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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RE: Comment by kaiwai
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 23rd Nov 2012 15:25 UTC 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[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by zima on Sun 25th Nov 2012 09:05 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Brother printer [...] The trick is getting the printer itself to outlive the included starter cartridge and drum.

So... what tricks are involved? :>

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by bassbeast on Mon 26th Nov 2012 01:08 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

I think you just hit the nail on the head is what is wrong is wrong with the company on the whole... "they are junk for the most part". Once upon a time HP made damned nice computers rock solid desktops and laptops and printers. Now they are all junk, the thinnest plastic, horrible drivers, just garbage.

I USED to buy HP for my business customers, now its all Asus and Samsung, you can't trust HP anymore. instead of bringing Compaq up they brought HP down to the level of Compaq, similar how Seagate is now nothing but Maxtor with more sales and junk drives.

Reply Parent Score: 2

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