We'll Use Dell to Help Identify Microsoft, HP at the Morgue

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Of all the articles on the $24.4 billion deal for Dell (DELL), TheStreet's Antoine Gara wrote the best one.

It's the best because he approached the story from a unique perspective. He brought up something novel, something that actually matters in the bigger picture. He didn't plant himself in the middle of the media circle (insert popular spice for chicken here) by jockeying for position to get the story. That would have been a waste of all of our time.

Beyond Gara's astute observation vis-a-vis Federal Reserve policy, this Dell deal represents little more than another signpost on the dirt path to death for swaths of entire industries and several specific companies. If it wasn't for that, this would be a non-story.

Sure, the numbers are the biggest we've seen in some time, but that, in and of itself, doesn't make this meaningful news.

It's shocking to me that we lead with this Dell news or a dead-cat bounce in the artist formerly known as RIM, BlackBerry ( BBRY), yet we let innovation at Apple ( AAPL) bubble beneath the surface. That's because we're mired in this cycle of everything Apple does is bad, therefore when they do things that are good we must ignore them.

Here are the takeaways from the Dell "news."

Number One: You'll likely never hear from Dell again. It's not like it has been part of your water cooler, dinner or post-romp chats for quite some time anyway, but now the company is out of sight and out of mind for good. IBM ( IBM), Oracle ( ORCL) and Cisco Systems ( CSCO) will make Dell rue the day.

Michael Dell had zero options. His company has little, if any, chance of competing in any space right now. No company in its right mind would buy it. Taking Dell private then becomes the corporate equivalent of allowing it die (without dignity, though) in hospice.

Number Two: You can explain it a dozen different ways, but it will never make sense that Microsoft ( MSFT) put its money -- even if it wasn't all that much of it -- into this sinking ship.

Shareholders should be calling for Steve Ballmer's head. While Microsoft should have its head down and vision tunneled, it's screwing around with this tangential stuff. Grade A example of why Ballmer is an awful CEO.

Dell probably will not make hardware for Microsoft. If it does, it will likely fail. But, success or failure of potential future endeavors aside, how bad have things become when Microsoft can blame hardware partners for its ineptitude? If Microsoft is attempting to gain some leverage in a partnership here, we'll watch a classic case of the blind leading the blind unfold.

Number Three: Does Meg Whitman at Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) have any respect for her shareholders or her company's customers?

I assume Whitman was the brainchild of, or at least stamped, this idiotic statement from HP on the Dell news:
Dell has a very tough road ahead. The company faces an extended period of uncertainty and transition that will not be good for its customers.
With a significant debt load, Dell's ability to invest in new products and services will be extremely limited. Leveraged buyouts tend to leave existing customers and innovation at the curb. We believe Dell's customers will now be eager to explore alternatives, and HP plans to take full advantage of that opportunity.

The more I talk with founders and CEOs of new and old startups, the more I realize what an awful state most of blue-chip tech is in.

That's not a dig at Dell. That's a lame admission by HP that it's got nothing. That it hasn't done its job well. If things are so awful at Dell -- and they are -- why does HP have to release a statement that essentially says, Oh, by the way, we're here!. Aren't the company's 300,000 employees doing a good enough job getting the word out?

Pitiful. This whole thing -- Dell, Microsoft, HP. Just pitiful.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.

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