Dell tries to make the best of a bad situation

Dell (DELL) is trying to get its investors and customers to think that an IBM (IBM) buyout of Sun (JAVA) is good news for the PC company. That probably is not true.

Commenting on the possible Sun deal to Reuters, Michael Dell said, "Such talk created uncertainty over the future of Sun's Solaris-based servers and accelerated a customer migration to the servers based on standard industry components, known as x86 servers, which are Dell's mainstay product."

Dell's theory is flawed because there is no reason to believe that Solaris will be killed by IBM. As a matter of fact, according to data from IBM, it markets Solaris as part of its product line.

Dell's observations may be desperation talking. Its share of the server market is under siege by IBM, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Hitachi and, most recently, Cisco (CSCO). It needs to make a case for why customers should turn to it for server solutions. Since there are not many obvious reasons, Dell seems to be willing to make one up.

Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

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