Dunce Cap For Dell (11/1/99)

Okay, the gloves are off! The pressure's been building for years, now; early on, it seemed that perhaps Steve Jobs and Mike Dell might turn out to be friends, since it was Steve's NeXT crew that built the Dell online store which eventually made Mike so filthy rich. But once Steve returned to Apple and took NeXT with him, things turned frosty; Mike made some rude comments about Apple to the press, and even sold out to Microsoft who rebuilt the Dell site from scratch, eliminating all traces of the now-Apple-owned technology. Steve's response was to launch his own WebObjects-powered Apple Store and nudge Dell out of first place in terms of inventory management. Then Dell started copying Apple's products, announcing "cool" consumer desktops, consumer laptops in two colors, and even wireless networking options. And the Apple-Dell rivalry has just been kicked up another notch, thanks to Dell's recent press release claiming to have stolen the top spot in Education sales from Steve and the gang.

The only problem with Dell's claim, however, is that it's total horse puckey-- at least, according to Apple. Steve's retaliating with his own press release which cites numbers from International Data Group and Quality Education Data reaffirming Apple's continued reign as King of Education. Steve's take on the matter is that "Dell didn't incorporate Apple's direct sales into their Education market share calculations. If they had done so, they would have been reminded that Apple remains the Education market share leader." Whoops! Funny how Dell-- a company whose only revenue comes from direct sales-- could "forget" to count Apple's direct sales when tallying up the numbers. Which is why when we say "forget," we really mean "Dell is a pack of dirty thieving liars." (Faithful viewer David Schwartz put it slightly more colorfully, but this is the kind of show where we still say "horse puckey," so we'll skip the tussle with the ratings board and just leave it at that.)

So, based on the numbers that Apple dug up, as of the second quarter of this year, Mac sales still account for 22.2% of the overall Education market, giving Apple the gold medal. But even more embarrassing for Dell is the fact that Compaq took the silver with 19.1%, and Gateway won the bronze with 17.2%-- leaving Dell as an "also-ran" with fourth place and 15.8% of the market. How will Dell respond to Apple's press release, which essentially amounts to "liar, liar, pants on fire"? Could this be the start of a knock-down, drag-out press release cage match? Will Dell's next move be to issue a statement calling Steve a "big poop-head"? Stay tuned!

SceneLink (1881)
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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


The above scene was taken from the 11/1/99 episode:

November 1, 1999: Dell tops in education? Nuh-uh, says Steve, and he's got the numbers to prove it. Meanwhile, if you thought no one knew you liked Barry Manilow, think again-- RealNetworks knows. And Apple's shopping for a 3D chip company called Raycer, but no one seems to know why...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 1882: Big Brother's Listening (11/1/99)   Apparently we missed something, here-- when did Microsoft buy RealNetworks? It must have been during that week we spent with our eyes glued to the "Before They Were Rock Stars" marathon or something, because we have no recollection of this happening whatsoever...

  • 1883: ...And A Copy of Cosmo (11/1/99)   Speaking of acquisitions, it sounds like Apple may be getting out the checkbook soon. According to a CNET article, Steve and company are "in the final stages" of buying "all or part" of a company called Raycer Graphics...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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