When the Dell Streak was announced, I was pretty excited. I’ve been wanting an Android powered personal digital assistant with a 5 or 6 inch screen for awhile now and the Streak had everything I really wanted hardware-wise. Of course, being Dell, they had to use a way outdated version of Android, add their own pointless and in some cases inferior shell to the Android OS, and use a proprietary connector. WTF?!
Who makes these decisions? Certainly not technical people. It’s gotta be the marketers. Apple builds custom hardware and software too, but they have a clear vision. And they’re really good at it. I can’t support their proprietary model, where they get to decide what you get, don’t get, connect to, can’t connect to, etc. But if you buy an Apple product with your eyes open, you’re likely to be happy with it.
So Dell took a nice hardware setup and damaged the product by adding all sorts of inappropriate applications and restrictions. I was still interested in the product, hoping I could fix the software deficiencies myself. I even signed up for the preorder option. Then everything fell apart. Instead of $500 as announced, the device will cost $550. The device will only work on ATT’s 3G network, with no option for T-Mobile 3G. Then the release date was announced, changed, and then disappeared. Double WTF!
The evidence above is damning by itself, but I’ll share with you Dell’s default method of stealing from companies too bureaucratic to know better.
Dell Precisions are a scam cooked up by the Marketing department. They are essentially equivalent to Dell’s XPS machines, with different cases and with every component priced at a level only dysfunctional big corporations would pay. I tried to buy XPS machines for my team and, thanks to contracts between my company and Dell, we could only buy the Precisions, which cost about 40% more for the same components you’d find in the XPS. So we ended up not buying from Dell.
Dell will tell you that Precisions are built for heavy duty engineering use and will last longer, etc. Heavy engineering work is exactly what we use our machines for, and in my experience the Precisions do not last longer than the non-corporate XPS machines. The Optiplex machines are basically the same deal, with the angle being that Dell has tested the Optiplex more and “optimized” it for corporate use. For that optimization of highly questionable value, you pay quite a premium.
So, in conclusion, all the evidence above strongly suggests that Dell is run by drooling morons who make decisions based primarily on their marketing department’s advice.