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HP Keeping Their PC Business 124

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-the-baby dept.
First time accepted submitter yourlord writes "Hewlett-Packard Co. has decided to keep its PC division. So says its newly appointed CEO Meg Whitman. Whitman, the former eBay chieftain, categorically rejected a plan offered up by her predecessor, former CEO Leo Apotheker, to either sell or spin-off this division. HP announced the decision after the close of financial markets today."
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HP Keeping Their PC Business

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  • by rhook (943951) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @06:41PM (#37862396)

    Does this mean that they will be reviving the TouchPad?

    • > Does this mean that they will be reviving the TouchPad?

      And not licensing the WebOS to vacuum-cleaner manufactures?

    • Richard Kerris is leaving HP [webosroundup.com].

      I am not sure if the head of developer relations would leave if there were a future for developers there. At the very least WebOS is on shaky ground, because of that but also because consumers now will be wary of HP products... but perhaps enough "average" consumers never even knew what happened and so would buy new WebOS gear anyway.

    • Re:WebOS (Score:5, Funny)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Thursday October 27, 2011 @07:08PM (#37862670) Homepage Journal

      Does this mean that they will be reviving the TouchPad?

      First they have to revive Meg Whitman.

    • by vikku (79699)

      The Personal Systems Group includes multiple business units including Palm (Hardware), WebOS, Desktops, Notebooks, Monitors etc. HP will retain the Personal Systems Group (Leo wanted to spin it off as a separate business). But there is no plan to announce a revival of HP touchpad or the Palm hardware business unit.

      • by swalve (1980968)
        Does that include all desktops, or just the consumer "Pavillion" ones? Because the HP Deskpro line is so much different from the rest I often wonder if they are produced in a different group.
    • WebOS has proven itself capable of running well on ARM based silicon. Considering certain other OS vendors won't even let you touch a device running on ARM yet I think WebOS is worth more than most people suspect. It is a shame that the one of the few PROVEN iOS alternatives is already experiencing bitrot thanks to HP.
      • by gtall (79522)

        "Considering certain other OS vendors won't even let you touch a device running on ARM"

        I give up, which OS venders don't let you touch a device running on ARM? MS? Windows 8 is reputed to be ARMed. Apple? Snapdragon base, ARM arch.

        • Windows 8 is reputed to be ARMed.

          The only public event featuring Windows 8 so far was the Build conference in September, and all demo ARM devices were kept under glass with a strict no touch policy. The fact is that no one who isn't bound under NDA has actually touched an ARM powered Windows 8 device.

      • Proven iOS alternative = Consistently not getting consumer demand

        WebOS seems to me to be the BeOS of the 21st century. Techs seem to really like it however never fails to reach critical mass.

    • Given that they've already fired the hardware team responsible for the TouchPad and Pre3, it seems unlikely. Now they're stuck with an OS that they don't have any hardware for and no one else wants to license. Which is a shame, because the TouchPad is really nice hardware and WebOS is the first tablet OS I've used and not hated (it's far from perfect, but it's definitely going in the right direction).
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Meg and Todd were very clear in the investor call that HP would be trying "another run at" the tablet business, but that they'd be using Windows 8, not webOS.

  • Of course that means they will be keeping their PC division.

    They should sell their server division while it is still worth something.

    HP as a brand is rapidly becoming radioactive.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      I don't know. HP has been self destructing but looking back over Meg Whitman's career she seems to have the golden touch. Everything she ever worked on thrived. I think if anyone can save HP from itself it might be her.

      • I don't know. HP has been self destructing but looking back over Meg Whitman's career she seems to have the golden touch. Everything she ever worked on thrived.

        That seems obviously false, unless you mean to imply that she didn't work on her own gubernatorial campaign.

        • by swalve (1980968)
          Didn't she have Carly Fiorina stinking things up for her, and making the "issues" of the campaign about Meg Whitman's hairstyle? If I'm Meg Whitman, I have been gunning for this job just to show up Carly.
          • If I'm Meg Whitman

            But how likely is that, really?

          • by Rakarra (112805)

            Didn't she have Carly Fiorina stinking things up for her, and making the "issues" of the campaign about Meg Whitman's hairstyle? If I'm Meg Whitman, I have been gunning for this job just to show up Carly.

            Mmmmm, they weren't running for the same office.
            Unless Carly went waaay out of her way to mess things up for Meg. >_>

        • by amiga3D (567632)

          Oh man. I was talking about work. I don't know what in hell that's got to do with politics. Maybe the lying, cheating and backstabbing are the same but work implies productivity. Politics implies parasite.

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        More like she is the classic example of the Peter Principle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle [wikipedia.org]. Left in the world of B$=PR she thrives, left in charge things don't quite go so well. Like most current CEO's more time well be spent on inflating CEO compensation and enhancing the golden parachute than on achieving results. HP gave away it's business for free by outsourcing and contracting, there is now no way to stave off the ODM direct to public sales growth and quite of few of those ODM make every

        • by amiga3D (567632)

          You obviously haven't looked at her actual accomplishments. It's pretty impressive. Unlike most CEO's she seems to have left every company she worked at in better shape than when she arrived. I understand this is Slashdot and they hate all republicans here but still, this is about work, not politics. For work it's nice to have someone with a successful track record. Which of the two political mafias they support is irrelevant.

  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @06:48PM (#37862486) Journal

    During the auction, no one met the reserve price.

  • Maybe HP could come out with a line of high quality function generators.

    • They should start smaller. Perhaps a good quality bench DC power supply.

      • by hawguy (1600213)

        I wish they'd go back to making high quality calculators!

        • Explaining the joke. HP was founded on one product. A bench DC power supply. They (H and P) came up with a clever use of a light bulb in their regulator circuit. The details escape me.

          • by hawguy (1600213)

            Explaining my reply to the joke:

            HP started with test equipment, but at one time they made great calculators. So I'd be happy if they just went back to that point, I don't care about the test equipment.

            • by tsotha (720379)
              Do people use calculators anymore? Seems like most people have either a mobile handy or some flavor of computer. "Chemistry students taking tests" doesn't strike me as a very large market niche.
              • by hawguy (1600213)

                Do people use calculators anymore? Seems like most people have either a mobile handy or some flavor of computer. "Chemistry students taking tests" doesn't strike me as a very large market niche.

                When I have a lot of numbers to crunch (not all test data comes from networked equipment), nothing beats a real live calculator for ease of use. I have an HP-48 emulator for my phone, but that's not the same. By far.

              • Engineers and accountants tend to be fond of HP calculators. I keep several HP calculators in handy places here and there. I've met a few engineers that used other brands, but every group has its outliers. ;-)
              • by jds91md (2439128)
                I still have my HP 12c and HP 15. If you check eBay you'll see that HP's nearly indestructible RPN (reverse polish notation) calculators go for a pretty penny. I use my HP 15 RPN calculator for balancing my checkbook and any other math/arithmetic stuff. My iPhone has several apps for this, but few have RPN, and none have buttons that I can feel (glass not so good with small calculator buttons). I'll never give up my HP calculator, I love it. -- Josh
          • Explaining the joke. HP was founded on one product. A bench DC power supply. They (H and P) came up with a clever use of a light bulb in their regulator circuit. The details escape me.

            No. The first HP product was an audio oscillator (the 200A). Used to make the movie Fantasia. The light bulb was used for negative feedback, its resistance changing as the current changed.

          • by lachlan76 (770870)
            It was an audio signal generator [wikipedia.org] based on a Wein Bridge oscillator that used a light bulb for amplitude stabilisation.
      • H-P's power supplies historically are crap. They had to buy out another power supply vendor, Harrison Labs, before they had anything to offer in that line that I would want on the bench.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can't wait to see how Carly 2.0 is going to run the company in to the ground. If her behavior during the California elections is any indication.. ..Imagine a train wreck. On a bridge. A wreck that causes both train and bridge to come crashing in to the bay, on top of a world class luxury cruise liner on it's maiden voyage.

    And sharks. The bay is full of sharks.

    (Read the preceding in Christopher Walken's voice for full effect)

    • If you think Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman are similar in executive style you couldn't be more wrong.
  • Great decision (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jgotts (2785) <jgotts.gmail@com> on Thursday October 27, 2011 @07:02PM (#37862616)

    As I said in an earlier post, HP needs their PC's to get leverage to sell their two strongest product lines, laser printers and inkjet cartridges. I have no use for inkjet cartridges, but every HP laser printer I've owned, from high end to low end, has been an absolutely solid piece of machinery.

    • by bhhenry (83946)
      I guess you never owned a 5L.
      • by swalve (1980968)
        It wasn't bad for the price of the time. Compare it to a Lexmark Optra E, and it is a winner. If only they hadn't used that awful plastic separation pad.
    • And let me guess, you don't own an HP PC, you just own an HP laser printer (thus proving the point that people and even businesses still buy HP laser printers just for their printers, and not as parts of larger HP PC bundles).

    • by swalve (1980968)
      You haven't bought one since the x000 series, I guess. Anything after the 4100 has been garbage. Lexmark is better these days, even with their poor build quality.
      • I got a second hand Color LaserJet 4500 5 years ago, it was built Feb 1999 - it's fantastic, the image quality is incredible. It had been abused - I received the duplexer bent in half - but still works great. The downside is that it's similar size to a tank - I wasn't aware of this when I brought it. It does take ages to warm up too. I moved house recently and my friend convinced me to dump it and get a smaller Samsung colour laser printer as I rarely print anything these days, and the output from compu

        • by swalve (1980968)
          They are roughly the same age. The nice thing about the old rotating cartridge printers like that is that registration is easier to do. And memory usage is way lower, since it only has to rasterize one color plane at a time. I had a client who upgraded to a newer 4600, and even though it had twice the memory, they had all kinds of problems getting the same jobs to print.

          The reason the older Laserjets were so solid was that the print engine was actually by Canon. So it really isn't even HP's triumph. E
    • Why? I'm not seeing the huge market for bundling there. Especially at the Laserjet level.
    • ....will kill the Universal Print Driver. With fire. Then run it over. Twice.
  • Aside from that nasty business with nVidia GPUs, HP's PCs are by far my preferred platform from a support perspective. Working in remote tech. support, you learn to appreciate a decent platform and a good support site.
  • The business plan that caused the previous CEO to be fired has been rejected by the incoming CEO. I'm shocked, SHOCKED I tell you.
    • by jd2112 (1535857)

      The business plan that caused the previous CEO to be fired has been rejected by the incoming CEO. I'm shocked, SHOCKED I tell you.

      I suspect they couldn't find a buyer.

    • by jalefkowit (101585) <jason@nOSPam.jasonlefkowitz.net> on Friday October 28, 2011 @01:13AM (#37865110) Homepage

      You've heard the joke, right?

      A new CEO meets with his outgoing predecessor on the last day before he takes over. The old CEO takes him aside and gives him three envelopes, labeled "1", "2", and "3." "These are only to be opened when you hit a crisis," the old CEO explains. "The first one is to be opened when you hit your first crisis, the second one on your second crisis, and the third one on your third. They contain hard-won wisdom that will help you weather each crisis."

      The new CEO takes over and for a while things go great. Then, suddenly, the company lurches into crisis. The new CEO remembers his predecessor's words and opens the first envelope. Inside is a letter that starts "Blame everything on me. Fire a bunch of people that I hired. Announce you're heading in a radically different direction." The new CEO takes the advice and survives the crisis without breaking a sweat.

      More months pass, and then the company hits another rough patch. The new CEO remembers how well the advice in the first envelope worked, and eagerly opens the second. Inside is a letter that starts "Blame market conditions. Reorganize the company." The new CEO takes the advice, and again makes it through the crisis. He begins to respect his departed predecessor's wisdom.

      Several more months pass, and then another crisis hits, this one the worst so far. Out of ideas, the new CEO remembers his predecessor's third envelope, and rips it open.

      Inside is a letter that starts "Prepare three envelopes."

  • by JaZz0r (612364) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @07:28PM (#37862828)
    HP certainly shot themselves in the foot with this. Who in their right mind would consider a HP computer if even they aren't confident about them?
    • HP certainly shot themselves in the foot with this. Who in their right mind would consider a HP computer if even they aren't confident about them?

      My very large defense contractor employer had already arranged for acquiring machines from HP months before the news of HP abandoning the PC business broke. Two weeks ago I traded in a Dell D630 for an HP Elitebook 8440p. The Elitebook does not seem particularly elite compared to my 2006 vintage Macbook Pro, but it does look nicer and is thinner than the replaced Dell. I don't care for the 16:9 aspect ratio and the keyboard has very little resistive spring force, so I fat-finger far more often than on an

      • by merky1 (83978)

        Everyone thought I was insane when I said that the HP laptop keyboard was made by chinese torture masters.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Also, why is it that only Apple laptops have a trackpad which has seen any progress in a decade?

        Hell, why is it Apple can offer trackpads on their laptops that are 3 times the surface area of most laptops?

        Sure trackpads are iffy, but why do most PCs have itty-bitty ones that barely can scroll 1/3rd of the screen at full accelleration? Hell, most PCs don't have ones bigger than my netbook. Apple seems to be able to stuff a huge one in their smallest of laptops. Hell, the Apple ones have acreage compared to P

  • Shut Up Meg! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by arazor (55656)

    I won't support any HP product as long as leading TeaBagger Meg Whitman is in the leadership of HP.

    • I won't support any HP product as long as leading TeaBagger Meg Whitman is in the leadership of HP.

      Why worry about it? Just wait nine to twelve months and HP will have a new CEO. Let's see, which current member or close friend of the board of directors will be chosen with the usual incestuous process (and disastrous results)?

  • As an insider at HP, I'm personally relieved that this decision has been reach. I am bitterly disappointed that the BoD made their public announcement -- it has only hurt the company and deeply impacted customer confidence.

    I'm also glad Apotheker's gone - a royal screw up and a waist of $25M+. He spent six weeks on a round-the-world "listening tour" and obviously decided it's better not to listen.

    What really pissed me off was the BoD's explanation about why they made the spinning-off announcement: because t

    • Just don't screw up Vertica. Leave them to do their thing.

    • I am not sure why Apotheker was hired first place. He screwed up majorly at SAP and was universally hated there until the company founder gave him the boot after a short period of time.

  • We rolled out HP machines in my department in the late 90s, and had a 25% failure out of the box. One in four, DOA or otherwise unusable.

    Why anyone would spec an HP makes me ask "Who's getting the kickback?".

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