Dell has been under sustained pressure by shareholders as their PC supremacy has fallen to the likes of Acer, HP, and Lenovo over the years. In an effort to right the ship, Dell has announced it is going private — meaning that company stock will not be publicly traded — for $13.65 per share, $24.4 billion in total. That’s a serious chunk of cash and there’s one surprising investor whose participation in the deal has raised several eyebrows: Microsoft.
Technically speaking, Microsoft is simply loaning the company $2 billion in a move to help keep the manufacturer afloat. It’s not a surprise considering how massive Dell’s presence in enterprise still is, an important channel to push Windows through to clientele. Especially in light of the mixed response to Windows 8, Microsoft needs to keep its valuable enterprise weapons close to its chest.
Yet the internet is still analyzing the investment, cautiously hoping that Microsoft could be up to more with Dell. CNET’s Mary Jo Foley insists we should look no further than Microsoft’s “investment” into Nokia, which eventually led to the exclusive use of Windows Phone on its smartphone devices rather than MeeGo.
Of course Microsoft investing into a manufacturer could be generating some concern amongst other Windows partners, but for now we just don’t how important of a chess piece Dell is; are they a Pawn, or a Queen?