“It may not be the last laugh, but on Friday afternoon, after the close of the stock market, Steven P. Jobs, the chief executive of Apple Computer, shared an e-mail chuckle with his employees at the expense of Dell, a big rival,” John Markoff reports in an article headlined “Michael Dell Should Eat His Words, Apple Chief Suggests” for The New York Times. “The message was prompted by the 12 percent surge in Apple’s stock price last week, which pushed the company’s market capitalization to $72.13 billion, passing Dell’s value of $71.97 billion.”

Markoff reports, “In 1997, shortly after Mr. Jobs returned to Apple, the company he helped start in 1976, Dell’s founder and chairman, Michael S. Dell, was asked at a technology conference what might be done to fix Apple, then deeply troubled financially. ‘What would I do?’ Mr. Dell said to an audience of several thousand information technology managers. ‘I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.'”

Markoff reports, “On Friday, apparently savoring the moment, Mr. Jobs sent a brief e-mail message to Apple employees, which read: ‘Team, it turned out that Michael Dell wasn’t perfect at predicting the future. Based on today’s stock market close, Apple is worth more than Dell. Stocks go up and down, and things may be different tomorrow, but I thought it was worth a moment of reflection today. Steve.'”

Full article here.
Markoff reports, “Dell executives did not return calls over the weekend asking for comment on Apple’s rising fortunes.” Apparently Michael Dell’s foot is still lodged in his mouth. He’d better get to work clearing the way for his hat and some crow. After he’s finished dining, his advisors ought to strongly recommend he keep advice for Apple to himself from now on.

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