AW: Dot-com companies and others have tried online business, buthaven't always cut it when it comes to pleasing customers. Yourcorporate setup seems to have naturally set itself up to evolve toinclude a Web strategy - is that the difference?
Dell: The primary difference is that companies deciding to goonline said, "We'll do what Dell.com did." But what they forgot torealize is that Dell.com is only the front end of a verycomplicated and intricate business system of nearly 40,000 people,computers, inventory, and logistic systems; and all theseproc-esses go on that you don't necessarily see when you click "Iwant to buy that." What we did was take an already efficientbusiness and make it more efficient by going online.
AW: Is the Internet still young?
Dell: I think it is. I think only 10 percent of the sites thatsell things actually enable you to pay for them online. We stillhave a long, long way to go. A lot of companies have done thebasics - they have a Web site and information there. But if youreally look at this machine-to-machine interaction, it is prettyuncommon; it only exists among the largest of commercialtransactions. There are also efforts to take these capabilities andextend them to really any business. If we can take thosecapabilities and package them up as standard application protocolsand then give them to any user, then we will have the personalcomputer revolution taken to a whole other level.
AW: Where is Dell going with wireless?
Dell: There are different kinds of wireless. The most popularin computing is something called Wi-Fi 802.11.You have this inAdmirals Clubs, in airports, you have it in hotel chains, incoffeehouses, and a lot of companies have put it in. Basically, itis a wireless local area networking standard. In fact, [variouscompanies have systems] to put 802.11 inside a commercial airplaneso a passenger traveling from the West Coast to the East Coastwould have 802.11. [American will offer satellite Internet accessbeginning 2002.] The plane itself would have an uplink and downlinkto a satellite that would be shared across passengers inside. Theidea is, you would have high-speed access at the office, at theairport, the hotel, the house, and everywhere you go.