I agree...every decent size organization should have a skunk works lab or formal CTO organization...but that is not the reason to call it research division...I wonder how many people are allocated there? Kris
As described, the "Research Division" sounds more like a "skunk works" than an echo of Bell Labs or IBM Research. "Skunk works" are cheap -- you just need a few really smart people who work well autonomously, with minimal management. Every organization that designs things should have a "skunk works" IMO.
This looks to me like 180 degree turn for Dell...they used to put together simple PCs and sell them on very small profit...funding R&D requires higher margins, very different strategy, very different business model