Nick Carr writes that Dell's pioneering direct sales model is showing signs of fatigue due to growing support costs: So there, perhaps, is the flaw in the direct sales model, particularly when it's applied to a commodity product like the PC: You have a cost disadvantage in customer support, which is hidden as long as support represents a fairly small portion of the each product's overall cost.
Between the Lines
Larry Dignan and other IT industry experts, blogging at the intersection of business and technology, deliver daily news and analysis on vital enterprise trends.
Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic.
Rachel King is a staff writer for ZDNet based in San Francisco.
Billboard magazine has confirmed that Microsoft has a new portable entertainment platform that includes both hardware and software in the works. The brand name fo the platform is Zune (logo pictured right).
If you despise Digital Rights Management technology (DRM) the way I do, then here's an opportunity to vote with your dollars for a DRM-free world. In partnership with MusicNet, Yahoo!
On Wednesday, in response to my publication of a recording of a call that took place between me and a customer service rep named Rudy at T-Mobile, Cornell Cunningham, senior manger of customer care at T-Mobile, phoned me to say he was appalled at Rudy's aggressiveness and the tone and that T-Mobile would be issuing me a refund for failed hot spot service (what I wanted in the first place).
The recent Hitwise numbers on Google show the same trend as in past months--search rules and the rest of the properties come along for the ride in the back seat. You would think that search, as well as an increasingly integrated set of communications services, would create more of a drag effect, upping the usage of other Google properties and drawing users away from competitors sites, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
Proving that Intel and AMD are locking horns in an absolute bloodbath right now (especially on the client side), AMD fell $80 million shy of Wall Street's expectations when it announced its second quarter results yesterday. According to News.
Systems management has always been something of a black art for businesses. They start off with good intentions.
This week on The Dan & David Show, David shares the story of his run-in with an annoyed, incompetent T-Mobile rep, complete with an offending audio clip. He also shares his post-game thoughts on Mashup Camp.
As Bill Gates fades into the boardroom and focuses on his foundation, Microsoft is transitioning from its tendencies to strike preemptively at any moving target in its sights to a kindler, gentler corporate giant serving the global information industry, keeping regulators off its back and avoiding costly fines that drain the coffers. Yesterday, the company announced a set of "voluntary"principles as guidelines for future Windows desktop development.
Two days ago, I posted a recording of my customer support call to T-Mobile. You should listen to it if you haven't already.