Michael Dell and Hewlett-Packard exchange verbal jabs after HP decides to get out of the PC business.
Scott ArdFormer Editor in Chief, CNET
CNET former Editor in Chief Scott Ard has been a journalist for more than 20 years and an early tech adopter for even longer. Those two passions led him to editing one of the first tech sections for a daily newspaper in the mid 1990s, and to joining CNET part-time in 1996 and full-time a few years later.
Tech industry titans are known for taking the gloves off and throwing wicked verbal jabs at their competitors. Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, Steve Ballmer, Mark Cuban, Bill Gates, and Scott McNealy have all made headlines with their zingers.
Not on that list is Michael Dell, the relatively staid (boring?) founder and current CEO/chairman of his namesake PC maker. (Actually, one of the few times Dell did lob such a grenade he basically had it blow up in his own lap. More on that later.)
But even Mr. Dell couldn't resist the opportunity to weigh in on the wave of uncertainty and, well, zaniness unleashed by HP this week when it announced it is getting out of the PC business and ending development of the WebOS-based TouchPad tablet.
Following HP's bombshell, Dell tweeted:
HP declined to take the bait, probably because everyone was busy determining the price point that would actually make people want to touch the TouchPad (they settled on $99 for the 16GB version--a clearance priced based on extreme prejudice). Not to be ignored, Dell yesterday tweeted this:
That got HP's attention:
On his fourth tweet, Dell seems to have finally gotten into a bit of a groove:
Needless to say, I'll be glued to my Twitter feed all day, assuming I can get connectivity while I wait in the line at Best Buy for a chance to add a TouchPad to my museum of misfit tech toys. It will look perfect between the Audrey and eVilla.
Oh, and that grenade that Dell lobbed that boomeranged? That would be when he advised Apple in 1997 to shut her down and return any remaining assets to shareholders. Dell's market cap is now $26 billion, less than 8 percent of Apple's $330 billion.
By the way, anyone seen a Dell Streak in the wild (that's rhetorical)?