Dell Goes Digging For Compliments
The PC maker unveiled two new elements of its digital media strategy over the weekend, as they seek user-created videos showing how people use their products, and a Digg-like message board where people can make and vote on suggestions for Dell.
If Dell truly listens to the suggestions offered by registered visitors to its IdeaStorm website, we could see PCs sold with clean, OS-only installs, options for Linux with or without Windows pre-installed, and tech and customer support brought back to the United States.
Longtime Dell partner Microsoft will probably object to the first two suggestions. Dell probably doesn’t want to jeopardize lucrative deals with Google and AOL that place their software on Dell hardware by default, either.
That’s the hazard of publicly soliciting public feedback. The people may want something that the company won’t be able to deliver even though it may be capable of doing so. Dell would have to make a bet that demand for clean or Linux-installed machines would offset what it could lose from partnership deals.
On StudioDell, its users can upload the videos they make showing how they use their Dell products. One video features a professor from Rice University, describing nano-modeling and how it is used to help research cancer.
Dell has been going through its share of changes beyond just adding a couple of web services. Founder Michael Dell recently ousted CEO Kevin Rollins to take that role himself. A couple of top VPs also announced they would leave not long after Dell returned as CEO.
They may need more than a Digg clone to reverse a trend that has seen H-P pass Dell as the top global PC manufacturer.