Michael Dell: Netbook Novelty Lasts 36 Hours

Take a user who’s used to a 15-inch notebook and then give him a 10-inch netbook. He’ll say, “Oh, this is so cool, it’s so lightweight.” Then 36 hours later he’ll say the screen’s not big enough, give me my 15-inch back.

That’s according to Michael Dell, CEO of Dell, when asked about the popularity about netbooks during a Silicon Valley dinner sponsored by the Churchill Club. Michael Dell continued to add that a lot of customers are not satisfied with the underpowered netbooks with tiny screens. But he expects Windows 7 to lead to “a very powerful refresh cycle.” But only if you pair Windows 7 to “the latest processor technology” and Office 2010 will you “love your PC again.” Love? I’m not sure if the word ‘love’ can be easily associated with PCs unless you’re talking about Macs where there is a fairly large base of fans who would actually acknowledge love for their machines.

Update 2009.10.14 3:38PM PDT John Jacobs, Director of Notebook PC Market Research at DisplaySearch, puts Dell’s share of the netbook market around 8% based on the company’s Q3’09 Advanced Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report. Netbooks are certainly not intended to replace your main PC box, whether it be a desktop or a notebook. And it is true that netbooks are underpowered but only if you want to do things on it that you should be doing on your main box. Netbooks should primarily be used as a secondary portable device to check email and occasionally browse the Internet. Of course with new netbooks that are slightly larger and more powerful the line between netbooks and full-blown notebooks is getting blurry. So what does Jacobs think about Michael Dell’s comment? Was Dell putting down netbooks? Jacobs thinks that Dell was simply saying, “…know your computing needs and buy the PC that fits those needs,” and considers it, “Good advice.” The video above is fairly long lasting 1 hour 17 minutes. It took a while but I found when the netbook conversation takes place: 34:24.


  • “Dell slams netbooks, says Windows 7 is our savior” – The Industry Standard
  • “Michael Dell curiously talks down netbooks, slyly bad-mouths Vista” – Engadget

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