And so, now Dell does it, buying IT services company Perot Systems for almost $4 billion. The 68 % premium is high, especially by the year 2009 standards. They must have liked what HP has done with EDS.

There will be enough financial analysis coming out in the next few days to prevent me from whipping up a model in Excel, but the question I have is this. How does it make sense strategically?

It’s not a big secret why this foray into IT services has taken place. Hardware margins are razor thin, while those for services are nice and plump. Cannot argue with that. And so, we have yet another computer company that has a diversified offering of systems, peripherals and services.

Remember when… when Dell was special. Build to order was the unique modus operandi, which was cool and lucrative until everybody else decided to do exactly that. Until Michael Dell decided to take a break. Until customer service (and the stock) went downhill so fast, you would think they were doing it on a dare.

Since then I can never be sure about Dell’s strategy…it seems to run a range from tentative to elusive. What’s in the cards for Dell? I don’t know, although I have a good idea what’s in the cards for Perot’s employees.

The little of Dell’s stock I still own today I will sell tomorrow. Sorry, Dell, I just don’t see the point.