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Mark Vena on Dellienware 155

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the not-much-else-to-post-on-a-sunday-morning dept.
Edison Trent writes "Tom's Hardware has a piece up on the acquisition of Alienware by Dell in which they've interviewed Mark Vena, Alienware's VP of Marketing, who spilled some interesting beans on the acquisition. Among them is the fact that Michael Dell himself (aka Mr Steve Jobs-alike) supposedly led the acquisition from the beginning (will this force out Alienware management later?), and that Dell will be handling all of Alienwares supplier relationships, including that with AMD. In the more mundane and day to day changes Dell will also be backing Alienware financing of their expensive machines, which is something Alienware couldn't have done before on its own and because Dell will be handling all of Alienwares suppliers the company expects to get more allocation of scarce products such as new graphics cards and ordering an Alienware will no longer be like putting in an order for a car in East Germany."
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Mark Vena on Dellienware

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  • Editing 101 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gothmolly (148874) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @10:15AM (#14997933)
    Dear Editors,
    You can, you know, edit the submissions. Holy run-on sentences. To wit:

    In the more mundane and day to day changes Dell will also be backing Alienware financing of their expensive machines, which is something Alienware couldn't have done before on its own and because Dell will be handling all of Alienwares suppliers the company expects to get more allocation of scarce products such as new graphics cards and ordering an Alienware will no longer be like putting in an order for a car in East Germany.

    This is 5th or 6th grade level writing. Even MS Word would have suggestions to fix it.
  • Still AMD? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by loftwyr (36717) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @10:38AM (#14998001)
    Will you still be able to get AMD processors? AFter all, Dell has a relationship (marriage) to Intel and having a subsidiary buying from the competition could make Intel unhappy....
  • Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gimpimp (218741)
    I'm confused as to why anyone would buy one of these machines. In a world where hardware that is a success is simple, sleek and nice to look at, why oh why would someone want one of the hideous things from Alienware. And then Dell go and buy the company. Yikes.
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wed128 (722152)
      Alienware tends to promote the nerdy hardware pissing contest common amoung seniors in high school and freshman in college.
      • I guess you'd have to be about 18 to get into the idea of having a ueber-computer. After you've been around a while, it's pretty obvious that all computers are basically worthless junk after about 5 years.
        • Huh? I am typing this message right now on a very useful non-junk computer that is more than five years old.

          I don't, however, necessarily want to change the perceptions of people like you, as I only paid about $5 for this machine (a used Dell Pentium III system.) It's useful to people like me who make 'best use' of less-than-new hardware for people like you to be out spending three or four figure amounts on the machines we buy with pennies-on-the-dollar a few years from now.

          So flame on, tiger. Buy the ne
          • Huh? I am typing this message right now on a very useful non-junk computer that is more than five years old. I don't, however, necessarily want to change the perceptions of people like you, as I only paid about $5 for this machine (a used Dell Pentium III system.) It's useful to people like me who make 'best use' of less-than-new hardware for people like you to be out spending three or four figure amounts on the machines we buy with pennies-on-the-dollar a few years from now. So flame on, tiger. Buy the n
          • You realize you're pretty much on the same side of the 'argument'?
      • by Edzor (744072)
        true nerds build their own. alienware is looked down upon in computer geek community. as this thread points out.
        • I wholeheartedly agree. Perhaps i should have used different phrasing. I was really referring to those that play too much counterstrike and don't really use all that power for anything else. Not nessessarily nerds, per se.
    • Re:Why? (Score:1, Troll)

      by timeOday (582209)
      In a world where hardware that is a success is simple, sleek and nice to look at, why oh why would someone want one of the hideous things from Alienware.
      So what gaming rig is it you want everybody to buy? A Mac Mini?
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
      Some of them are pretty nice. I think the logo is pretty lame though, and the green is just ugly, IMO, but the black cases are pretty nice.

      If someone told me a few years ago that there's big money (in per-unit profits) to be made in throwing together off the shelf boards, I wouldn't have believed them. It's not that hard to do.
      • If someone told me a few years ago that there's big money (in per-unit profits) to be made in throwing together off the shelf boards, I wouldn't have believed them

        The impressive thing was that Alienware showed up when the world was convinced computers were driving to a slim margin/cheapest possbile world. They identified a market where people were willing to pay big premiums that was previously dominated by do-it-yourselfers. Before Alienware, "gaming rigs" were a hobbiest thing

      • Just putting together the (good quality) off the shelf boards wouldn't get you anywhere. You have to add some style - do some real marketing - add some (perceived) value. Then customers will pay more than they would just for a functional machine.
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by toddestan (632714)
      I'm confused as to why anyone would buy one of these machines. In a world where hardware that is a success is simple, sleek and nice to look at, why oh why would someone want one of the hideous things from Alienware. And then Dell go and buy the company. Yikes.

      Some people don't care so much about looks, and others actually thing they look cool.

      What I don't get is people who buy Alienware when you can get the same thing at a fraction of the cost if you build it yourself.
  • My thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stonent1 (594886) <stonent AT stone ... intclark DOT net> on Sunday March 26, 2006 @10:44AM (#14998024) Journal
    When I first saw Alienware, I just thought, "Hmm, so they painted an Antec case green and filled it with high-end parts". When the laptops came out, they caught my interest, but the PCs never did anything for me. That Antec case they've been using has been around since 1997 or so.
  • What? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tezkah (771144) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @10:51AM (#14998041)
    Did you just compare Michael Dell to Steve Jobs?

    Here's a hint: one wears a turtleneck and makes innovative computer products, the other one is Michael Dell.

    Next Time on Slashdot: "Linus Torvalds (Linux's Bill Gates) tells people to use KDE!!!"
    • The OP said that Michael Dell wants to be Steve Jobs.
    • Re:What? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by asuffield (111848)
      wears a turtleneck and makes innovative computer products

      You mean 'wears a turtleneck and talks about computer products'. Steve Jobs may have worked on them in the past, but he's all PR nowadays. Other people make the products.
      • No, Jobs didn't make them in the past, either.

        He leaves behind him a trail of the people he has used and burned out.

        But marketing shills like him have always been necessary to get 'the money guys' in line and supporting cool new products.

        It's not a bad thing that Steve Jobs exists in the world. Not at all. But let's not buy into the myth that he's anything but a manipulative S.O.B. who happens to be useful.
  • by m33p (635261) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @10:53AM (#14998050)
    The story I heard was that a number of key Dell people defected to Alienware over the past year, and Dell acquired Alienware more to regain these people than the company or the brand. FWIW... -a.
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @10:58AM (#14998075) Journal
    of replacing successful management.

    Quite possibly the stupidest thing done in business is acquiring a successful company and then forcing out management that got you there in the first place.

    A great example is the airline industry. I used to work for American Airlines and we bought AirCal in the late 1980s, a successful airline. Thinking that somehow we had possessed a magic talisman I suppose, we proceeded to throw the routes to the dogs and our California business went to hell. Then came the establishment of the San Jose "hub" which we did to mainly get coveted Tokyo routes. We signed a deal with the city of San Jose but the deal stipulated that if we ever downgraded San Jose that we could never land in the city again. All was well and good until Southwest came to California (a carrier that also forced us to close up shop in Nashville without a fight).

    Within a couple of years Southwest was trouncing our ass and United but one carrier that stood up and fought back successfuly was Reno Air. They put up a great fight with Southwest and did ok. American then suckered Reno Air into subleasing the money losing gates and operations at San Jose and then something amazing happened: Reno Air prospered!

    American, thinking like every other arrogant business, bought Reno Air, installed their incompetant management (rife in EVERY legacy carrier which is big reason why they are all hurting so bad now) and Southwest's response was a big "THANK YOU"! American bought their one big competitor and Southwest already knew that American could be taken fairly easily.

    Mere possession does not give you advantage, culture does. That is why Southwest is so successful as well as Apple.
  • I don't know about anyone else, but I would be embarrassed to own a computer that looks like an alien's head.
    • Yeah, but if you buy it, then you don't have to put those sweet alien head stickers on your case that you got from a 50 cent sticker machine. You know, the ones right next to gumball machines in dirty Pizza Huts. Buying alienware takes out at least that one step of crucial case-modding.[/1997]
  • you and your quips (Score:4, Insightful)

    by maskedavenger (674027) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @11:35AM (#14998226)
    everyone can make stupid names like Dellienwarel and the like but to me, if Alienware wanted a parent company, Dell would be the first I would pick. They're the only mass-makers that my institution hasn't regretted buying from. Low maintenance, I think about 1 out of 100 are shipped with something wrong with them. I won an Alienware in a gaming tournament. It wasn't better than my current rig but it was nice. I unpackaged it to take pictures for ebay and I was very impressed with it overall. Dell takes the same care for each computer even though they sell for much lower. This *should* lower Alienware's prices due to supply costs being cut. If so, this will put one hell of an edge on the market for them. I think of Dailmer-Chrystler, now that they merged European cars have boommed all over the nation. Same thing's going to happen with Alienware. My question is, is XPS going to compete with Alienware in good manner?
    • Dellienwarel

      Hey, don't confuse me with Darrel McBride-like references.
    • I have actually grown to like Dell over the years since they came to Australia. They provide great priced computers if you're after a completely built machine (it's still cheaper to build yourself...), and their build quality has been really nice. My company has bought a few and I have opened them up and been very happy with their internal layouts and airflow ports and the like... plus they are very quiet.

      So much so, that when I had the opportunity to get a laptop with company money as part of my package, I
      • Good luck trying to get service if something goes wrong.

        I went with a standard one year warranty on my Dell 5150. Motherboard died due to a design flaw Dell have never admitted to (casing wears into motherboard components). Basically it started with random shutdowns whenever you'd touch the left side of the computer, and quickly progressed to a computer that wouldn't boot. This laptop was treated very well too.

        In the end it took about 4 months to sort out. I had bought using a credit card which doubled the
        • Good luck trying to get service if something goes wrong.

          Let the battle of the anecdotes begin. A few years ago the hard drive died in my Inspiron 4100. A quick phone call and a technician visit on-site the next day had the whole thing sorted out. Total time spent on the phone and with the repair technician was probably 20 minutes. Last week, an Optiplex GX270 died at work. A phone-based technician went through troubleshooting with me and figured it was a faulty motherboard in under 10 minutes. Again,
          • YMMV is always true of any company, but I was truely in phone support hell with this incident with Dell, and it's the only personal experience I have to go by. The least I can do is balance all the positive anecodotes with a tale of what can happen if things don't go well. I think a lot of it has to do with whether your computer is still under a Dell warranty, who the technician is in your local area, and which call center services your country.

            Note also that after all that mess I didn't get anything but an
    • They're the only mass-makers that my institution hasn't regretted buying from.

      Okay, I'm game... What's wrong with HP?

      With the demise of DEC and Compaq, HP is the only company I'm aware of, still making workstations/servers like they used-to (bullet-proof).
      • I know from personal experience that the old HPs ran like tanks, but you better never think of upgrading them, because they tended to become flaky afterward. As for the new ones, I've seen some that were really great and some that were absolute dogs.

        Not to mention the fact that at least at one time (I don't know about now), HP refused to ship driver/os cds with the machines. Instead, they demanded you BUY them if you wanted them (and they weren't cheap).
  • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @12:59PM (#14998526) Homepage Journal
    See UserFriendly's take: http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20060326 [userfriendly.org] :)
  • I am expecting lots of comments about Alienware being probed by "Dell Dough".

    All memory of those posts will not be erased from your memory.
  • East German Cars (Score:4, Informative)

    by edunbar93 (141167) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @01:08PM (#14998558)
    ordering an Alienware will no longer be like putting in an order for a car in East Germany.

    You mean even terrorist sponsoring countries like... *Canada* will be able to get Alienware computers now? Wow, that would be amazing, considering you can't get them shipped up here for love or money for some bizarre reason. All the people I know that have them had them shipped to some border town where they picked them up themselves.
    • Go build your own that gets the same performance for a fraction of the cost.

      There is nothing special about alienware computers, they just look stupid and thats all you're paying for.
      • For the price they charge you could probably buy an equivalent machine and get it painted by an actual artist. Got down to your local university/college and see how many students would love the opportunity to make a couple hundred bucks painting a computer case.
    • We have VooDoo Pc.

      None of those sexy Alienware Laptops though.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @01:19PM (#14998594)
    Starting point: Alienware embarrasses Intel by being the best known seller of better performing AMD highest-end gaming systems, although they do sell Intel boxen too for buyers who want that.

    1: Intel could Never buy Alienware and force them to become an Intel-only shop.

    2: Dell Can buy Alienware because Dell is already in this business and attempting to compete at the top end with their own immensely overpriced ($9,900) system already.

    3: It would have been worth it to Intel to give Apple a lifetime supply of Intel processors for Free just to silence their harshest x86 critic. (Maybe they have done exactly that, however, that's a theory for another day.)

    4: If Dell switches Alienware over to Intel Conroe processors exclusively in a few months claiming that On This Day Intel is the best choice, therefore we are going to use them Forever Forward, this will not spawn any anti-trust suits because Dell is simply making a business decision.

    5: Dell is now Intel's friend forever, and gets as good a deal with new processors as Apple is clearly seeming to be getting.

    I know I left that tin foil hat around here somewhere.

    • But why is it in Dell's best interest to be Intel's best friend forever?

      Dell is big enough they can always threaten to switch to AMD to get better deals from Intel (and they probably NEED to do that periodically, even if they are Intel's best friend). And they might want to switch to AMD for some systems when AMD is the clear leader at the moment (like right now and the past few years, but it looks like soon Intel may be ahead of AMD for awhile).
  • by pranay (724362)
    Whoa....why make up silly names when everyone knows Dell and Alienware together make Delaware. All we want is for ID software to merge with Yahoo, and we will have IDahoo! Now its all making sense, those state names were not based on native tribes afterall.
  • ordering an Alienware will no longer be like putting in an order for a car in East Germany.

    People who buy German cars like to be able to specify all the options and customise their car to their liking. They know they are paying more, but feel they are getting a car built just for them.

    It is the same with Alienware. People who buy these computers want to customise them. They are high end, expensive, personalised machines - that's their niche. Buyers to not want just another beige box, or that might h

  • Support improvement? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sBox (512691)
    ...ordering an Alienware will no longer be like putting in an order for a car in East Germany.

    Hopefully they'll offer better support. An analogy: Alienware support is to Dell support like a Lada is to an Alfa Romeo. Sure they can both suck, but at least the wait for repair is shorter for the Alfa. I know someone who owned not one, but three Alienware units. The first declared 'lemoned' and replaced. The replacement spent 6 weeks of it's 52 week warranty period at repair. After the warranty was up,

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