Microsoft + Dell = Apple?

Troubled computer systems builder Dell  (UNKNOWN: DELL.DL  ) isn't just talking to private equity titans about a potential buyout. The company may even connect to the Microsoft  (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) mothership itself.

Would a fusion of Microsoft and Dell create a Frankenstein in the image of Apple  (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) ?

It's not a totally crazy idea. Apple built the world's most efficient cash machine by controlling every component of its glitzy consumer products, from hardware designs to system software and individual apps. Mr. Softy started leaning in that direction with the Surface tablet, which was built to showcase the redesigned Windows 8 platform. Microsoft stepped on plenty of partner toes in the process, including Dell's. Going all the way with a direct finger in hardware sales would move Redmond many miles closer to Cupertino.

That being said, the separate scoops from The Wall Street Journal and CNBC don't suggest that Microsoft would become the controlling partner in a Dell buyout. Instead, Redmond might take up to a $3 billion stake in the $23 billion company. The buyout masters at Silver Lake Partners would still run the show.

But Microsoft might still be the final destination for Dell. Let Silver Lake take the system guru private for a while, make some tough and unpopular decisions to nurse Dell back to health. Meanwhile, Microsoft gets much closer to its favorite hardware partner. When the convalescence period is over, Microsoft could then place a wholesale bid for Dell based on unprecedented insight into its operations and financial health.

Everybody wins, and the world gains its first serious end-to-end Apple clone. I can definitely see this happening -- and enjoy the irony of Microsoft trying to copy Cupertino after all these years.

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Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (3)

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  • Report this Comment On January 22, 2013, at 6:19 PM, lrd555 wrote:

    MS+Dell+Google= Apple

    Did you see the bogus, confusing, earnings report from Google today? They made less than $200,000 in profits more than last quarter; and that was labeled stellar!

  • Report this Comment On January 22, 2013, at 6:35 PM, SuntanIronMan wrote:

    Considering Dell is transition away from consumer products into business products, I'm not sure how Dell + Microsoft = Apple.

    Nokia + Microsoft would be closer to =ing Apple (not really, but at least closer than Dell would).

    Maybe Dell would be a good match for Microsoft (...maybe), but not for Dell's consumer products.

  • Report this Comment On January 22, 2013, at 6:42 PM, rhltx4 wrote:

    2 wrongs don't make a right.

    Neither Dell nor Microsoft has succeeded in the consumer market. How many of you are listening to songs on your Zune or Dell Player? Apple sells more iPads in a day than total of all Surfaces sold. Dell's tablet offering was still-born. Other than the X-box, the consumer market is totally lost on both Dell and MSFT.

    If someone had said MSFT + Dell = Oracle, I might agree. Oracle has Sun HW platform, DB, Applications etc. A combined MSFT/Dell might compete.

  • Report this Comment On January 22, 2013, at 6:50 PM, techy46 wrote:

    Miicrosoft + Dell = big mistake.

    Microsoft doens't need Dell. Microsoft has Asus, Lenovo, Nokia, Samsung and Toshiba. HP should've bought Dell and spun off both Dell and PC device divisions and combined IT services and server divisions but it's now too late. IBM created Lenovo at the right time.

    Looks like we're going to have Apple with 2 billion artsy techno challenged users, Microsoft with 2 billion enterprise workers and Google with 2 billion cheap socialists.

  • Report this Comment On January 22, 2013, at 6:50 PM, AnkurVarsheny wrote:

    LOL u made me laugh so much. MSFT+DELL = JUNK

  • Report this Comment On January 22, 2013, at 7:45 PM, lrd555 wrote:

    @ least Microsoft's going to make a decent profit this last quarter. Google's profits were a mere $100,000 more than the same quarter last year! An accounting error in most big companies. I'd bet Microsoft does better than Google.

  • Report this Comment On January 22, 2013, at 7:55 PM, SuntanIronMan wrote:

    @ lrd555

    You realize Microsoft posted a nearly $500 million loss two quarters ago, right?

    (aQuantive)

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