I’m sure you’ve probably heard the news about Dell going through the process of returning to its roots by going private. This move has its risks for the company but also could help them refocus and could ultimately prove to be the right path for Michael Dell and all involved– but it isn’t a cheap path and will require plenty of funding in order to help the leveraged buyout of Dell go through.
With that in mind it seems that Microsoft might be part of a group of investors that is helping with the effort, looking to contribute anywhere from $1-3 billion, which would likely result in Microsoft receiving prefered stock in the company for its part in taking the company private. The rumor comes way CNBC which has supposedly caught wind of the deal.
A few billion doesn’t give Microsoft a majority stake in Dell, but it certainly is enough that it will help bring the two companies even closer together in their efforts. What you have to wonder is what this would mean going forward: would Dell receive special treatment and deals with Microsoft as the company becomes more and more invested in hardware?
Additionally, how are vendors going to react if Microsoft ends up part ownership in Dell. After all, companies like Acer already blew a stack when Microsoft first revealed the Surface RT and Pro.
Dell continues to have strong ties to the enterprise world and businesses, Dell also has continually showed interest in alternative platforms outside of just Microsoft and Windows technology, this includes efforts to include an optional installation of Ubuntu over Windows for some of their hardware.
Having a say, even a small one, in Dell could be enough to keep Dell focused on Windows tablets, PCs and other devices and keep them from considering Linux and Android options instead.
Keep in mind that this is nothing more than a rumor at this point, and so take it all with a grain of salt. Still, it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if it turns out to be true. What do you think, would Microsoft benefit from investing a few billion into Dell? Conversely, is it in Dell’s best interest to allow Microsoft a potential stake in the company or not?