Anything but a Sam's Choice desktop, please
What's the difference between a Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) factory and your local Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT)? There may not be much of a difference come June 10, when Wal-Mart begins selling Dell desktops through thousands of its Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores.

Okay, so technically it's nowhere near the same thing. Wal-Mart will be stocking just two models, economically priced as packaged bundles selling for less than $700 each. It's a far cry from the high-end Dell machines or the ability to customize your made-to-order desktops and laptops through Dell itself.

However, Dell's push into retail is an important departure for a company where corporate sales remain the bread-and-butter business. It is Dell's way of saying that winning back market share -- and perhaps mindshare -- is a priority.

Financially speaking, it won't amount to much. Wal-Mart is big, but stocking two systems in the discounter's growing consumer electronics aisles isn't going to move the needle much at Dell.

This isn't like when Wal-Mart agreed to start stocking Jones Soda (NASDAQ:JSDA) earlier this year. That was brand validation for the premium soft drink maker and an opportunity to dramatically grow its fledgling canned soda business.

As for Wal-Mart pitching what should also be low-margin Dell systems, it's a bit of a non-event, even if shoppers may do a double take to see the Dell brand at a local retailer.   

Buy, buy, bye
Just when you thought online companies were going to take a breather after a wave of huge acquisitions, here are some still clawing for the after-dinner mints.

  • (NASDAQ:AMZN) is buying audiobooks publisher Brilliance Audio.
  • Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) made a potentially questionable biotech investment in 23andMe.
  • EverBank is making a play for some of troubled NetBank's (NASDAQ:NTBK) assets.

Oh, the buyouts continue. Let's see who is next in asking for the dessert menu.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz and Dell have been singled out as Stock Advisor recommendations. Dell and Wal-Mart are Inside Value selections. You can try either investing service free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy.