Shopping For Low Cost Computers

By: Ben Franklin

Computers are today our basic requirements. When we work we need them to connect with other people, retrieve information and control manufacturing units. At home we chat, play games, use them for interactive activities like pod casting and for watching movies etc. There are lots of places you can shop for computers, if you are planning to either replace an existing one or buy a new one. One resource for low cost computers is Dell.

Dell is a leading US-based computer hardware company, Dell Inc. Dell has over 63,700 employees the world over. Dellís operations span development, manufacture, support and marketing of personal computers, servers, data storage devices, network switches, personal digital assistants (PDAs), software, peripherals, etc. The location of Dell headquarters is in Round Rock, Texas, USA.

In 2005, Forbes 500 ranked Dell 28th among the largest US companies revenue-wise. Dell topped Fortune magazineís annual list of the most admired US companies the same year. The companyís press releases in January 2005 revealed increased international sales for the first two quarters of the fiscal year 2005. An ominous article ďItís Bad to Worse at DellĒ appeared in the November 2005 edition of BusinessWeek, predicting decline in earnings and sales and a pessimistic third financial quarter prediction. Faulty capacitors on motherboards of the Optiplex GX270 and GX 280 had already been acknowledged by Dell at a loss of $300 million, which CEO Kevin Rollins partially blamed a low-end PC focus on.

Around 2004, a Dell Dimension desktop PC was marketed with different brand names for different consumer segments. OptiPlex, Latitude and Precision were for medium and large business clients, advertising durability, reliability and functionality. The Dimension Inspiron and XPS brands are ideal for consumers, students and small offices due to value, performance and expansion. The recently re-introduced Dell XPS targets the gaming segment. Silver instead of black cases is used for Dell XPS desktops. Non-computer products started with the portable digital audio player, Digital Jukebox or Dell DJ, apart from USB keydrives, LCD tvs, Windows mobile PDAs and printers.

Brand names for product ranges include OptiPlex for office desktops, Dimension for desktops, Latitude for commercial laptops, Inspiron for consumer laptops, Precision for workstations and high-performance laptops, PowerEdge for larger corporate servers; PowerVault for direct-attach and network-attached storage (NAS), Dell EMC for storage area networks, XPS for enthusiast/high-performance systems and Axim for PDAs utilizing Microsoft's Windows Mobile.

Microsoft Windows XP is Dellís current choice for most new computers along with Red Hat and SUSE for servers. Bare-bones computers minus pre-installed software have considerably lower rates. Licensing contracts with Microsoft ensures availability on request only, with a FreeDOS disk included. A Windows refund is issued after a regular retail price sale.

Dellís Windows comes with substantial software. There have been accusations of spyware and instructions to technical support team to avoid de-installation. Dell made no secret of an offer to Apple for a future Intel version of Mac OS X but the latter chose to run OS only on Macs, declining to license Mac OS X to Dell.

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