Today in Apple history: Michael Dell says he’d shut down Apple, refund shareholders


Partner Keynote, Oracle Keynote, Moscone North, Hall D
Steve Jobs took issue with Dell's comments.
Photo: Oracle PR/Hartmann Studios/Flickr CC

October6 October 6, 1997: Michael Dell makes an infamously bleak appraisal of Apple’s fortunes. Asked what he would do with Apple at a Gartner Symposium, the founder of Dell Inc. says he would “shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

As incorrect forecasts go, this is one of the more notable in tech history. But it didn’t seem that way at the time.

Steve Jobs movie is dramatic, but Michael Dell’s is hilarious


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"Don't think different; think same."
Photo: Conan

Michael Dell is most familiar to long-time Apple fans as the man who told a crowd in the late-1990s that, if he was running the company, “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

With Aaron Sorkin and Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs movie currently making waves, Conan yesterday unveiled his hilarious trailer for what a Michael Dell biopic might look like.

If you ever wanted to see a Hollywood version of the Dell story — complete with inspirational lines like “Don’t think different; think same” — this is probably the closest you’re ever going to get. Check it out below.

Dell Makes $24.4B Play To Go Private & Become Competitive With Apple Again



Back in 1997, Michael Dell famously said that if he were Apple, he’d “shut the company down and give the money back to the shareholders.” Now, Dell’s taking at least part of his own advice, having worked out a deal fifteen years later with Microsoft and Silver Lake Partners to buy back his company from shareholders and go private again.

Don’t get too excited, though. It’s not official yet.