Michael Dell: Focus on 'ingredient' acquisitions, tablet OS choice

Summary:Dell CEO Michael Dell said his company will continue to focus on smaller acquisitions that can scale with additional resources. Meanwhile, Dell assessed the tablet landscape.

Dell CEO Michael Dell said his company will continue to focus on smaller acquisitions that can scale with additional resources. Meanwhile, Dell assessed the tablet landscape and said the company will offer devices that run on Windows, Android and Honeycomb, the latest Google mobile operating system.

The comments came following Dell's strong fourth quarter results. The company's acquisitions in storage as well as software and services have been able to fuel business in the large enterprise and SMB markets.

One of the big questions around Dell revolved around acquisitions. Would Dell have to go for bigger deals to transform the company? Dell said not quite:

(The acquisition strategy) will be very similar to what you've seen us do in the recent history here where we are looking for relatively smaller sized ingredient acquisitions where we can leverage them. We are -- substantial customer access and distribution.

I think you're already seeing us in systems management and some of the software around supporting the systems infrastructure. We're looking at how we can expand that platform into new customer categories and new capability. And we're finding a great ability to combine more and more offers together.

Dell's other focus area revolved around tablets. Dell said:

On smartphones and tablets, we were very pleased to introduce the new Venue and Venue Pro which are Android and Windows Mobile 7 based 4.1 inch products. You'll see us enter the 10-inch tablet space with both Android, Honeycomb and Windows later on this year.

And we think those will be reasonable platforms for us to participate more broadly in this space. Now we have also rolled out services for mobility because we see many customers really looking to integrate these mobility solutions into their environments and that is a source of demand inside our services unit.

Dell also pooh-poohed the idea of HP's WebOS focus and said the Nokia deal with Microsoft wouldn't change his relationship with the software giant. He added:

It's Android, Honeycomb and Windows and we have customers that have a preference for either one. It's very easy for us to create platforms that share a great deal of hardware commonality that can run both, either operating system. And we are presently not considering any other options, don't really see any other viable options that are worthy of consideration.

Topics: Tablets, Banking, Dell, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Windows


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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