The computer industry has been in a state of mild panic for several years.
I think Dell have a lot to answer for.
See, you go back in time twenty years, there was a lot more competition. Small computer stores in every town, larger companies doing mail order and such - you could pick up any computer magazine and 50-70% of it would be adverts.
But there is one small problem. Virtually none of those companies were run by people who had a fucking clue how to design or sell a product. About all they knew was how to assemble components into a functioning computer and flog the end result - they'd essentially industrialised the process of buying components and building your own computer.
Easiest business model in the world, on paper at least. You just had to get the components in, build your computers and get adverts in the magazines quickly enough that you could shift everything before it became obsolete and you were left with stock that you'd have to sell at a loss just to shift it.
There was just one small problem. There was precisely no imagination behind it. Pretty much the only selling point anyone could come up with was "We are cheaper than our competitors!". And if an entire industry spends twenty years using that as their selling point, sooner or later what will happen is it really will be the only noticeable difference. Once that happens, you are competing with the Wal-Marts and the Dells of this world and you're competing with them on their terms. A combination of mergers, acquisitions and wholesale business collapses has led us to where we are today - if you tried to resurrect some of those old print magazines and called up all your old advertisers to ask if they'd be interested in taking out an ad, 90% of them are out of business.
HP, it seems, have finally had enough. They're throwing in the towel in this race to the bottom - they've decided that rather than bet the company on being 2% cheaper than Dell on average this quarter, they're going to bet the company on doing the same thing but doing it better. Frankly, this is a refreshing change and one that the entire industry is in dire need of.