"If you think about the client device, whether mobile phone or tablet, it's pretty hard to have a complete end-to-end solution for customers if you don't have the whole thing," he said. "We'll help our customers manage the devices that people are bringing into their enterprise.... We're providing a lot of infrastructure to those companies and helping our customers figure out this explosion of devices."
Who is winning the tablet race? Well, that he said, would have to be Apple.
"If you look at the tablet market, you'd have to say right now it's an iPad market," Dell said. "The Android stuff has not done fantastically well, and I think I'm being fair in my estimation. If you ask who the challengers are, it's Android and Microsoft. Microsoft has a pretty good shot with Windows 8, and we're pretty excited about what they're doing."
Social media is also major tool for Dell.
The CEO said it's important to be a company with "big ears," meaning that it is learning and listening. "When the Internet came along, that was like rocket fuel for Dell," he said. "We look at social media and see it as a great opportunity to collaborate and share and scale."
Dell also said he was saddened by the loss of Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs.
"It's been a time of reflection recently," he said. "When I was about 14 years old, I got an Apple II. I took it apart and figured out how the parts worked ... Steve will be missed. He was a friend. I met Steve when I was 16 years old. Steve came to Houston, Texas, to an Apple user group meeting. I was there with my Apple II."
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her e-mail address is email@example.com. Read more about hardware in Computerworld's Hardware Topic Center.