TIN BOX MAKER Dell is throwing its weight firmly behind the Windows 8 tablet operating system (OS), appearing to favour it over Google's Android OS.
At Dell World 2011 in Texas, Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell seemed to play down Android in favour of Windows 8 and hinted that Dell will announce a number of Microsoft-based products soon.
"We are very aligned with Microsoft around Windows 8. You'll hear more about Windows 8 from us and see a wide range of products released," Dell told journalists during a Q&A at Dell World.
"Android is certainly another opportunity as well, but that market has not developed to the expectations they would have had."
Dell did play down the failure of products such as the Dell Streak to make an impact on the market. "Within the $3 trillion industry that we're in, the consumer business is worth $250 billion. Dell is much more focused on providing a complete set of solutions to customers, including the device, but we're not really focused on the device."
Steve Felice, president of Dell's consumer, small and medium business division, said the company has been prudent and is watching the mobile market develop. "We launched a series of products and they've sold, but we launched them all in small volumes to see customer reaction and behaviour," he said.
Felice noted there is massive potential in the market, but concerns over security, interoperabilty, information and device management have yet to be addressed as the "initial push of mobile devices has been very consumer-centric".
Dell also still sees the PC business as pivotal to its strategy, contrary to its chief rival HP.
"There are 1.5 billion PCs in the world, and that is a pretty big number. Estimates suggest there will be two billion PCs in a few years, so it's a growth market. If you look at where this computing happens, the client device is still quite important," Dell added.
"There are big economic reasons to be in the client business. About 95 per cent of all disk drives go in PCs, and about five per cent in servers and storage. From a cost standpoint you get enormous scale, and if you're not in that business you cannot offer an end-to-end solution - and you have to charge a lot more for it.
"The client device is changing. We have smartphones and tablets, but the new devices are augmenting the PC - we don't see the PC going away at all." µ