Dell announced Monday it was buying IT management software firm Quest Software for $2.4 billion in the latest diversification move by the struggling PC maker.

California-based Quest has 1,500 sales personnel and 1,300 software developers and offices in 23 countries.

It had $857 million in global revenue in its last fiscal year.

“The addition of Quest will enable Dell to deliver more competitive server, storage, networking and end user computing solutions and services to customers,” said John Swainson, president of the Dell Software Group.

“Quest's suite of industry-leading software products, highly-talented team members and unique intellectual property will position us well in the largest and fastest growing areas of the software industry. We intend to build upon the strong momentum Quest brings to Dell.”

Earlier this year Dell bought Wyse Technology to expand its business offerings in the Internet “cloud” in the face of softening demand for traditional computing hardware.

Dell, once the biggest maker of PCs, has been hurt by a shift to tablet computers and other changes in the tech sector.

The company, which has slipped to third place in the global PC market, said its profit in the latest fiscal quarter fell to $635

million.

Last year, Dell said it would halt sales of its Android tablet computer in the US market, after failing to gain traction against rivals such as Amazon's Kindle Fire and Apple's iPad. - Sapa-AFP