Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Is Dell doing it right?

Dell is not doing well. It has lost it's position to HP for the largest PC seller of notebook and desktop systems. As a result, Dell replaced it's former CEO with it's founder, Michael Dell. One of the first things that they did was to solicit their customers for ideas to improve their product offerings.

The top item voted for, with more than 83,000 votes is to have an operating system option of installing Linux instead of Windows. The second item, is to have alternatives to Microsoft Office/Works such as OpenOffice for the office suite. So, all seemed well, until Dell decided to ignore it's customers top two requests.

I find it troubling that a company is willing to just ignore what their customers want. When a company does that, it is quite literally, asking for trouble. I'd always thought that you gave the customer what they wanted and charged them money for it. So, this doesn't reflect well on Dell.

It is understandable why they didn't want to do it. If they had done it, they would have had to pay a truckload of Microsoft fines for installing a competing OS on their machines. However, one would have thought that with such a large request from the customers, the signal couldn't get any clearer. So, it's just sad that they decided to cop out instead and just sell machines without *any* OS pre-installed. I guess that this is probably the best that they can do without antagonising Microsoft.

However, if they're not going to offer any discount, customers might resort to buying the Windows version and then requesting for a Windows refund later. This will ultimately result in an added cost to Dell to process the refunds. So, it might end up costing them more than they had hoped, if the customers aren't gullible.


YC said...

Well actually, for some obscure reason that site counts its votes with 10 points per vote... (and 3 points for non-registered users) so those 88000 points represented only 10-15000 votes.

Shawn Tan said...

whether 3 or 10 points, the largest number of customers, by a wide margin, wanted Linux as an option.. that's the point..