Dell Computer has passed Sun
Microsystems as the overall leader in the computing decathlon, according to
an analyst report released yesterday.
Dell and Sun have been duking it out for the top spot
more than a year in the quarterly rankings by Technology Business Research. Dell first
ascended to the top spot a year ago, but Sun regained it in the last quarter's
Rather than analyzing just one aspect of computing--such as servers or desktops or workstations--TBR compares computer companies on factors such as revenue, product
marketing strategies, manufacturing strategies, and business model.
Third place went to Compaq Computer, followed
by Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, Micron, and IBM.
Dell leads the PC industry in growth and profitability, according to TBR. And while TBR doesn't expect the Round Rock, Texas, company's growth to
the present astounding rate, Dell is "pursuing new markets and geographies to
help maintain this growth for as long as it can," TBR said.
Sun's drop to second place was partly because of a seasonal dip in business
partly because of a less-than-stellar score in the price/performance factor,
said Lindy Lesperance, an analyst at TBR. "Sun is having a difficult time
competing with their low-end workstations, competing against NT workstations,"
TBR praised Sun's constant planning for the future, its efforts to better
integrate with the Microsoft
realm, and tightly managed finances. "By providing NT interoperability, Sun
come to terms with the reality that NT is pervasive on the desktop and in
accounts, and [finally] created a solution that is positive for Sun's
customers," TBR said.
Compaq jumped up from sixth place to third place. "Last quarter, the
acquisition of Digital hurt their
she said. Although Compaq continues to have strong PC sales, the average
selling price has dropped, TBR said, leading to decreasing profitability.