What the reason why Dell computers are so common just about everywhere?

rschmauch used Ask the Experts™
This is kind of a curious question, but I'd like to get an idea about this. It seems like all over the place: schools, colleges, homes, etc. that Dell computers are almost like a standard. I know 5-10 years ago I would understand, but how are they still so popular? There are other brands of computers out there like HP/Compaq, Acer, IBM, etc. so why always Dell? Michael Dell must feel pretty good about all of this. Also, do you think that Dell is overrated?
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AntyraelICT Specialist

We are using Dell computers and laptops at the office too.
They are solid and stable, Dell provides decent support.
Also, not unimportant, you get great value for your money.
Dell overrated? Not in my book.
There are several reasons:

Marketing: This has always been Dell's strong suit, though not so much lately. And up until all support went overseas, their support wasn't half bad.

Brand loyalty: As Antyrael mentions above, he's used Dells and is used to them. I like HP's because in my experience they are better built, have much better support, and look better. Though any realistic difference between the two brands is relatively small.

Price: When many of these labs were built and computers acquired, Dell was the biggest player and could offer much lower prices on incredibly large numbers of systems. This accounts for the 5-10 years ago bit, and the loyalty grew from there.

HP and Compaq merged several years ago which made them unattractive and IBM was strong before Dell came along and killed them on pricing.  IBM remained strong in the workstation category until being bought and becoming Lenovo and has just begun reclaiming some of their market share.

The fact of it is that price and value are the biggest decision makers these days and very few users need top-of-the-line equipment.  All the manufacturers are using the same mass-produced components on the low-end, so there's little reason to pay more for the same equipment.
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

I like Dell because they're the only computer maker that puts their service manuals online.

Lenovo does as well.
In the education world dell offers the lowest prices because they know that the education institutions will purchase in large quantities.  Every year there is a bid list that the state puts out and every year (except one or two), Dell has won with best price, quality and support.  We were forced to purchase HP's one year because they were $5 cheaper than Dell and won the contract....not to mock a fairly decent company for home computers, but the enterprise ones suck!  I would have rather paid the extra $5 per machine and gotten some good quality machines.


Both answers were pretty good.

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