Dell is trying to boost its software business and move into mobile devices as the PC market weakens. The latest indication of that trend is the poor reception of Microsoft's ( MSFT) Windows 8 operating system. Microsoft's offering was meant to bring buyers back into the PC market. But critics say that Windows 8 is better-suited for tablets and touchscreen devices. According to research firm International Data Corporation, PC sales dropped 14% to 76.3 million units in the first quarter, the biggest decline since IDC began to track those numbers in 1994. With sales in traditional PCs shrinking, earnings prospects for the largest PC makers will likely remain sluggish until new innovations gain traction. Conversely, tablet sales are through the roof. According to research firm Gartner, tablet sales will more than double from 116 million last year to 265 million next year. By 2017, the number of units sold is expected to reach 468 million annually.
Dell's stock is trading at the upper end of its range so far this year, leaving it vulnerable as an attractive option for short sellers. At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.