes perfect sense. As an example, he pointed to the Dell Latitude 2100, a small low-cost notebook for schools. "Sales have been many times what we thought," Dell said. "Schools just love 'em. It fits their applications perfectly. But as a general purpose notebook, it's not really a great solution with screen size and performance."
Dell's company offers other netbooks for non-school types, including the Mini 10 and the Mini 10v. You could buy them here, but clearly, he doesn't want you to. ®
These netbooks are great for small games and quick emails.
If you expect to do ANY serious work on them you are then fooling yourself.
But they are great for being a backup device when your main pc dies.
Low profit margin!
Look to me like mike does not like the netbook or more like the low profit margin on them! And by the way if mike dell think nebook are too low powered mike dell should just do something about it and build the next generation of netbook!
Sorry - rubbish
I have used an Asus 1000 for over a year. This has literally been around the world as well as down the bike paths of the Isar, Danube and Salzach rivers. I purchased it because I could not use a 15" monster in coach, my Company does not see why shareholders should have to pay for first class travel. Instead of being just a portable addition, it is a serious tool I can use for everything from programming to documentation.
Needless to say one needs to run the right O/S - this runs Ubuntu.
Perhaps Dell only caters to those who rip off the shareholders and fly first class ;-)
Wrote this for this thread earlier
Anyone who complains that a 10" screen's too small, having just bought a netbook with, er, a 10" screen should be shot as an example to others.
The issue is low power, methinks. And that's not Dell's fault. Even running XP, your average netbook experience is dire. Add anti-spam, ant-virus, anti-malware, anti-adware, then launch a M'Soft Office package. It's now you miss your main desktop machine, be it a lappy or no. Much like this article says, here: http://kyliehorn.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/michael-dell-says-his-netbooks-are-shite-but-hes-wrong-for-once/
I use an MSI WIND 10" as my main machine. It runs (at the moment - I'm experimenting) OpenSUSE. It's perfect for everything I do: usual online gubbins, GIMP-ing, some vector graphics stuff and web design. Michael dell wants us to buy higher end Dells: they make him more money. That's it. He should put his money where his mouth is, and either stop selling themaltogether, or sell then ONLY with, say, an Ubuntu install on them.
Dell Renigs on own products, and quafs own customers...
If Micheal Dell was such a visionary, he would have made the Winston-Salem Dell Manufacturing Facility a little more flexible...and not just announce that the plant closure (after opening only 4 years ago) was because "the Public" does not want desktop computers, they only want laptops.
Few IT Planners I know, think there is much difference in the facility necessary to build laptops compared to one to make desktops...
Just shut it down, re-arrange the lines, get the vendor/inventory/delivery system schedules changed, and your up and making whatever kind of electronic devices you like.
BUT NO... He is going to lay-off 1000 people and renege on $280 Million dollars of incentives his company received.. because we want laptops for Christmas.
His admittance of the lower enthusiasm by the public to the performance of netbooks (that were promoted as better than a Notebook) is so flawed...As a netbook and a notebook are different in many ways.
If he had actually used a netbook for ...oooh let us say...36 Hours... he would have seen that the netbooks are great for some things and terrible for others...EASILY.
He has a world-class university (Wake Forest University) just down the way...he could have had a few students test some products for a few days, and they could have filled him in on what the netbooks short-commings and greatest attributes are.
And they could probably change the floor plan of that factory to be up and running laptops in a month or two...
Micheal Dell's Opinions Are So...Last year...Duh!