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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) + Dell Inc. (DELL) = Apple Inc. (AAPL)?

Troubled computer systems builder Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) isn’t just talking to private equity titans about a potential buyout. The company may even connect to the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) mothership itself.

Would a fusion of Microsoft and Dell create a Frankenstein in the image of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ?

It’s not a totally crazy idea. Apple built the world’s most efficient cash machine by controlling every component of its glitzy consumer products, from hardware designs to system software and individual apps. Mr. Softy started leaning in that direction with the Surface tablet, which was built to showcase the redesigned Windows 8 platform. Microsoft stepped on plenty of partner toes in the process, including Dell’s. Going all the way with a direct finger in hardware sales would move Redmond many miles closer to Cupertino.

That being said, the separate scoops from The Wall Street Journal and CNBC don’t suggest that Microsoft would become the controlling partner in a Dell buyout. Instead, Redmond might take up to a $3 billion stake in the $23 billion company. The buyout masters at Silver Lake Partners would still run the show.

But Microsoft might still be the final destination for Dell. Let Silver Lake take the system guru private for a while, make some tough and unpopular decisions to nurse Dell back to health. Meanwhile, Microsoft gets much closer to its favorite hardware partner. When the convalescence period is over, Microsoft could then place a wholesale bid for Dell based on unprecedented insight into its operations and financial health.

Everybody wins, and the world gains its first serious end-to-end Apple clone. I can definitely see this happening — and enjoy the irony of Microsoft trying to copy Cupertino after all these years.

It’s been a frustrating path for Microsoft investors, who’ve watched the company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. However, with the release of its own tablet, along with the widely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, the company is looking to make a splash in this booming market. In this brand-new premium report on Microsoft, our analyst explains that while the opportunity is huge, the challenges are many. He’s also providing regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.

The article Microsoft + Dell = Apple? originally appeared on

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any company mentioned. Check out Anders’ bio and holdings or follow him on Twitter and Google+.The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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