Dell denies it's phasing out its XPS systems early

While the enthusiast community was puzzling over how an entire product line that just replaced its flagship desktop only two weeks ago was being canceled, Dell found itself quelling yet another false rumor propagated by a major news source.

In a blog post yesterday evening inspired partly by BetaNews' inquiries yesterday, Dell spokesperson Anne Camden flatly dismissed as "incorrect" a Wall Street Journal story Tuesday that stated the company was making plans to phase out its premium XPS systems, beginning with four models next month.

"XPS gaming systems will remain an important part of our gaming product portfolio," Camden wrote. "We don't plan an early phase-out of these systems as the WSJ incorrectly stated, and in fact will continue to refresh them to keep them on the front edge of gaming." She then alerted BetaNews as to her official response at close to midnight last night.

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Multiple blogs and technology news sources inaccurately interpreted the WSJ story to have said that Dell would be phasing out its XPS line altogether, to concentrate on Alienware instead. Surprisingly, it would appear Dell was never contacted for confirmation prior to those reports, and that Camden and her colleagues spent much of the day yesterday refuting what had by that time been widely propagated, and even praised in financial circles.

Dell is indeed reining in its Alienware development team, in a move which would make its gaming PC division more analogous to that of HP, which continues to enable its acquired VooDoo PC group to build and distribute its own lines of Envy notebooks and Omen desktops, while producing the Blackbird 002 under the HP brand.

But while older XPS systems will expire at the end of their market life as planned, Camden listed the XPS 1730 laptop -- dubbed "The Beast" -- the XPS 630 desktop, and the just-announced XPS 730 and 730 H2C, among several examples of high-end systems that will continue to bear the Dell brand.

"While closely associated with gaming, in the last year XPS has expanded well beyond a gaming brand," Camden continued. "Look at the XPS One, our first entry into the all-in-one market; the XPS M1330, an industry leading ultraportable; or the XPS 420 desktop, designed for multi-media activities. How the WSJ missed all this is a little beyond us."

Faced with having to explain away how their stories diverged so broadly from the facts, some technology blogs this morning reported that CEO Michael Dell stepped in at the "last minute" to save the XPS line from certain doom.

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