Dell attempts to reinvent the desktop PC

AUSTIN, TEX. – Dell revealed a proof of concept PC at Dell World intended to change the way people work. Dell vice chairman of operations Jeff Clarke also called this proof of concept “a reimaging of the desktop.”

The proof of concept ran Windows 10 and had a 5K by 3K display with 15 million pixels. But beyond the display unit there is no box to speak of. Instead Dell has developed a flat screen work surface that rests on a desk or table.

The product currently has no name, but Clarke referred to it as a smart desk. “The smart desk by Dell is meant to change the user experience and take advantage touch, voice, pinch and gesture controls. It will allow you to organize your work in a different way,” he said.

Clarke stressed that this is a concept announcement and not yet a product announcement.

However, Clarke said this type of desktop PC is meant to be disruptive in the way people will work by having data at the disposal of the user. “This proof of concept is not just for artists and designers but also people who work in the financial sector,” he said.

There are other use case such as healthcare, animation in the entertainment industry or for photo editors, Clarke added.

Tim Brunt, market analyst and program manager for personal computing at IDC Canada, said for years people try to reinvent the desktop with little success, the market is resistant and doesn’t want to change. Going from laptops to tablets has been less than successful for example. So moving to something like a new workspace will be a challenge. Can they adopt to it? Certainly, but at what price,” he said.

No timetable was announced by Clarke as to the availability of this proof of concept as Dell still needs to do more high integration work with the independent software vendor community, Clarke said.

Andy Rhodes, executive director of Dell Precision workstations, told CDN that the company is well ahead of schedule with software integration signing alliance partnerships with AutoDesk, Adobe for its Creative Suite and cloud file sharing program as well as CakeWalk for sound technology.

Some of these software apps will be free for the first year. After the first year pricing will be subject to configuration.

The channel is expected to play an increased role with this new product. Clarke said Dell has an omni channel approach where the customer can purchase products from a solution provider or directly from Dell. “We are embracing the channel and distributors. They will be an integral part of reaching the marketplace. We want customers to buy anyway they want and if they prefer the channel that’s fine,” Clarke said.

Dell channel chief Cheryl Cook admitted to CDN that client solutions is not talked about enough by her team, but remains an important part of the company’s end-to-end product strategy.

“We are see tremendous growth with client solutions. It’s still a big piece of our business even though we don’t talk about it as much. The products are really good and I see a consistent view of growth. The pace of growth is in the healthy double digits and Jeff Clarke realizes the quality of work in the channel partner community and what they can bring as opposed to other competitors who are traversing the market,” Cook said.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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