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Five things H-Pís Meg Whitman should do right now
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Old 12/11/2011, 02:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Five things H-P

Noteable:

"2. Donít abandon the handheld market."

Discuss.
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Old 12/11/2011, 02:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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"The decision to shut down H-P’s handheld portable-software platform just months after rolling it out was perhaps the most erratic move by Whitman’s predecessor, Leo Apotheker. The former SAP SAP +2.01% software executive must have been alarmed by how little traction the handheld business — acquired along with Palm Inc. for $1.2 billion in 2010 — was gaining among consumers, business users and, most importantly, the app-developer community.

This past week, Whitman said in a statement that H-P will contribute the WebOS code to the open-source community, in hopes of spurring application development. It’s too early to know for sure, but regaining traction in mobile software looks like a long shot for H-P. Clearly, all the momentum in handhelds right now belongs to Apple and to Google’s GOOG +1.85% Android platform, each of which has hundreds of thousands of third-party programs written for smartphones and electronic notebooks. Google, in fact, has the most enthusiasm among open-source developers right now, thanks to Android.

But, given the explosive growth of that market, Whitman would be well-advised to stay in the hardware side of the business, by having some products ready to run on Microsoft’s portable-device platform, known as Windows Phone. Through its new partnership with device maker Nokia NOK +3.20% , Microsoft MSFT +1.18% is making a substantial marketing investment in that effort.

Selling hardware (namely, PCs and servers) running a Microsoft operating system worked well for H-P for many years. Even if Microsoft-powered portables don’t come to dominate the market for handhelds, they will likely get at least some share of its future growth. Instead of abandoning the market, H-P should give consumers and business users at least something to buy — especially since it has some models ready to go.

If H-P is going to watch handhelds take revenue away from laptop and desktop PCs, why not get a little slice of that spending?"
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Old 12/11/2011, 09:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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They are still suggesting that HP spin off the PSG unit after reviving it a bit. How that would work given the changes that the market is undergoing is beyond me. They are not capable of - and frankly dont have the leadership - to create new product categories and the demand for them. They dont seem to be interested in the ecosystem (too late for that) and cloud model, which can actually bring some differentiation to their PCs. The sad thing is, they've already made huge investments in that area.

Making things worse, Meg reportedly expressed during the earnings call her desire to not make the company a software company. Hasn't that ship already sailed though? I thought it was a foregone conclusion. What do they plan to do w/ Autonomy? Treat it like webOS? She is already sounding like Mark Hurd after the Palm purchase.

Back to PSG, 5% margin on PCs is not bad, considering Dell's 3% so their best bet, given the lack of vision where mobile is concerned, is to tighten up that division somehow and start praying for miracles. Pray that tablets dont further erode PCs dominance, pray for the emergence of Intel's Ultrabook and pray that Asus or others dont eat their food in that category (remember the Eee?). Finally, pray for Windows 8's success on enterprise tablets. That last one may not be much of a long shot but I have to wonder how their partners would receive them w/ the recent tablet treatment fresh in everyone's mind. I dont imagine Dell and others sat idly by while HP floundered; they must have seized the opportunity to make new friends.

In the end, it won't bother me a bit if they continue to decline. I'm not a stakeholder and I only took interest in their actions as a Palm fan. Now that that is over, I can only wish them the best.
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Old 12/11/2011, 08:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spartca View Post
Five things H-P

Noteable:

"2. Donít abandon the handheld market."

Discuss.
HP will give up hand held device only if they want to quit the PC business.
pad32 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12/12/2011, 12:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I keep reading that tablets are going to take over the PC (including laptop) market and PC makers are going to sell less and less PC's. . . I tend to think that's hogwash. Yes I think the Netbook market is at risk to tablets, but not laptops and desktops. I would not have a tablet instead of a laptop. I have to have a real computer. It's nice to add a tablet to supplement the laptop, not replace it. I do suppose I no longer have a need for a desktop machine.
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Old 12/12/2011, 01:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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They do indeed say "don't abandon the handheld market" but in the same breath they suggest doing so by adopting Windows Phone, obviously making that point a bit irrelevant to any discussion of or benefit to webOS.
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Old 12/12/2011, 09:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Open Sourcing WebOS was the best possible outcome for now. What good is WebOS without hardware, though? Until I see the source code compiled for an iPad, or a Moto Xoom, I won't really believe.

HP has too much inertial mass to turn on a dime, they may indeed revive their tablet lineup with Tegra3 and a couple gigs of RAM, but I'd expect them to put Win8 on that device. If we're really lucky, we'll see an HP Universal Remote with WebOS on it. Other than that, it'll be up to the inventive souls on the interwebs to come up with another device to put it on.
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