February 9, 2011

Dell Providing New Solutions For An Evolving Workforce

Dell, the world's second largest computer maker, unveiled a new tablet device for business use that runs on Microsoft's Windows software, as the company makes the push into the lucrative mobile sector.

Although several tech analysts do not think the current Windows version makes a good match for touchscreen tablets, Dell said its commercial customers want the familiarity and security of the Microsoft environment as they make the transition into mobile devices.

Dell has already released tablet computers that run on Google's Android operating software.

"Why are we working on all these flavors of products? Because our customers are asking us to," Steve Lalla, general manager of Dell's business client group, told Reuters at a media event on Tuesday.

Dell showed off the 10-inch Windows tablet briefly as it introduced a redesigned line of commercial laptops and desktops. The company said it is the largest ever revamp of its business line of PCs, with 39 new products set to be released this year.

This is one of Dell's "strongest" launches in years, said Tim Bajarin, of Creative Strategies.

Bajarin said the new Windows 7 tablet by Dell will be mainly targeted and optimized for business users, such as those in the education and healthcare professions.

Dell said it expects to release the Windows tablet sometime in mid-2011.

While tablets are quickly becoming all the buzz in the computing world, they still only command a fraction of total PC sales.

"Rumors of the death of the PC have been greatly exaggerated," Rick Echevarria, general manager of business client platforms for Intel, told Reuters.

Although PC sales continue to grow at a modest pace, the tablet and smartphone markets are growing much faster.

Apple's iPad dominates the tablet market, but will continue to have competition, as a whole host of Android-based units hit the market this year. Dell's rival, HP, is expected to unveil a new tablet computer on Palm's webOS software at an event on Wednesday.

HP launched its own Windows tablet last year which was also geared toward the business world. However, analysts said that device has shown poor sales.

Lalla, in an interview with Reuters, compared Dell's Windows tablet to a netbook without a keyboard. It will enable customers to use their legacy Windows applications.


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