The tables are turning -- again.

Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) was the PC darling with its lean direct-selling model a decade ago. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) was the printing giant that made a controversial deal for Compaq to begin thinking inside the box.

Then HP became the new darling a few years ago, as then-CEO Mark Hurd's gave his attention to cost-cutting beefed-up margins while Dell's model eroded.

This week's been a bit different. Dell posted better-than-expected quarterly results, a day after a memo leak forced HP to prematurely post an uninspiring quarter saddled with a grim near-term outlook.

Ultimately, though, both companies are in a pickle. Desktops and laptops aren't selling the way they used to, and neither company is as strong as it wants to be in the lighter smartphone and tablet gadgetry that consumers crave.

However, we have to score this week's round to Dell -- easily. 

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • (Nasdaq: AMZN) announced that Kindle e-books have been outselling all of its print books since the beginning of April. No, it's not a belated April Fool's Day joke.
  • GameStop (NYSE: GME) posted fiscal first-quarter results that exceeded expectations but kept its full-year guidance the same. Either the balance of the year is looking soft or the retailer's playing a slick game of rope-a-dope.
  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is raising $3 billion in its first-ever debt offering. The company doesn't seem to need the money, given its $36.7 billion pile of cash, although if you Google "panhandling," don't be surprised if you see Messrs. Brin and Page with outstretched palms.
  • As part of a settlement, Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) announced that it will hold its basic subscription rates until the end of December. If you don't know the words to "Telegraphing a Rate Increase in January," hum a few bars until CEO Mel Karmazin begins singing along.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

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