Direct2Dell Week in Review 6-1-08


Sorry for being late with this. Let me just jump right in.

  • D6: Last week,the D6: All Things Digital conference kicked off lots of conversations in the blogosphere.  That previous link highlights several of those discussions, but for those that don't want to click through, Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates previewed some of the functionality that Windows 7 will bring to the masses. It was nice to see Microsoft showing off part of the multi-touch functionality on the Latitude XT Tablet. More on Windows 7 in a bit. I also noticed that Jeff Bezos  let folks know that Amazon soon has plans to offer a for-pay video streaming service. It's unclear at this point where it will fit among Amazon's Unbox service or in the broader digital streaming landscape of iTunes and the Apple TV, or the soon-to-be-released Roku $100 set top box that will let Netflix customers stream movies via their "Watch Now" service. Michael Dell was one of the speakers at D6. Here's a text summary of some of what Michael discussed, and here's the video highlight reel. I've just scratched the surface on everything that happened there. If you're interested in more of a deep dive with all the folks who took part in D6, take a look at the D6 Highlights section of the blog.
  • Dell's Secret Mini Laptop: Speaking of D6, a Gizmodo post about a forthcoming Dell mini notebook sparked hundreds of reactions in the blogosphere. Anne B. Camden reacted and shared a few more pictures in her post on Your Blog. Reaction was pretty positive. Seems like a lot of folks are interested in a small notebook at an affordable price. Still, others in the blogosphere want a sub-notebook that doesn't skimp on performance (take a look at the comment threads from Gizmodo and Engadget to see what I mean). When we can share more details on this product, we'll blog about it.
  • Dell's Service Partner Program: Katie MacDonald discussed this in her Direct2Dell post and FAQ. I know that folks still have questions… this will be a topic we'll blog about more in the future.
  • Windows 7, Vista and XP: Even before the Windows 7 buzz that was started at D6, there was Windows 7 talk from Windows Chief Steven Sinofsky in an interview he did with CNET. While lots of folks thought there wasn't a whole lot of news there, I tend to agree with Larry Dignan. In his post, I thought he outlined the key points that came out of that interview really well. He makes the case that since Windows 7 will use the Vista driver stack (among other things), there's not much of a reason for companies to wait to make the jump straight from XP to Windows 7. One thing I disagree with Larry on though is that businesses won't care about multi-touch. If it's implemented effectively, seems like multi-touch could be a benefit to business users as well as consumers. Speaking of Vista, we'll soon be shipping Service Pack 1 on Vista machines. More coming up on that topic very soon across several of our blogs. And before I leave the subject of operating systems, seems worth mentioning that over at our Small Business blog, Jenni Doane published a post that reiterated the deadline for ordering a small business system with Windows XP is June 18. After that date, customers who order a machine with either Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate have the option of ordering it with a downgrade option to Windows XP Professional. Click on the Windows Vista Downgrade Service link for more details.
  • Q1 Earnings Results: We released our Q1 earnings results after the market close on Thursday last week. At the same time, Rob Williams published a post at the DellShares Investor Relations blog that recapped some of the highlights and provided some insight into how we're now reporting four operating segments: Americas Commercial, EMEA Commercial, APJ Commercial, and Global Consumer. While it's good to see positive reactions like the one from New York Times, many folks know we have lots of work ahead of us to keep the momentum going.

Like I mentioned in the first D2D Week in Review post, I want to make this more useful to Direct2Dell readers. If you have ideas on how I can do that, please let me know. And if you're interested in getting these updates automatically via RSS, you can subscribe to the weekly feed here.

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  • Lionel_Menchaca

    Eric: Sorry to see that things are not going well in the support process for you. I will send you a direct e-mail to get some more specific information from you so that I can get you connected with someone who can help.

  • Anonymous

    My experience with Dell has been one from hell. I find it unacceptable that you are on the telephone for four hours(does not include on hold time) and the problem is still not fixed. Computer sent to our outside support system for repairs which incurrs cost. Problem found then more telephone wait time and discussion from Dell Support ( wrong name as there is not much suppport). I will not buy another Dell system and will advise other persons and companies not to also. Dell does not care if it causes persons or companies costs to repair their systems.

  • DELL-Todd S


    You may want to check out these two links for updates on the downgrade program if you haven't seen them.

    If there is a change to the policy I think it would be posted to the Dell Answers pages and announced on our Small Business blog.

  • Anonymous


    I am trying to find out what the deadline is when Dell will no longer offer a Windows Vista downgrade.  I have now spent 2 hours surfing Dell's website and other websites and cannot find a definitive answer.

    Can you shed some light in this area.  The company for which I work is mostly a Dell shop from desktops and laptops to servers and storage.  I don't forsee that changing anytime soon and we are debating over when to make a formal cut over or when we will be forced to go straight Vista on all our new machines when we refresh the leases.

    Oh and by the way, unlike Eric's post of 2 JUN 08, we are a very happy Dell customer.  Our sales and support team is top notch.  We have no complaints!  I love Dell!

    Thank you in advance.



  • rdale8010

    I don't know if this is the correct spot to post a review.  I bought a Dell Inspiron 1520 laptop in March of 2008.  I recently had a virus infection.  A tech support person had called me to tell me my Dell On-Call warranty was about to expire.  I took the opportunity to tell them I had an error message for a corrupt file I could not get rid of. 

    The tech support person told me the 3-year subscription I purchased to Trend Micro PC-cillin with my computer was not sufficient to protect me and I needed to buy a 3-year subscription to Casper Internet Security.  He assured me I would receive a refund for at least the 2 unused years of my subscription.  He also told me he would speak to his manager about my getting a complete 3-year refund, but that I needed to talk to customer service about the refund.

    When I tried to reach customer service, I had to call several times.  It took 7 attempts. (Either I hung up and re-called, or I was transferred to a different person or waited on hold a long time.)

    Customer service told me they could not give a refund because the license key had been sold.  They said there was no documentation in the call notes that the tech support person had told me I would receive a refund.  The tech support person just wanted to sell me things he said I needed — an external hard drive to back up my system, a 3-year subscription to Casper, a memory upgrade, and an extension for a year of my Dell On Call wArranty. 

    Dell should not be allowing tech support people to promise things that customer service is not going to deliver.  Customer service says there is no documentation that the tech support person promised me a refund.  Customer service also implied that tech support could authorize the refund.  The call is supposed to be recorded — why can't they check to see what he told me?

    Buyer beware!