Bill Clinton in Austin for Dell World 2012

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by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE News and Photojournalist DAVID GARDNER

Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on December 12, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 12 at 6:44 PM

AUSTIN -- It's the largest private employer in the area, born and bred in Austin. But the future of Dell is the talk of skeptics with recent layoffs and whispers of buyouts.

Wednesday, CEO Michael Dell made it clear his company is here to stay.

"We're not protecting the past; we're inventing the future," Dell said. 

Five thousand Dell customers and 1,000 investors gathered at the Austin Convention Center for Dell World 2012, the company's second annual conference to show off its newest products and share its future endeavors with customers. 

"The coolest thing about the conference is that we're at the cusp of total transition in technology," said Doyle Friskney who works at the University of Kentucky. "So it's at that point where Dell and the customer are trying to figure out the future, and it's really exciting."

There's no doubt that change is in the air, something noted by keynote speaker former President Bill Clinton.

"When I became president, the average cell phone weighed five pounds. There were a grand total of 50 websites on the entire Internet. That was it. More of that have been added since I started talking," laughed Clinton. "I sent a grand total of two emails while I was president."

The key to moving forward Clinton added is not in yesterday's tactics. "Trying to hold on to a yesterday that can't be recovered. I believe the future belongs to networks of cooperation," he said.

That is the type of network Dell says his company is creating.

"Over the the last several years, innovations in the Cloud, in big data, social media and security have changed the model for how technology is being consumed and delivered, and we're working to democratize and simplify these innovations," Dell explained. 

So how will the company do that? During the conference, Dell unveiled new PCs, including an 18-inch PC with a screen that pops out making it portable. Company leaders also laid out plans for new software upgrades and comprehensive services; ways to make the company a complete provider for all of its customers needs.

"Is the company of the past going away? Of course," noted Friskney. "Is the company of the future being built? Yes."

That's a company Dell customers believe in.

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