[conspire] HP Melt Down

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Aug 22 20:03:49 PDT 2011

Quoting Ruben Safir (ruben at mrbrklyn.com):

> I know that nobody has inside information but just to get some
> perspective, can someone explain to me what the heck
> HP is doing this last week and what in the world is motivating them
> to seemingly self destruct?

I see that Deirdre's pointed out John Gruber's column, and I concur that
he seems to have the right of it.  Summary:

The Palm Computing acquisition was former CEO Mark Hurd's baby.
Hurd was a longtime hard-technology person from NCR.  Last year, Hurd
was forced out in a financial scandal, replaced by current CEO Leo
Apotheker.  Apotheker's background (ex-SAP) is in enterprise consulting,
not hard technology.  So, what's he trying to do?  Turn HP into SAP.

Apotheker thus gave the HP Touchpad one quarter to show sufficient
market penetration, and it didn't, so he axed the whole thing -- and
jettisoned Hurd's brainchild (along with the entire huge but
insufficiently profitable PC division) at the same time.  Because they
aren't just like SAP.  They'll focus on big iron, enterprise software,
and services, because that's where Apotheker is comfortable working, and
where he thinks the money is.

Meanwhile, there are about 250,000 TouchPads sitting at Best Buy, alone,
just waiting for a big remaindering sale.  Care for a nice little
Linux-based touchpad?  Keep watching the sales announcements.

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