Dell's in The Dumps; Channel to the Rescue?

Well, Dell has reported its latest financials, and the numbers show it's struggling against chief rival HP. There's little doubt HP has been a long-time channel favorite and has built a lot of loyalty over the years, while Dell is a late entry to the channel game and created a lot of early bitterness with its "Dell Direct" strategy. Ironic that now the channel is poised to play a key role in Dell's future growth prospects.

Marketwatch has an interesting take on the issue of Dell vs. HP. Dell's 4Q sales really weren't that bad, coming in at $15.9 billion, up from $14.4 billion one year ago. (The Street expected $16 billion, and it hates to be disappointed.) PC sales grew 11 percent and notebook sales rose 13 percent. But to illustrate Dell's struggle, HP notebook sales skyrocketed about 50 percent last quarter. Hmmm. Dell needs some help. Time for channel players to strike a deal?

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