Five Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week

Dell Says Sorry For Hiring Misogynistic Event MC

Dell this week apologized for the controversial comments a Danish motivational speaker made last month at a Dell-hosted customer and partner summit in Copenhagen, a story that was first reported by Wired Enterprise.

Dell acknowledged that Mads Christensen, a well-known agitator in Denmark, made "a number of inappropriate and insensitive remarks about women" at the event, which was attended by Michael Dell himself. According to Danish blogger Christiane Vejlø, Christensen said that all great technological inventions have come from men, with the exception of the rolling pin.

"The IT business is one of the last frontiers that manages to keep women out. The quota of women to men in your business is sound and healthy," Christensen said at the event, as reported by Vejlø.

Best Buy Chairman Steps Down After Probe Into CEO Scandal

Best Buy Chairman Richard Schulze this week tendered his resignation after an internal investigation found he failed to act appropriately upon hearing about ex-CEO Brian Dunn's relationship with a female employee last December.

Schulze did not bring the matter to the attention of the board's Audit Committee, according to Best Buy. Dunn stepped down last month as part of a "mutual agreement" between himself and Best Buy's board of directors.

HP Starts Talking About "Sleekbooks" At Ultrabook Launch

At HP's Global Influencer event in Shanghai, China last week, HP started talking about a new class of PC called a "sleekbook", which describes thin, lightweight notebooks that come with AMD processors, traditional hard drives and plastic casings. In essence, they are cheaper versions of ultrabooks that look, from a distance anyway, like the genuine article.

HP's sleekbooks could confuse customers that are still trying to get their heads around what differentiates an Ultrabook from a regular notebook, one longtime HP partner told CRN.

"What HP continues to fail to understand and recognize is that people embrace simplicity with great functionality," said the partner, who requested anonymity. "People don't want another name -- they want a product that works well, and Apple has proven that they'll pay a premium for that."

Microsoft Charging Customers $99 To Remove Bloatware From PCs

PC buyers have long fumed over the annoyance of "bloatware", which describes the variety of software trial offers and other promotional materials that come loaded on PCs from major vendors. Bloatware is also known to negatively impact the performance of PCs, but Microsoft is now taking a stand by offering Signature PCs, which come without all the unnecessary extra stuff.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is giving customers with Windows 7 PCs the option of paying $99 to have their machines scrubbed of bloatware, just like the Signature PCs.

This sounds like a great service, but not for $99. If Microsoft is concerned over the negative user experience that bloatware creates, reigning in the OEMs that make money from it would be a good first step.

Nokia Loses Top Mobile Device Sales Spot To Samsung

More bad news for Nokia this week as the Finnish vendor lost its top spot in mobile device sales to Samsung. According to Gartner, Samsung's mobile device market share stood at 20.7 per cent at the end of March, compared to Nokia's 19.8 percent. And while Samsung's device sales surged some 26 percent year over year during the period, Nokia's dropped nearly 23 percent.

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