Microsoft buys Dell: PC Pro's April Fool comes true

23 Jan 2013

The Times is reporting this morning that Microsoft is poised to buy a $3 billion stake in Dell, as the PC maker attempts to go private. For us here at PC Pro towers, the news prompted a sudden wave of deja vu.

In 2009, our own Jon Honeyball penned an April Fools' joke column, depicting the wildly fantastical scenario that Microsoft had bought Dell (the full column is reprinted below). While it would take more than $3 billion to buy Dell outright, today's news isn't a million miles away from our four-year-old jape.

"Dell hasn't been doing that well recently," Jon wrote, "and the global economic downturn is certainly contributing to its woes. Few companies are prepared to splash out on new hardware when money is tight, especially without a clear indication that it really will run the latest version of Windows in a satisfactory way." Sound familiar?

"Some have suggested [Steve] Ballmer and [Michael] Dell have seen the flaws in their ongoing plans for the traditional hardware and software split," Honeyball's strangely prophetic wind-up concluded. "And that the only way to ensure their mutual survival is to reach out and embrace the methods and ideals of their rivals in this space, the one who manages year-on-year growth by the clever provision of a totally unified platform of hardware, OS and world-class applications wrapped together in a singular vision."

"Thus, the visionary new name for the combination of Microsoft and Dell that pays homage to their inspiration: welcome to Pair."

Remember: you read it here first.

(P.S. The joke rather backfired on us when, by mistake, Jon's column was accidentally published on the PC Pro website in March, leading many to mistakenly believe that Jon had the tech scoop of the year, and several Dell employees to accuse us of causing them emotional distress.)

Here's the column in full. Click on the image to enlarge:

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