Dell’s Ophelia: USB-Sized Computer
February 16, 2013

Dell’s Ophelia: USB-Sized Computer

Her name is Ophelia. She likes clouds, soft jazz and being told she’s pretty. Ophelia is small, miniature, and a bit on the insecure side, but she’s a mile ahead of that gigantic lump of metal you have sitting on your desktop.

Computers are, in essence, much more delicate today than they were 40 years ago. The transition from vacuum tubes hasn’t been the walk in the park that we’d hoped for, but the advances that we’ve had in the past decade have really shined in ways that paint a very bright future for development in the coming years.

In recent new, Dell, the computer manufacturer, has announced its plan to go private. It plans to sell its stock shares for about $13, and take its stock off the Nasdaq. Why are Michael Dell and his small group of investors doing this?

For a number of reasons, but more than likely it’s the decline of technology sales in general in the past decade. In big ways, the economy has still rendered some of our favorite companies and businesses bankrupt in the past few years. On the brighter side, the smartphone and tablet market is still making great progress with consumers; progress which will continue to grow for a few more years.

You might be able deter the excepted norm with economic turmoil, but you can’t stop an industry standard when so much of the population finds it so interesting. This ideal is most apparent when we look at the consumer’s desire for smaller technology, which is becoming more and more apparent with every release of a new iPhone.

Perhaps the idea isn’t to be microscopic, but something about smaller just seems sexy. At least this is what Dell is thinking in recent reports from Quartz, which hold rumors that Dell is making a USB-sized computer, codenamed Ophelia, that plugs into the cloud. The device is also rumored to be able to work with any operating system; including Windows, Android, Linux, a Mac OS, and a Google Chrome OS.

This device could be the signaling of Dell’s intention behind their $24.4 billion (USD) buyout that was announced just a few days ago. Selling back the stock seems like a selfish move at first, but a longer contemplation might reveal that Dell could be trying to reinvent themselves as a computer company.

Let’s be honest. What difference do you notice between Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus, or Compaq? Nothing! These companies harbor no true difference between each other aside from a company logo and a fancy case design. Ergonomically speaking, these selections might as well be sisters in the same boring and uninteresting family.

If the shareholders agree with the buyout, then Dell will be closing off its stock and selling it back to investors. All while reinventing their company by changing the fabric of the same product that made them so popular: PCs.

Michael Dell got rich with the company in the 90s and stepped down as CEO in 2004, only to return a few short years later to pull the company out of a slum that it was heading into. Any move that an individual makes for the survival of his company is one that I view with great respect and admiration. Is this going to work out smoothly for Dell, Incorporated? Let’s hope so, or we’ll be witnessing the fall of yet another industry tech giant.

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