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Dell No. 1 in notebook survey

The direct-sales manufacturer ranks tops in an IDC poll of notebook PC business users.

Dell can seem to do no wrong.

International Data Corp. (IDC) will release a study next week that ranks Dell Computer (DELL) number one in a survey of notebook PC business users.

This comes as yet more good news for Dell, which has seen its fortunes rise in the desktop and server markets. Dell was recently ranked as the fourth-largest PC vendor in the world by Dataquest and the third-largest in the U.S. by IDC based on steady growth in the desktop PC and server markets.

IDC?s study next week may also presage a stronger presence in notebooks.

The study states that businesses purchasing notebook computers over the next 12 months are most likely to consider buying a notebook PC from Dell. The study canvassed 300 users--mostly information system personnel--at medium-sized and large companies. Dell beat out notebook industry stalwarts such as IBM, Toshiba, and Compaq.

Vendors were graded on system reliability, product availability, vendor reputation, and service and support, among other considerations, according to Randy Giusto, a notebook market analyst at IDC.

Compaq came in second, while Toshiba came in third, and IBM came in fourth. Gateway 2000 came in fifth, indicating that it too is making headway in these areas.

Giusto added that notebook ratings used to be weighted in favor of processor speed and specifications. But considerations such as product availability and system reliability are now the paramount concerns, far outweighing a system's speed or features, he said.

These rankings are coming out soon after a preliminary report from IDC about market-share rankings, which indicate that Toshiba did not fare well in the notebook market in the second quarter of this year. Market leader Toshiba is losing ground to IBM and Compaq as well as to rising stars like Dell.

Throwing salt on Toshiba's wounds, it was also disclosed this week that Toshiba has shipped a small percentage of notebooks with viruses in them.