Dell Wants Your Home

The No. 1 computer maker is expanding into consumer electronics. Is this the American Sony?

For the past eight months, a team of technicians was holed up in a windowless room at Dell, testing 650 products from nearly 90 manufacturers. Their goal: to ensure that products like Sony monitors and Veo cameras--even printers made by archrival Hewlett-Packard (HP)--worked smoothly with Dell's machines. It didn't take them long to realize that Dell could build some of those products better and sell them more cheaply. So last week founder Michael Dell, 38, put the consumer-electronics industry on notice--including some of the company's own suppliers--that the world's No. 1 computer maker is attacking their territory.

By Christmas, Dell...

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