Analysis: Dell buys Wyse to continue evolution to 'not really a PC company'

Michael Dell wants to change the perception of the Dell brand to extend beyond the PCs, and buying Wyse grows Dell to do just that.

Last month, Michael Dell let the world know that Dell is “not really a PC company.” Today, Dell announced that it has reached an agreement with Wyse that extends Dell’s portfolio of products and services even further beyond the traditional PC market.

Wyse is an established player in the thin client market. The addition of Wyse will expand Dell’s enterprise solutions portfolio and give it a solid platform for developing and providing Cloud software, and desktop virtualization, as well as management tools and mobile apps.

The world of PC hardware, software, and services is often a bit confusing. Companies like HP and Dell are Microsoft’s biggest allies when it comes to developing and marketing servers, PCs, and laptops with the Microsoft Windows operating system. Yet, the two are also some of Microsoft’s biggest competitors in other areas--such as cloud services and desktop virtualization.

To Dell’s credit, it has done very well for itself in the PC arena. In January, Dwight Silverman reported in the Houston Chronicle that Dell is the number two PC maker in the United States--with nearly double the market share of third place Apple, and just a hair behind HP. It is also worth noting that HP dropped precipitously from 2010 to 2011, while Dell remained relatively stable. As a PC company, Dell seems to be doing just fine.

When I think of Windows-based desktops or laptops, Dell is the first company that comes to mind. There are four Dell desktops, and a Dell laptop in my house. I love my Dell XPS M1330 laptop, and I have my eye on one of the Dell XPS 13 ultrabooks.

Richard Stiennon, chief research analyst with IT-Harvest, points out, though, that Dell sees the proverbial writing on the wall, and it’s making moves necessary to compete tomorrow, as well as today. “Dell is obviously aware of the climate change coming to the PC market as mobile devices and cloud services replace traditional desktops and laptops running heavy OSs and apps.”

Is Dell a “PC company”? Yes. I think Dell is fairly synonymous with PCs. But, Dell recognizes that PCs as we know them may be a dying breed, and it is working to broaden the definition of its brand so that when you think of Dell, you think of more than just PCs.

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