Back in the old days, like a decade ago, everyone waited breathlessly for the quarterly PC market share statistics to come out. Fortunes were riding on it. Then Apple\u2019s iPhone came out and upended the endpoint (Internet-access-device) business, and it\u2019s been a while since most people cared much about PCs.\nBut fortunes are still riding on the PC market, despite its continuing to shrink. According to Gartner and IDC, worldwide unit shipments dropped by double-digit percentages in 1Q16 to less than 65 million for the first time since 2007. \u00a0 And yet, this mature market represents something like $30 billion in quarterly revenue, quite a respectable pile and enough to feed plenty of families.\nWithin the overall dreary landscape of last week\u2019s published results, however, was this hidden gem: Dell has once again risen to the top of the heap in U.S. PC shipments. \u201cWhat!?\u201d you say. \u201cIf PC shipments are boring these days, then Dell\u2019s PC shipments are \u2018I don\u2019t care\u2019 squared because Dell is a private company, and if I can\u2019t trade the stock, then really what\u2019s the point?\u201d\nBe that as it may, it\u2019s still an interesting result because the timing of Dell\u2019s steady \u2014 if relative \u2014 rise over the past 13 quarters corresponds closely to the \u201cgo-private\u201d transaction. The privatization deal completed in 4Q13, and here we are 2Q16, 13 reported quarters later. According to Gartner data, Dell began to take share in 1Q13 worldwide:\n Gartner\nand 2Q13 in the United States:\n Gartner\nand has done so every quarter since.\nAnd that share gain is in striking contrast to the 13 previous quarters, during which the company mostly lost out to rivals Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Lenovo.\nSo, what is this magic formula that seems to correspond to the firm\u2019s going private? Well, sources within Dell believe the good fortune is the result of a combination of factors:\nLack of distraction\nWithout having to please Wall Street every 90 days, the product and marketing teams are able to stay focused.\nSteady investment\nThe respite from the 90-day shot clock also allows persistent investment, which keeps product and marketing initiatives humming along smoothly.\u00a0 \u00a0\nMore sales people\nThe company has added thousands of new sales people, who are driving growth through additional and new account coverage.\nProduct line\nThe overall investment strategy has produced a solid product lineup. I have been testing demo XPS 13 and 15 as well as Alienware 13 and 15 systems, and I can tell you they are sweet. While the premium XPS and Alienware systems represent the leading edge, yeoman Latitude, Inspiron, OptiPlex, and Precision systems represent the bulk of Dell\u2019s unit volume.\nRivals\u2019 missteps\nAn analysis of Dell\u2019s success factors would not be complete without pointing to an exogenous contributing factor: screw-ups by HP. Dell\u2019s rival has provided a number of openings over the past several years as the former champ has gone through reorganizations, spinouts, and executive shifts.\nPricing power\nUnmentioned by Dell, but still likely a factor is the ability of the company to price its products with more refined control. Since it doesn\u2019t have to show profitability to Wall Street on a regular basis, the company can lower prices in selective competitive situations and accept lower margins temporarily. A public company would be punished for sacrificing margin for share.\nIt\u2019s pretty obvious from the data alone that going private has given Dell\u2019s PC business a big boost. Being able to operate away from the spotlight has multiple advantages in maneuverability, stealth, and consistency. But at bottom, the company is able to stay focused on its customers and products because its shareholders \u2014 Silver Lake and Michael Dell \u2014 represent patient money.