Today's WSJ's "Heard On The Street" column analyzes the recent trend among investors favoring "onetime laggard" HP (NYSE: HPQ) over "onetime darling" Dell (NASDAQ: DELL). Columnist Christopher Lawton reports on differences in distribution strategies among the two PC giants, including HP's growth outside the US and their continued successful emphasis on consumers and retail. And there are product differences too, with Dell's continued reliance on Intel as sole source supplier of its microprocessors. And even the delay of Microsoft's Vista is hurting Dell, according to one Wall Street analyst. Most interesting of all, to me, is the assertion that Dell is in denial about issues with their business, fervently defending their direct sales model.
Not surprisingly, no mention is made of the printer business at either company. Dell's entry into printers has been highly interesting for those of us in the industry, but doesn't even seem to warrant a footnote in the PC battle being reported on these days.