I've read numerous articles in the past month about Dell's slowing growth and company management reevaluating its strategy going forward. In my opinion, this is a classic example of Wall St over-reaction and research analysts applying pressure that could be detrimental to a well-functioning organization.
I've had two interactions with Dell in the same period that this news has surfaced. I ordered a new X1 laptop and it arrived ahead of schedule from the factory. This is particularly impressive because each machine is built-to-order. Within a week of receiving it, I broke the screen. When I called Dell to complain, they happily sent me a replacement, which also arrived ahead of schedule. Yesterday afternoon, I ordered an external hard drive to back up my media library - Maxtor One Touch III - and guess what?....it arrived today less than 24 hrs later. Oh by the way, shipping and handling was free!! Also worth noting, I never experienced long hold times when I called.
I'm impressed with Dell and based on my last few interactions with the company, they've retained me as a loyal customer. With customer acquisition costs soaring, particularly in the fickle consumer electronics market, the value of treating your customers well has never been higher. Dell seems to understand this and is responding accordingly.