I have a lot of respect for Dell -- it opened up the PC market in a way that was never done before -- you could totally customise the machine you wanted with all sorts of options that nobody else would ever dream of giving you -- and they'd build and ship it for you CHEAPER than anything available in the stores -- AND THEY GAVE YOU OS DISKS and DRIVER
disks too -- none of those rubbish "Recovery partitions" which often don't work and even if they do just load up the OS with a load of crap / ad / trial / bloat ware.
However the PC market has changed radically -- DELL can no longer survive on a "Stack'em high and build 'em cheap" policy.
They could survive by still maintaining the individual build policy but volumes of course will be hugely down --inevitable these days - but as a niche player they could survive quite nicely. Of course they would totally have to re-structure the business but they could survive.
Venture Capitalists (Aka Private Equity Firms) want Big Bucks NOW which is why that particular trade went south.