Custom P Cs Are Hot, And Dell Could Feel The Heat

Everybody in the PC business is trying to copy Dell's successful formula

In the world of personal-computer marketing, it seems everybody wants to be like Mike--Michael S. Dell, that is. Dell Computer Corp.'s build-to-order strategy has made his company the industry's hottest and fastest-growing company. In its first fiscal quarter, ended Aug. 3, profits more than doubled on a 67% increase in sales, and its stock is up 259% this year. "Dell is everybody's target," says Roger Kay, senior research analyst at International Data Corp., a market research firm. "No matter who you talk to in the industry, you hear the same thing: Dell is the guy to beat."

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