With an eroding PC market causing mayhem among its allies, 微软 is reportedly talking about investing big in Dell to help take the troubled company private.

(看到 Why Would 微软 Invest $3 Billion Into Dell?)

Such a dramatic move would inject 微软 much deeper into the hardware business, giving it the chance to help drive the kind of innovation that has recently eluded the PC industry. But it would also 破坏与计算机制造商的长期合作关系。

震动行业

微软 is only in discussions to join an investor group for a Dell buyout, and has made no commitment, 据《华尔街日报》报道。 如果微软坚持下去,那么它的投资将可能在20亿美元左右。 And 微软甚至拒绝讨论该报告。“我们不会对谣言或猜测发表评论,”公司发言人说。计算机制造商也保持沉默。华硕,联想和惠普要么拒绝置评,要么没有回应。 

但是,那里’s no reason why the rest of us cannot have a little fun exploring the implications of a deep 微软/Dell partnership.

First of all, this would simply be another step in 微软’推动摇摇欲坠的PC行业的努力。 微软有充分的理由来掌控自己的命运,而不是将其留给更多的合作伙伴基斯通警察比个人电脑创新者自2010年首款iPad发行以来,平板电脑已与智能手机一道蚕食PC销售。在2012年最后一个季度,出货量下降了6%以上,这是五年来PC市场在假期期间首次出现下滑,根据国际数据公司

到目前为止,PC制造商’最有希望的回应是Ultrabook,这是一款轻薄的笔记本电脑,是Apple的Windows版本’的MacBook Air。 Ultrabook的规格,包括尺寸,重量和电池寿命,由拥有该名称的Intel规定。迄今为止,制造商一直无法以足够低的价格吸引消费者的方式生产超级本。结果,个人电脑制造商正在用低价的替代品来混淆客户,这些替代品的名称由惠普制造,如Sleekbook。

那’s clearly not good enough for 微软, which has made 彻底的大修 Windows 8推出其操作系统 自己的平板电脑 在计算机制造商未能减慢苹果的销量之后’的iPad,在当今的平板电脑市场上占主导地位。  

微软 + Dell

微软 has apparently grown tired of this bonehead behavior, and Dell offers a way out. For starters, the computer maker has deep expertise in PC manufacturing and support, neither of which 微软 knows how to do well.

Besides the consumer market, 微软 could steer Dell toward being more focused on the Windows platform for the data center, rather than “尽力为每个人做一切”戴维·约翰逊(David Johnson)说, Forrester研究. In addition, 微软 could get access to Dell’的企业销售队伍。

最后,戴尔/微软的合作伙伴关系可能导致 “融合基础设施” 它统一了芯片,硬件,操作系统平台以及管理和操作工具。这种系统是企业市场中的一种相对较新的趋势,它使公司可以将相同的基础结构用于多次购买,例如运行应用程序和存储。“这将是潜在的游戏规则改变者,” Johnson said.

Of course, other computer makers would unlikely be happy with 微软 working so closely with Dell – and perhaps giving it preferential treatment. However, 微软 has already become a competitor with the Surface tablet, and largely gotten away with it.

(看到 Acer Begins Competing Against 微软’s Surface Tablet – In The Press)

微软’s hardware partners would likely have even bigger issues with a 微软-Dell hookup, but there’他们对此无能为力。 “Once you decide you’与原始设备制造商(原始设备制造商)竞争时,您’与原始设备制造商竞争”迈克尔·切里(Michael Cherry)在 Directions on 微软. “You’已经在那里。这项投资使[Microsoft]成为了更大的OEM。”

No one knows whether 微软 will actually structure a deal to make Dell a premiere partner. But if it does, then 微软 will effectively redefine its relationship with PC makers, creating a far different industry than exists now. 和 that could be a very good thing.

Best of all from 微软’从戴尔的角度来看,将戴尔私有化的投资可能会以不到30亿美元的价格给戴尔带来大部分收益,而不是如果要出售戴尔,则可能需要花费240亿美元和一次完整的收购带来的重大麻烦。

图片来源:Dell和ReadWrite。