Dell responds to Icahn's criticism of going private

A Dell committee, made up of four board members charged with deciding whether going private is the right move, has responded to Dell investor Carl Icahn, who says it isn't.

In a February 5 letter, Icahn said that he and others do not "believe that [the Going Private Transaction] is in the best interests of Dell's shareholders and substantially undervalues the company." Instead of going private, Icahn would like to see Dell issue a special dividend of $9 per share. That should result, he said, in a stock price increase to $13.81, which, added to … Read more

Carl Icahn to take up stake in Dell, says CNBC

Carl Icahn is building a 6 percent stake in Dell, as the computer maker prepares to go public, CNBC reported today.

Unnamed trading sources told CNBC that Icahn has almost 100 millions shares and is urging Dell to pursue leveraged recapitalization instead of the buyout proposed by Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake.

CNET has contacted Icahn's company, Icahn Enterprises, for comment. The CNBC report said Icahn "wouldn't discuss Dell or any rationale he had for the investment."

Leveraged recapitalization is one of the suggestions made by Dell's top shareholders last month, shortly after … Read more

Bill Gates still world's second richest person

Bill Gates is now worth $67 billion. But he's still only No. 2 among the world's wealthiest people.

Released today, Forbes' ranking of the richest people on the planet found Gates' fortune up $6 billion this year. The increase came not so much from Microsoft stock, which has shown little sign of life recently, but from other financial holdings and private investments.

More importantly, Forbes dubbed Gates the world's most generous person. Microsoft's chairman continues to devote a large amount of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the goal of wiping out … Read more

Patent suit takes aim at Apple, Dell, others over encryption

A security group has taken aim at some of the biggest computer and software makers, claiming their products infringe on one or more of its patents.

Maz Encryption Technologies, a Delaware company made up of two former employees of Maz Technologies, filed suits last week against Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Lenovo, and Research In Motion (now BlackBerry).

In seven separate complaints, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, Maz accuses the companies of infringing on one or more of its three patents covering encryption and user authentication technologies -- low level security found in … Read more

Turn any display into an Android PC with Dell's Project Ophelia

BARCELONA, Spain--The days of carrying a bulky laptop around with you might be over if Dell has any say in the matter. Project Ophelia is an Android-powered device that plugs into any TV or monitor, giving access to local files, desktop remote access and any of the apps, movies and TV shows in the Google Play store. Better yet, it's as small as a USB flash drive and will cost less than $100.

The idea is simple: rather than take your laptop everywhere with you, you can simply plug the dongle into the HDMI port of whatever screen you … Read more

Four recommendable Windows 8 all-in-ones under $1,300

If you are considering an all-in-one desktop purchase, you may have noticed higher prices for Windows 8 PCs than Windows 7 systems with comparable hardware from a year ago. Where a reasonably fast 23-inch all-in-one used to cost about $1,000, you can expect to pay $100 to $200 more for the Windows 8 equivalent today

The good news is that PC vendors seem to have finally internalized the calls for better-looking Windows PCs and more-innovative features. Those things alone don't account for the higher prices we're seeing at retail, but they do help lessen the impact.… Read more

Dell beats Wall Street estimates

Dell's fourth-quarter results were carried by enterprise gear such as servers and networking, but the consumer business tanked.

The company, which recently announced plans to go private in a leveraged buyout, reported earnings of $530 million, or 30 cents a share, on revenue of $14.31 billion, down 11 percent from a year ago. Non-GAAP earnings in the fourth quarter were 40 cents a share.

Wall Street was expecting fourth-quarter earnings of 39 cents a share on revenue of $14.12 billion.

For fiscal 2013, Dell reported earnings of $2.37 billion, or $1.35 a share, on revenue … Read more

Apple grabs huge slice of 2012 consumer technology sales

Apple enjoyed a healthy gain in consumer technology sales last year amid a down market.

The iPhone maker took home 19.9 percent of all consumer technology sales in the U.S., up from 17.3 percent in 2011, according to stats released today by NPD Group.

Based on sales, Apple proved to be the top consumer brand for the year, outshining Samsung, HP, Sony, and Dell. Beyond Apple, only Samsung's cut of revenues rose among the five, reaching 9.3 percent from 7 percent the prior year.

Together, Apple and Samsung scooped up $6.5 billion in higher … Read more

Dell's U2413 monitor is a good thing in a small package

Less than a year after it released the U2412M, Dell's added a new 24-inch monitor to its lineup. The U2413 is engineered for color-critical work and is currently available at $599.

The monitor has a 12-bit internal processor and is calibrated to support 99 percent of the Adobe RGB color space and 100 percent of sRGB. Ports on the monitor include USB 3.0, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, DVI, and HDMI.

The model's high-performing predecessors set high expectations for the U2413's release. The U2412M was a highly rated monitor that performed well, but the U2413's 12-bit internal … Read more