Microsoft evidently sees value in Dell's path, as it is reportedly contemplating chipping in a couple billion dollars to help Dell go private. That investment could be win-win for both companies. Microsoft needs a hardware partner to serve as a vehicle for its own cloud ambitions, and Dell needs to pad its lackluster software arsenal.
Simply going private isn't going to save Dell -- the company will have to do some serious restructuring and rebranding as it undergoes its transformation. Going private will, however, give Dell the time and breathing room it needs, without having to explain to impatient shareholders every quarter why it hasn't built a better a iPad.
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