Vladimir Putin to Michael Dell: 'We don't need help. We are not invalids.'

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by theotherguy, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. theotherguy macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2007
    Ever since Vladimir Putin rose to power in 2000, his political opponents and entire countries have learned to their cost that he has a tough, demeaning streak. Wednesday it was Michael Dell's turn.

    At the official opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Putin, now Russian Prime Minister, delivered a 40-minute speech touching on everything from why the dollar should not be the sole reserve currency to how the world needed to enter into a smart energy partnership with Russia. Then it was time for questions. First up: Dell. He praised Russia's technical and scientific prowess, and then asked: "How can we help" you to expand IT in Russia.

    Big mistake. Russia has been allergic to offers of aid from the West ever since hundreds of overpaid consultants arrived in Moscow after the collapse of Communism, in 1991, and proceeded to hand out an array of advice that proved, at times, useless or dangerous.

    Putin's withering reply to Dell: "We don't need help. We are not invalids. We don't have limited mental capacity." The slapdown took many of the people in the audience by surprise. Putin then went on to outline some of the steps the Russian government has taken to wire up the country, including remote villages in Siberia. And, in a final dig at Dell, he talked about how Russian scientists were rightly respected not for their hardware, but for their software. The implication: Any old fool can build a PC outfit.

    Peter Gumbel, Putin-Dell slapdown at Davos, Jan. 28, 2009, http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/28/news/companies/dell.davos.fortune/index.htm.
  2. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    But only a few can build and maintain a successful profitable one...
  3. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    It's a shame Bill Gates wasn't there to talk about the piracy rates of Microsoft's software in Russia.
  4. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    Good for Putin...

    BTW, I, a shareholder, am waiting for Apple to give me my money back... :eek:
  5. Aea macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    Laughable. Of course Putin is a staunch support of the Russian > * viewpoint, if only reality wasn't a bitter slap in the face to that belief.

    It's a global economy, and Russia is not in a position to compete intellectually, nor will be for a long time until they get their **** together and start realizing that they need to mesh to remain relevant.
  6. Axemantitan macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2008
    Vladimir Putin to Michael Dell: 'We don't need help. We are not invalids.'

  7. dvdhsu macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2008
    Palo Alto, CA
    Hmmm... that's quite interesting.
    and funny too.:D
    Perhaps they don't even have 802.11g there.
    They've evolved to N a long time ago...
    And Fiber Optics everywhere too.:D
  8. sir Mudkip macrumors member

    sir Mudkip

    Aug 25, 2008
    Adelaide, Australia
  9. redAPPLE macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    i wonder how would steve jobs re-phrase that question, without getting bitchslapped.
  10. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    That would have been interesting.

    It's hard to tell what Russia's trying to do in terms of IT education as a coordinated effort. There is movement afoot on a national distro, but many are saying they're simply using it as a gambit for a larger amnesty on Microsoft products.
  11. j/k/Andy macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2007
    Seems more revealing about Putin then Mr. Dell
  12. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
  13. schizoidwoman macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2009
    On top of a steep hill in West Yorkshire.
    "...took many of the people in the audience by surprise".

    I bet you could've heard a pin drop; it sounds a lot more entertaining than most of the forums we have to attend!
  14. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    Why is bitchslaps edited out of the title? :confused:

    Really though, when has Russia ever been receptive to patronization? Tsk tsk, Mr Dell. The whole "you don't offer assistance to russia, russia offers to allow your assistance." thing, or something.
  15. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    True. Apple and Communist Russia have more in common than Dell. You had one way to do things, and everyone involved had to believe in it with the exception of those running the show, it was frequently glorified in shiny metal, you had to queue for an unreasonable time to get things fixed, and no-one inside commented on the fact that under the facade it was a sham held up by propaganda ;)

    Nice Brezhnev-tinted glasses. They're worth quite a lot these days - you should hang onto it :D
  16. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68030


    Sep 11, 2006
    Sacramento, CA USA
    The Russians are excellent writers of software.

    Indeed, a lot of the world's commercial software are written by Russians or Russian ex-patriates working in the West. (Unfortunately, so is a lot of the Windows malware out there--mind you, given how easy it is to write Windows malware they must be done by a small group of Russians with just a tad too much time on their hands. :rolleyes: )
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Perhaps there was miscommunication on Putin's part. After all, English isn't his first language, and while he may understand the words, he may have misinterpreted the tone.

    When Michael Dell asked Putin that question, he was clearly trying to get a new customer (all of Russia) at this economic summit. After all, Dell sells all the hardware necessary for developing a modern IT infrastructure, and they do have some expertise in this field, so may as well stick your neck out and shamelessly advertise your wares at an economic summit.

    However, Putin may have interpreted it to mean that Dell didn't think Russia was capable of developing their own IT infrastructure alone.

    I wouldn't interpret it this way, but if you speak a foreign language, it's hard to interpret these things.

    The other possibility: Putin is just a fierce little man who takes down siberian tigers and saves TV crews when he has time.
  18. thecritix macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2006
    West London, England
    I heard that the reason Putin was so blunt was because Michael Dell suggested shutting down Russia and giving it back to the people..
  19. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
    You have a point on the rockets, but most of the Russian technology was outright copied from other countries. Seriously, their computers were based on PDP's that were redirected using shell corps into Russia and then copied. I have a guy who sits next to me that used to work on them.

    The Russians had some of the finest engineers around. Unfortunately they came from Germany when Hitler was finally removed from power. The other scientests ended up in the U.S. working on Rockets and Nuclear bombs.

    I'm not knocking Russian know how, but you are clearly giving them too much credit.

    Well China has now taken their technology aquisitioning prowess. It's cheaper to copy/steal than to create.

    That and the fact that the U.S. blew up the Yugo factory during the Clinton era.

    You know what the Yugo warranty is?

    Yugo F*** Yourself!
  20. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    So, Putin is talking about heavy geo-political stuff, reaffirming his powerful country's importance to the world, when a computer salesman, who somehow got his got inside the door, says his products could turn that country around.

    Dell just might have not read the room right, you think?
  21. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Here, fixed it for you.
  22. Axemantitan macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2008
    That's true. The basis for the handwriting-recognition software in the Newton was created by a Russian.

  23. surferfromuk macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2007
    interesting article - kind of explains why Tim Cook now runs the operational logistics of Apple...

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