Linked by Howard Fosdick on Fri 23rd Nov 2012 14:03 UTC
In the News Hard to believe, but articles are popping up at business websites claiming that venerable Hewlett-Packard may fail. In their most recent fiasco, HP wrote off a loss of $8.8 of their $11.1 US billion acquisition of Autonomy and have alleged fraud in the deal. Revenue is down 7% from a year ago and the stock has hit a 10-year low. The company is laying off 27K employees but that may not be enough. Some speculate HP might be broken up into parts with buy-outs involved. This article from last May offers a good in-depth analysis of how all these problems came to pass.
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Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Fri 23rd Nov 2012 14:45 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Why is this surprising? crap laptops of poor quality, desktops with low quality out of date components, printers whose ink cost a small fortune, the lack of any sort of value added justification that pulls a customer to their products over Dell, IBM, Lenovo etc. then add on top of that the money wasted hand over fist keeping Itanium alive when the writing on the wall was the moment the AMD Hammer was launched then Intel played catch up.

What is probably more annoying is this, they have all the raw ingredients to turn around the company just as Sun Microsystems had all the raw ingredients to turn the company around but this is what you have when you have a clueless CEO running a company. Running a technology company isn't just the allocation of resources to departments but leading from the front but far too many times the CEO's of said companies just simply don't have a clue about technology itself. I doubt we'll see much of a change - best case scenario we'll see HP split up and sold off or worse case it simply limps along and becomes a parasite on the economy sucking up much needed capital from credit market.

Edited 2012-11-23 14:47 UTC

Reply Score: 11

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by fasteez on Fri 23rd Nov 2012 15:04 in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
fasteez Member since:
2007-03-13

They should do an '97 Apple. Trim the product line, gather skills to build a few great products.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kwan_e on Fri 23rd Nov 2012 15:10 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

gather skills to build a few great products.


It raises the question of why these CEOs never think about hiring the right people or promoting the right people instead of laying off people, a group which will no doubt have included the right people.

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 23rd Nov 2012 15:25 in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

IMO it's dumb that HP is even in the computer OEM business. When I think Hewlett-Packard, I think printers, scanners and other computer peripherals. Simple things that just work, in combination with a computer. In fact, due to my experience with their printers in the past as well as their support for open source printer drivers in Linux, my current printer is an HP, and if I ever need another one it will probably also be an HP.

Computers, though? I wouldn't buy one of those, because to me, HP just isn't about computers. Sure, it may be a bad way of looking at it, but it's how I feel--and the fact that they bought such an absolutely shitty OEM (Compaq) doesn't make me feel any better about it. I feel similarly, though not as strongly, with other computer styles like tablets. It doesn't help that I didn't like the design of the systems I've seen in the first place.

Selling off their computer OEM business and consolidating their peripheral product lines, IMO, would probably be a good idea. I remember reading a recent article that said HP has something like 2,100 (!) laser (!) printer models alone. I'm sorry, but even if all your company produces is printers, nothing else, two thousand laser printer models is just obscene and a huge drain on... well, a lot of stuff. Maybe give the guy who decided it would be a brilliant idea to have thousands of printer models alone the boot.

HP needs focus, and a leader that won't get them into such resource-draining, expensive, poorly-profitable (if profitable at all) messes.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by Morgan on Sat 24th Nov 2012 09:11 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

and the fact that they bought such an absolutely shitty OEM (Compaq) doesn't make me feel any better about it.


Compaq was once a great computer company; when HP bought them they had fallen very far already. If it weren't for Compaq's IBM clones back in the 80s the entire industry would be vastly different. Perhaps Apple might even be the leading computer manufacturer (speaking strictly of desktops and laptops).

I do agree with you though: When I think of HP, I think of laser printers and F/OSS friendliness, relatively speaking. As for their inkjet printer offerings...well I'll say from first hand experience that they are junk for the most part. My part time job sees me bench testing all manner of printers, and by far the ones I loathe the most are the HP inkjets, especially the OfficeJet line. In contrast, their mid to high tier laser offerings are a dream to work on, and don't require nearly as much maintenance and repair as other brands (Brother, I'm looking at you).

The only down side to HP laser printers is the cost of consumables, but that's par for the course in that market. In fact, that's the one area where a Brother printer is a solid choice: Not only are their replacement cartridges dirt cheap, they are chipless, employing a simple to reset mechanical cartridge life indicator, and an easy access plug to pour refills into. The trick is getting the printer itself to outlive the included starter cartridge and drum.

I for one would love to see the company spin off the OEM PC/laptop segment as Compaq, and focus on printing and enterprise under the HP brand. And yes, please consolidate those thousands of printer SKUs into a few dozen models! That would certainly make many people's jobs easier, mine included.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by zima on Sun 25th Nov 2012 08:29 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

to me, HP just isn't about computers. Sure, it may be a bad way of looking at it, but it's how I feel--and the fact that they bought such an absolutely shitty OEM (Compaq) doesn't make me feel any better about it

Well OTOH that OEM, Compaq, basically brought to us the PC clone market - quite prominent at the very least ...and quite a bit about computers.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by allanregistos on Sat 24th Nov 2012 04:54 in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

Why is this surprising? crap laptops of poor quality, desktops with low quality out of date components, printers whose ink cost a small fortune, .


I do not find their ink/cartridges to cost a small fortune. Am I missing something? But I already decided to go to EPSON, because HP's ink/cartridges are very expensive and cost prohibitive. And every month, they've got this new model of their disposable printers. We even have a large designjet printer where the Hard Drive was broken and it can't be replaced even if you dd/cloned it because it needs the genuine part number. Sigh. Such a great company.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Sat 24th Nov 2012 07:36 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I do not find their ink/cartridges to cost a small fortune. Am I missing something? But I already decided to go to EPSON, because HP's ink/cartridges are very expensive and cost prohibitive. And every month, they've got this new model of their disposable printers. We even have a large designjet printer where the Hard Drive was broken and it can't be replaced even if you dd/cloned it because it needs the genuine part number. Sigh. Such a great company.


That is what 'a small fortune' means - they're expensive which you reenforced in your own post. We need colloqualisms 101 on osnews.com asap.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by Morgan on Sat 24th Nov 2012 09:17 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

We even have a large designjet printer where the Hard Drive was broken and it can't be replaced even if you dd/cloned it because it needs the genuine part number.


That seems to be a common issue with that printer line in my experience. The problem is finding another brand of ultra wide format printers with the level of support HP offers for their beasts.

And since you mentioned ink costs (and oddly enough contradicted yourself), the DesignJet series is actually fairly cost effective for an HP inkjet, especially considering the narrow market they address.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by Anonymous Penguin on Sat 24th Nov 2012 15:00 in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Absolutely! They make (or used to make, as mine is at least 5 years old) decent printers, but apart from that everything else is crap.
Two years ago I bought a laptop, dv7 core i7 which had a nominal value of 1300 Euro.
One year later I sold it for 450 Euro. In the meantime I had bought a MacBook Pro. I knew there would be an incredible difference in quality, but that went even beyond my expectations. A Fiat Cinquecento vs. a Ferrari!

Reply Parent Score: 3