Dell Sells Off Software to Double Down on Its Riskiest Business

For Dell, combining software and hardware within a single company was supposed to be like chocolate and peanut butter. Instead, it’s turning out more like oil and water.

The PC maker said today that it will sell its software division, Dell Software Group, for about $2 billion to the private equity group Francisco Partners and hedge fund management firm Elliott Management. The sale includes several of Dell’s high-profile acquisitions in recent years, among them the database software maker Quest, network security company SonicWall, and cloud management company Enstratius.