Alienware and Dell: Taking High-Performance PCs to the Next Level By Nelson Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer, Alienware Corporation John F. Kennedy once said: "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." In that spirit, Alienware announced earlier today that it had agreed to be acquired by Dell. As Alienware's Chief Executive Officer and one of the company's original co-founders, I believe we have an obligation to lay out the rationale and logic behind our decision. After all, since the inception of the company in late 1996, Alienware has built a successful and growing following with thousands of customers and I believe it's important that we clearly articulate the "why" component of the announcement. We truly believe this announcement lays the groundwork for an exciting future --- for our employees and, most importantly, our growing base of fanatical customers. First and foremost, let me comment briefly about how proud I am about embarking on this combination with Dell. Since 1996 when Alex Aguila and I co-founded Alienware on not much more than a dream and a personal credit loan of $10,000, no other business has had the inspirational impact on our organization from a business model and efficiencies standpoint than Dell. In fact, one of the key reasons why we believe this acquisition makes tremendous sense is the cultural synergies between both companies: like Dell, we employ individuals who are passionate about what they do and like to win. We are committed to the direct business model as the best and most efficient means for communicating the Alienware value proposition and the core tenets of the Alienware brand: performance, innovation and quality. And last but certainly not least, both Alienware and Dell have tremendous optimism in the future of the PC platform as the center of the digital home from an entertainment and digital content management perspective. It's hard not to get excited about being associated with Dell and we absolutely believe that the combination will help us accelerate our long steps to fulfilling our dream of a PC company totally focused on high-performance technology and cool industrial designs. A lot has happened since we initially started Alienware --- much of which has been repeatedly retold in respected industry publications over the years. But despite the numerous accolades Alienware products have garnered since 1996 and the growing respect the company has earned from customers, I have learned one vital thing that is the basis of our success: the Alienware brand is everything. In the minds of our customers, the Alienware brand immediately connotes coolness, style, unbridled raw performance and bleeding-edge innovation. People like us because we're edgy, trendy and, at times, irreverent. Alienware product designs are certainly not traditional and conventional. In short, we're not your father's PC company and our customers know that. That's the basis of our growing appeal and my job, as it has always been, is to protect the Alienware brand. Given all that, why then agree to an acquisition by Dell? Wouldn't an acquisition by a larger, more established PC company like Dell violate the core brand tenets of Alienware, not to mention alienate (no pun intended) the core fanatical customer base we have built up such a huge following with? The simple answer is no. We believe that this acquisition will offer our customers the best of both worlds --- an Alienware that takes advantage of the world-class business practices and operational efficiencies that have made Dell one of the most respected companies in the world, while preserving the DNA of the Alienware brand and product strategy portfolio. The Alienware and Dell executive management teams have agreed that this acquisition could only succeed if Alienware is structured as a separate division which will continue to make its own product development, planning, marketing and customer support decisions. The ability to make standalone business decisions about the Alienware brand and product portfolio will be the key to our continued success and both the Alienware and Dell management teams recognize that the uniqueness of the Alienware culture and our special customer bonds are pivotal. So perhaps the biggest surprise to most people will be that you're not going to see a lot of changes after this announcement. You're not going to see Alienware logos show up on Dell products and visa versa. Our website is not going to change and the majority of our business practices will stay the same. Both Alex and I remain in charge as we have before to manage Alienware. We'll stay headquartered in Miami (though our new Dell colleagues in Austin are welcome to visit any time they'd like --- we get great hotel deals on South Beach in July). Don't look to see cranes starting to erect Dell signage on top of our Miami headquarters. The bottom line is that little will change from an external standpoint. The operational efficiencies that Alienware will derive from this acquisition, as well as our mutual passion with adopting best practices, will allow us to shorten product lead times, offer more flexible and affordable financing and ultimately allow Alienware to make deeper investments in technology innovations, bold and winning product designs, and unbeatable product support/service. A famous philosopher said that "only he who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible." That's been very much our mantra at Alienware and it always will be. We have accomplished much since 1996, but we have much more to do. Our new relationship with Dell will help us continue reaching for the stars --- and we're excited about taking that journey with you.