If you have ever bought a Dell computer, you may have been wondering the past few years what happened to the one-time No. 1 PC seller. Dell and other computer makers have watched millions of people shift their computing time away from PCs and notebooks, to tablets and smartphones.
Yet, Dell is still a giant. In third quarter this year, it sold 10.16 million computers worldwide, which was slightly up from the same time last year. That puts it at the third-largest PC maker in the world. It accounted for nearly 14% of sales, behind only Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard. But it still has a problem.
The overall PC marketplace is in decline. In fact, worldwide sales slumped 7.7%, year to year, to 73.7 million PCs. That explains why Dell has tried to get into the smartphone and tablet market in the past, and why it's scrambling for other sources of revenue.
So you might not be surprised to know that Dell just expanded beyond hardware in a big way. And when we say big...