Here's an article from the WSJ on the topic. It reiterates the "separate" business concept.
Dell Agrees to Buy Alienware
By CHRISTOPHER LAWTON
March 23, 2006
Dell Inc. said it agreed to buy closely held Alienware Corp., a maker of high-end personal computers favored by gamers.
Terms were not disclosed. But the deal is considered a significant strategy shift for Dell, which rarely makes acquisitions and has tended to focus more on machines purchased by businesses.
While Dell has transformed the PC business by focusing on direct sales and streamlined manufacturing, Alienware has built a loyal following among computer users willing to pay a premium for powerful machines with sleek designs and odd colors such as "cyborg green."
The transaction also is being closely watched in the semiconductor industry. Dell, which has its own line of gaming PCs, exclusively uses chips from Intel. But Alienware also uses chips from rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
Alienware makes high-end gaming PCs with unique designs (top). Dell, meanwhile, has introduced its own game machines, including the new XPS 600 Renegade (bottom), prices at $9,930.
A Dell spokesman said Miami-based Alienware, which will be run as a separate subsidiary, can continue to do so. "They will sell their own products, and they will continue to use AMD as part of that," he said.
Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates Inc., estimates that Alienware is on track to post revenues this year of about $220 million, and is No. 1 among companies focused solely on the profitable gaming niche. But other companies in the market, including VoodooPC and Falcoln Northwest, are also believed to be growing quickly.
Rahul Sood, VoodooPC's president and chief of technology, predicted the Dell-Alienware deal in an online posting earlier this month. He said the transaction "will bring more awareness to the PC gaming industry, and it will certainly open new doors with new customers for us. I think it's a pretty tremendous thing."
In recent years Dell, Gateway Inc. and other big players have targeted the lucrative market for videogaming PCs. Dell revamped its XPS line in 2001 to feature high-powered, high-priced computers to better compete with companies like Alienware and VoodooPC. On Wednesday, Dell unveiled the latest in this line, with a price tag at nearly $10,000.
Dell said it is taking orders on the XPS 600 Renegade. The machine, first unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, has four Nvidia Corp. graphic processor units on a single card and can be equipped with dual hard drives, features that allow it to render more complex graphics.
The XPS is part of the niche category of "gaming PCs" that include souped up graphics capabilities and usually carry much higher price tags than traditional PCs. For example, with the Renegade, "instead of using traditional weapons, gamers can pull down the roof on their enemies, crushing them in a pile of collapsing debris," explained Dell in a press release.
The XPS 600 -- which Dell said is available in "limited quantities" -- is painted with a flame design and will include a 30-inch widescreen high-resolution LCD monitor for $9,930. Customers can add special "discrete physics" controllers to the XPS 400 and XPS 600 for $1,239 and $2,039, respectively. Customers can order the machine through Dell's Web site.
Alienware's least expensive laptops and desktops start at around $700, but the top-of-the-line, liquid-cooled ALX models can approach $10,000 when fully tricked out with dual-core processors, hard drives that can store up to a terabyte of data, and state-of-the-art graphics cards. An average Alienware PC costs about $3,000 to $4,000, hundreds of dollars more than similarly configured machines from mainstream manufacturers.
Also, it mentions Rahul Sood. I think it is sad/funny/tragic that nearly everyone lambasted Rahul with personal attacks and insults for calling this out, think he was wrong. Yet no one is retracting those statments for being right.