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HP Rethinking Wisdom of Spinning Off PC Division

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 years ago | from the you-don't-say dept.

HP 239

bdking writes "After signing off on former CEO Leo Apotheker's proposal to spin off or sell HP's personal computer unit, the company's braintrust is reassessing the wisdom of dumping a division that contributes nearly 30% of revenue and holds together a valuable supply chain." HP appears concerned not so much for the revenue generated by PC hardware, but instead by access to various distribution and supply channels. It seems that just announcing a spin-off has affected their access to retail distributors.

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My thoughts (3, Insightful)

jesseck (942036) | about 3 years ago | (#37691768)

I won't purchase an HP device (didn't before, either) and don't recommend them to friends and family (didn't then, either). This is just reinforcement of my beliefs. Who wants to own a device, that the manufacturer doesn't want themselves?

Re:My thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37691834)

Yeah, the braintrusts of Slashdot are the ones you want to listen to when it comes to business. Fail.

Re:My thoughts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37692098)

Hahaha, exactly. Always bet against the Slashbots.

Re:My thoughts (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 3 years ago | (#37692144)

Yes, because HP has shown themselves to be masters of the art of running a business....

Buying a HP computer not HP stock (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 3 years ago | (#37692702)

Yes, because HP has shown themselves to be masters of the art of running a business....

I thought we were discussing buying a HP computer not HP stock? If they build a decent PC its an option, who cares about the boardroom/c-suite antics. Many computers are purchased from local white box PC clone shops. How likely are they to be around next year, yet they seem to remain an option.

That said, it is terribly sad to be thinking of HP in this way.

Re:My thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37692392)

he's talking about retail purchases of tech products. Slashdot is for tech people. Tech people get asked their recommendations for retail purchase of tech products all the time. If this is news to you, it may well reflect the lack of regard that people who know you have for your opinion.

Re:My thoughts (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 3 years ago | (#37692840)

Multi national businesses are coming to grips with a shrinking world, some will survive this transition. HP doesn't understand that a quick ROI is expensive, it will not survive at this rate. Some other company that can plan further ahead than the next dividend will take HP's place, that is life. I will miss hp, their reputation for making fine products isn't based on selling cheap crap, but its handlers are. I hope that hp sees the day when their share holders, and the its board members stop treating their collective heads like suppositories.

Re:My thoughts (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 3 years ago | (#37691856)

Well, I don't care what anyone says, the mid-range and high-end HP printers are still among the best. As much as I think HP seems poised to jump into a deep dark chasm, I hesitate to imagine what will happen if it actually does. I'm not terribly interested in their PCs and was stung by two of their notebooks, and their low-end printers are just as shitty as Lexmark's or Canon's, but if you're looking at mid-range color printers or at high end stuff, HP is tough to beat.

Re:My thoughts (2)

middlemen (765373) | about 3 years ago | (#37691952)

Have you tried Brother's printers. They work pretty well, are reasonably priced and have Linux drivers that work. I have been using their Laser printer for the past 3 years now and it has never disappointed me.

Re:My thoughts (2)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 3 years ago | (#37692100)

My personal preference is toward Samsung printers. They publish their own Linux drivers and haven't let me down in terms of reliability/performance.

Re:My thoughts (2)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 3 years ago | (#37692426)

My personal preference is toward Samsung printers. They publish their own Linux drivers and haven't let me down in terms of reliability/performance.

I heard Canon is suing them for making their printers shaped like a rectangle with paper trays. ;P

Re:My thoughts (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 3 years ago | (#37692678)

You'd be surprised how many businesses run $XXXXX HP printers because of the readily available toner and supply chains, the high availability of parts, and the decent reliability. I don't mind their workstations either, on the low-mid grade they are just as competitive as anybody else. They get pricey quick though, but our users don't need those, so no warrant for my research.

On that note, my next home printer is going to 90% be a brother or cannon, I just can't seem to find myself to like HP photo printing (not sure about brother, cannon is amazing), which is a feature I require for my printers :)

Re:My thoughts (2)

ajlitt (19055) | about 3 years ago | (#37692170)

Don't forget the cheap and DRM unencumbered ink and toner. From what I understand, the page counter in their toner cartridges is entirely mechanical and easy to reset.

Re:My thoughts (1)

afidel (530433) | about 3 years ago | (#37692640)

He said midrange and high end (ie LJ4250 and up), there's no DRM or toner page counters on those units.

Brother (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | about 3 years ago | (#37692316)

Another satisfied Brother user. The designed-to-be-refilled toner cartridges are great.

As for linux drivers, I find that's always the tip of the iceberg. Lack of linux drivers is an excellent indicator that windows versions get drop FAST, and crappy drivers in general. Canon, I'm looking at you.

Postscript (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 years ago | (#37692674)

I refuse to buy a printer that doesn't support postscript. Who needs vendor-specific drivers when there have been standardized page-layout languages for decades?

Re:Postscript (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 years ago | (#37692796)

My old Brother laser supported PostScript, but printing PCL was a lot faster because rasterising a complex PostScript document (e.g. the output from LaTeX) on a 50MHz MIPS processor in the printer took a long time. I've recently bought a cheap Dell all-in-one colour LED printer. It can print from and scan to PDFs, and doesn't even need a computer: you can print PDFs directly from a USB device. It also talks SMB and FTP, so I can scan to an SMB or FTP server.

Re:My thoughts (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 3 years ago | (#37692892)

My impression of the Brother linux drives is "lousy!!". The 410jw can't scan over a network, and every system upgrade means TRYING to find out how to reinstall the drivers. It's bad enough that I went out and bought an HP Officejet after buying a new Brother printer. I could get it to scan if attached via USB cable, but not over the network.

OTOH, the HP would only print in draft mode on anything other than bog-standard paper. This is vile as one of my major uses involves printing on colored paper, and another involves printing on card stock. Anybody know of a decent printer/scanner?

Oki and Xerox seem to be a better bet (5, Interesting)

zerofoo (262795) | about 3 years ago | (#37691966)

I'm sure everyone has their opinion, but after throwing away a bunch of $2000 HP printers in the last year, we've had enough.

I started buying Xerox and Oki printers and so far, they have been fantastic. The Okis in particular seem to be built well enough to take a bullet, and the toner cartridges are huge compared to an equivalent HP printer, yet they are priced about the same.

I think we are done with HP forever at this point.

Re:Oki and Xerox seem to be a better bet (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 years ago | (#37692108)

Let's just mention that whoever is responsible for the atrocity that is the "HP Universal Print Driver" ought to spend an eternity with fire ants exploring their sinuses...

Never have I seen software that is more baroque, or less reliable, at the seemingly simple task of sending PCL or postscript over a network to a printer with an embedded RIP.

Re:Oki and Xerox seem to be a better bet (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 3 years ago | (#37692242)

Never have I seen software that is more baroque, or less reliable

You have obviously not tried HP scanner software. Our scanner will not work on Windows (it did when new, but the UI was so confusing no one managed to do what they actually wanted to). It works on Linux OK though. Before we found that out, we switched to Cannon.

No more HP stuff here!

Re:Oki and Xerox seem to be a better bet (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 years ago | (#37692408)

If you use an HP multifunction printer, its your own darn fault if bad things happen. I thought everyone knew to avoid those things.

Re:Oki and Xerox seem to be a better bet (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about 3 years ago | (#37692442)

too true. We gave up on HP scanners about a decade ago, although to be fair, I can't say that Cannon or Epson have great software. It just doesn't suck as bad as HPs.

Re:Oki and Xerox seem to be a better bet (1)

kcbnac (854015) | about 3 years ago | (#37692788)

Ha! My dad bought an HP desktop several years ago (his last off-the-shelf system, now we're building them from parts) - and his HP scanner wouldn't work with it. Something to do with the USB chipset in the motherboard prevented HP's scanner from working with an HP PC.

Yes, a USB device with specific incompatibilities with a specific computer, by the same manufacturer.

+1000. Universal Print Driver should be killed.... (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about 3 years ago | (#37692406)

...with fire. And put through a wood chipper. Makes using networked HP printers, which we've used for decades, pure hell.

Xerox Printers (1)

rwade (131726) | about 3 years ago | (#37692118)

I'm sure everyone has their opinion, but after throwing away a bunch of $2000 HP printers in the last year, we've had enough.

I started buying Xerox and Oki printers and so far, they have been fantastic.

Your timing is prescient - all of our HP printers were recently replaced by Xerox machines at my workplace. They do put out some nice prints, although I wouldn't say they are better than the HP ones. I'm fairly insensitive to print-quality -- however, yesterday at a meeting with some clients that rarely see print-outs from my office, someone asked if we had just gotten new printers.

Anyway -- I have noticed that what I would call our Xerox "workgroup-class" printers are really loud. The analogy "It sounds like it's barfing a sheet of paper at a time" was used by two different people on two different occasions.

Re:Xerox Printers (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | about 3 years ago | (#37692296)

Anyway -- I have noticed that what I would call our Xerox "workgroup-class" printers are really loud. The analogy "It sounds like it's barfing a sheet of paper at a time" was used by two different people on two different occasions.
We just got the same thing at our office and in addition to the noise is the fun of finding out where to turn off automatic form feed, since everybody is now dumping a blank page after every job

Re:My thoughts (2)

The Fur (2483228) | about 3 years ago | (#37691976)

That is the sad part. They have always made great printers. But their PCs/laptops are crap for the most part. Even their customer support isn't good. The only people worse in CS and product is Sony imo. Their VIO line is a crapfest. If HP would concentrate on what they do best, printers, they could destroy the marketshare and make up for any losses they had from the PC/laptop market.

The power of the HP distribution channel (+ pics) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37692396)

Someone else has always made the printers from the beginning. Typically Canon. The LaserJet I and II even had the same housings as competitors, because they were all using the stock Canon housings.

LaserJet I: http://www.printerworks.com/Catalogs/SX-Catalog/SX-Images/HP_LaserJet-II.jpg
QMS SmartWriter: http://www.printerworks.com/Catalogs/CX-Catalog/CX-Images/QMS_SmartWriter.gif

LaserJet II: http://www.printerworks.com/Catalogs/SX-Catalog/SX-Images/HP_LaserJet-II.jpg ...and the Canon version: http://www.printerworks.com/Catalogs/SX-Catalog/SX-LBP_8II-8IIT-8IIR.html

Here's a list of first generation Canon products. Lots of small players:
http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/reference/pcr/engine/1311

HP's power is the channel. To my knowledge, HP has never manufactured, nor designed, the engine of a single LaserJet ever. That's almost always Canon, and has been since the beginning.

Re:My thoughts (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 years ago | (#37692436)

The HP Probooks-- specifically the 4000 line-- are remarkably good, and are among the best laptops Ive used.

Re:My thoughts (1)

afidel (530433) | about 3 years ago | (#37692754)

We like the Elitebooks, they've been about as reliable as our Lenovo Thinkpads at about 2/3rds the price.

Re:My thoughts (3, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#37692414)

their low-end printers are just as shitty as Lexmark's or Canon's

Somewhere in China there's a factory that makes the internals for ALL cheap printers and depending on incoming orders puts them in a slightly different case and slaps a different sticker on the box. Ditto the laptops, clothes, etc.

Its like being astounded that the quality of the clothes at walmart, target, and kohls are all about the same, when they all came outta the same political prisoner staffed sweatshop and arrived onshore inside the same shipping container. Its not like the more expensive store sprinkles their clothes with "cool dust" or something. At the bottom, its all just junk.

Since the support for all of them is going to be a call center in India where a dude tells you to reinstall XP even if you tell him you have a mac, you may as well just buy the cheapest one.

This does not explain why Brother's printers just absolutely rock. Work on linux outta the box, scanner/fax function works outta the box, supports ipv6 for something like a decade. Rare to have a mechanical problem, rarely jams. "Just works" kinda like HP stuff used to B.C. (Before Carly)

There is a swamp at the bottom of the barrel where it all sucks, but a step up from that and there's some good products out there.

Re:My thoughts (1)

confused one (671304) | about 3 years ago | (#37692854)

Somewhere there's a plant that makes the internals for all the expensive printers too. I worked on a line that alternately spit out HP and some other brand(s) of laser printers, depending on the sales orders. Differences were in the outer housing and the pcb, mostly.

Re:My thoughts (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 3 years ago | (#37692080)

I agree! But I couldn't help purchase an HP Touchpad for $99 :)

Re:My thoughts (4, Insightful)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | about 3 years ago | (#37692238)

I always had a rule when purchasing PCs. Now, this rule has since lost much of it's impact, since one of the manufacturers went poof, and the other two merged -

Never buy a computer with PACK/PAQ in the name. At the time, this included Hewlett Packard, Compaq, and Packard Bell

Although losing much of it's impact, the rule still stands (at least for me)

Re:My thoughts (1)

YoungHack (36385) | about 3 years ago | (#37692524)

I've never heard this rule, but it immediately resonated with my experience.

Re:My thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37692536)

At home I used to buy Dell exclusively. Then I had to deal with their technical support (or maybe it was customer support). One memorable line from those phone calls was this:

Dell> Sir, I show that you have already called 3 times today and have been told the same thing every time.
Me> I've got a 12 pack of beer and nothing to do all day. You should really address my issue now before I start slurring.

Anyways -- I then bought an HP and have been very satisfied with it (but I wasn't really every dissatisfied with Dell's computers). HP seems to make a pretty good personal computer from what I can tell.

Re:My thoughts (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 3 years ago | (#37692736)

I work for an "HP Certified Reseller" so all of our clients get HP clients and servers. In general, their clients and workstations are total crap, their business notebooks are pretty mediocre for the price but I haven't had any major issues with them, their servers are also mediocre. HP monitors are some of the worst pains in the ass I've had to deal with, mostly due to issues with the monitors' firmware. However, I will admit that I really like HP printers and that's the one thing I would buy again from them, although I'm beginning to see a lot of printers with equal or superior capabilities (but quality unknown) from other vendors for half or a third of the price.

Re:My thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37692816)

They are just misled. They don't realize they are getting those profitable service contracts BECAUSE they sell the hardware. It's all bundled together, from the customer's perspective. Kill off the hardware and why buy the services?

So I think they suddenly realized this and are trying to turn things around.

With Jobs gone, HP has an additional opportunity now.

Swap thrashing (1)

XanC (644172) | about 3 years ago | (#37691776)

Time to reboot and upgrade the kernel or something.

HPlix? (2)

dzfoo (772245) | about 3 years ago | (#37691794)

Did I miss something? Is HP begin run by Reed Hastings now?

          -dZ.

Re:HPlix? (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 3 years ago | (#37692138)

No but I hear that Darl McBride is presently being groomed to step in as CEO.

BGDAAAA!! (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about 3 years ago | (#37692502)

Don't even joke about that!!

Re:BGDAAAA!! (5, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 years ago | (#37692896)

It doesn't matter. Judging by the trends in HP CEOs, Darl will only last 2 months. He will be replaced by Kim Jong Il, who will last a mere 3 weeks (and leave with a $100m golden parachute). The next CEO will be fired before she arrives in the building, and the one after her will be given her golden parachute before being offered the job. After that, things are going to get really bad...

Fire the board (5, Interesting)

onyxruby (118189) | about 3 years ago | (#37691818)

Fire the board, they showed their stripes years ago with Carly, and again with other bungled decisions. They have got to be the most incompetent board for any company of their size in the world. The board lost the HP way long ago, and it hasn't changed that much since then.

The whole rotting thing has got to go and the culture has to restored from the top. Nothing less will do.

Re:Fire the board (3, Interesting)

Jeng (926980) | about 3 years ago | (#37691866)

I was going to suggest that they fire the CEO and get someone who will do the job for less compensation and no golden parachute. I figure if they do that then their applicant pool would open up to up and comers who want to prove themselves while hopefully turning away those who just want a big payday.

But your idea of firing the board probably makes more sense.

Re:Fire the board (5, Insightful)

laffer1 (701823) | about 3 years ago | (#37691932)

I recommend looking at who's currently on the board at HP. It explains everything. There's a ridiculous number of hedge fund managers and similar type people. They've only got one real HP person on the board and that person is from enterprise marketing or something like that. No one on the board understands their products or what they do except possibly this marketing person.

You would think a company like HP would have at least a few people who've run tech companies on their board.

Re:Fire the board (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 years ago | (#37692196)

They really ought to experiment with outsourcing the board of directors to a call center somewhere.

It would't necessarily generate better leadership; but 8-12 incomprehensible guys allegedly named "Robert" somewhere in the far east would provide incomprehensible decisions and inconsistent directions for several factors of ten less money...

Re:Fire the board (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37692658)

This is great!

Re:Fire the board (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37692302)

How hard is it to understand ink?

HP hasn't been a tech company since they spun off Aligent.

Re:Fire the board (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37692014)

Are you planning on reanimating Dave Packard's corpse and having him chair the board? Because otherwise I don't think a new board would necessarily be different from the old one.

Re:Fire the board (2)

jd (1658) | about 3 years ago | (#37692306)

Replace the board with members of the Psychic Hotline, and then have Dave Packard's ghost as CEO. No matter how badly it fails, it can't fail worse than the current board.

Re:Fire the board (3, Informative)

i.am.delf (1665555) | about 3 years ago | (#37692136)

The real HP was spun off by Carly into Agilent. As far as I know they are still doing just fine doing all those things that the original HP used to do.

Mod up (1)

padraic2 (2432584) | about 3 years ago | (#37692684)

Yep. As far as I'm concerned the best part of HP was spun off long ago.

MBA bullshit. (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | about 3 years ago | (#37691844)

Thats what happens when mbas take over running of corporations. Everything is geared towards teaching of maximizing profit minimizing costs in those programs in ultimate end, and even if some programs incorporate engineering concepts like systems management and so on, the mba types eventually lack on strategic planning and vision.

flop. thats what you get if you hire too much suits or put them in charge.

Re:MBA bullshit. (3, Insightful)

sbrown123 (229895) | about 3 years ago | (#37692164)

It has little to do with having an MBA. These boards are usually staffed with people assigned by majority holders for their ability to "maximize profits". But companies can only grow so much and the economy goes up and down. Investors don't want waves, only inclines. To keep their well paid jobs these MBA's, as you call them, do whatever they can. This usually means some imaginative book keeping, slashing staff, and trying to outsource where possible. The really good MBA's only stick around for a short period since their work always have a quick fall to follow. And who wants to be on a sinking ship?

Re:MBA bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37692368)

"The really good MBA's only stick around for a short period since their work always have a quick fall to follow."

What do you by really good? Really good for them you mean.

Re:MBA bullshit. (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37692448)

What do you by really good? Really good for them you mean.

Uh, yes. The really good ones come into a company, strip it bare to pump up their bonuses and then get out early enough to blame the collapse on their successor; the bad ones are that successor.

Re:MBA bullshit. (2)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 years ago | (#37692722)

Corporations have an obligation to turn a profit.

They do not have an obligation to turn an obscene profit, short-term profits, a high stock-market value, nor to line the pockets of executives and board members with "golden parachute" options.

The whole world's corporations need to get back to research, innovation, and a focus on quality products. To hell with the hedge fund managers, the banks, and all the rest of the blood-suckers who do NOTHING for the economy except bleed it dry.

Engineering bullshit. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 years ago | (#37692374)

Thats what happens when engineers take over running of corporation. Everything is geared towards teaching of maximizing profit minimizing costs in those programs in ultimate end, and even if some programs incorporate business concepts like systems management and so on, the engineers types eventually lack on strategic planning and vision.

The PC business is a tough business to be in. You have a lot of competition. Dell, Lenovo, Apple. The home consumer market is more willing to hold on to their PC for 2 more years and get themselves an iPad or a smart phone. So what is this strategic plan of keeping desktops to the future? There isn't really much. You might as drop it to a smaller firm who will nurture it more, and try to really fit in the niche market segment.

As I am using a Lenovo Think Pad right now, I have to say IBM is happy, Lenovo is happy, and the people who made the transitions from IBM to Lenovo are happy. The problem is sometimes companies get too diverse, and need to sell off units that they are distracting from their core business or perhaps may be hindering it mind share.

Re:Engineering bullshit. (1)

Super_Z (756391) | about 3 years ago | (#37692738)

The problem is sometimes companies get too diverse, and need to sell off units that they are distracting from their core business or perhaps may be hindering it mind share.

As an aside, Lenovo has moved into tablets, servers and financial services. Lenovo bladeservers, diskarrays and consultants are probably right around the corner.

Re:MBA bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37692776)

Thats what happens when mbas take over running of corporations.

Tim Cook is an MBA. He's been de facto CEO of Apple for about six months now. Doesn't have Jobs's charisma or presence (who does?) but he hasn't exactly stopped selling the MacBook. It's not the degree; it's the person who has it and how they conduct themselves.

Derp derp derp! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37691854)

When HP absorbed EDS they thought they'd finally be able to compete in the lucrative snake oil business of large scale "consulting" (a la IBM), but after a massive reorg and an almost precision extraction of any talent prevalent in the EDS husk they're left with nothing but the most clueless of drabs.

To watch them flail around and try to bail out of this self-inflicted situation by dumping their hardware division has been entertaining.

Re:Derp derp derp! (1)

decsnake (6658) | about 3 years ago | (#37692934)

Last year a major civilian govt agency awarded their IT support contract to HP. Since then HP has been flailing around wildly trying to actually deliver the support they are contracted for and the agency extends the incumbent contractors contract a few months at a time so they actually have support.

It doesn't matter what happens. (1)

idbeholda (2405958) | about 3 years ago | (#37691890)

When it comes to HP, they're already in such bad shape that a loss in revenue might actually save the company.

What do they need with a supply chain? (1)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | about 3 years ago | (#37691920)

Back when the PC business was mostly Compaq, they made systems that needed all manner of proprietary components. If they have other products which rely on that supply chain they're so deep in the doo-doo that they won't climb out. But the CEO shouldn't worry because even getting fired from that job is more lucrative than many others are.

CEOs should make more! (1)

mrquagmire (2326560) | about 3 years ago | (#37691922)

These CEOs are obviously worth hundreds of times what a "normal" employee makes. We should pay them more for their outstanding decision making skills. Also looking at you, Reed Hastings.

Re:CEOs should make more! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 years ago | (#37692208)

Peons are capable only of timid, limited, tactical failure. It takes a Visionary Leader to achieve Strategic failure on an grand scale.

Re:CEOs should make more! (1)

jd (1658) | about 3 years ago | (#37692360)

Surely you're not suggesting HP's new CEO limit themselves to such mediocre core meltdowns when, with just a little more effort, they can achieve China Syndrome proportions?

Re:CEOs should make more! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37692568)

Peons are capable only of timid, limited, tactical failure. It takes a Visionary Leader to achieve Strategic failure on an grand scale.

+1 to you, if I only had mod points...

I'm an HP (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37691926)

HP made their own version of a "I'm a Mac" ad, but you can only find it on the kind of sites that show videos of shit like a guy cutting off his own penis.

access to various distribution and supply channels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37691970)

That `thinking' has application to the industrial base of the entire US. Any given tire shop owner could have explained it to them, but hey, better late than never.

Revenue from pre-bundled demoware (1)

j-stroy (640921) | about 3 years ago | (#37691978)

How much of that revenue comes from the huge bundle of pre-installed of demos?

However, their PC tower at a big box store was competitive priced compared with a generic import computer store.

Generally I don't support HP, tho I was very impressed with the Green packaging a friends new printer came with.. no plastic wrappers, instead it all was packaged in a re-usable shopping totebag and accessory pouch.

Re:Revenue from pre-bundled demoware (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 years ago | (#37692134)

Generally I don't support HP, tho I was very impressed with the Green packaging a friends new printer came with.. no plastic wrappers, instead it all was packaged in a re-usable shopping totebag and accessory pouch.

The design of which they probably outsourced to some 'green' marketing company. Nothing wrong with it - but it's hardly why we held HP in such esteem.

From the Michel Dell school of management (1)

Altus (1034) | about 3 years ago | (#37691986)

shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.

Dumbasses! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37692010)

Dumbass MBAs all over again.

No effing clue about the industry they are in.

Re:Dumbasses! (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 years ago | (#37692334)

Don't be so dismissive of MBAs... If you stop falling for the illusion that their 'business' is running businesses efficiently, and start viewing them as amoral rational actors feathering their nests at the expense of anybody whose pockets they can reach, you'll see that they are extraordinarily effective a locating targets, infesting them, sucking them dry, and then moving on, somehow not dragged down by their record of failure and occasional malfeasance...

Never make the mistake of underestimating a superb parasite because it is lousy at whatever non-noxious lifeform it is mimicking...

Well lets try this.... oh. Well then lets try thi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37692060)

Brain trust? If I was making decisions like this for a company, I would *THINK* about the effects of the change and how that affects other parts of the company. I would do this *in advance*. Its a little like playing chess, where a player is at least one move ahead of his opponent, and if that player wanted to really be part of a 'brain trust' it would be playing 3-4 moves ahead of his competitor. Tinkering and poking means people have no clue as to how to determine outcomes, nor do they have any abilities to run non-destructive scenarios to determine the outcomes if there are too many variables to keep track in their heads. Instead they poke with live data (the company) and that means they are losing jobs and burning money.

Re:Well lets try this.... oh. Well then lets try t (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37692350)

Brain trust? If I was making decisions like this for a company, I would *THINK* about the effects of the change and how that affects other parts of the company. I would do this *in advance*.

This is why you're not a billionaire hedge-fund manager.

It's all about the distribution channel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37692078)

The power of HP is the distribution channel! To have a strong channel, it needs to be moving volume. How did they get to be the leaders in laser printers? It wasn't technology. They've been essentially outsourcing Canon laser printers for over 25 years. Seriously. Look at a LaserJet I or II. The housings aren't even different from other companies also outsourcing from Canon at that time. Yet, they owned the segment from the beginning. Why? The distribution channel. Plain and simple.

Email from HP about this (3, Funny)

silverglade00 (1751552) | about 3 years ago | (#37692104)

I just got an email from HP about this. HP's Personal Systems Group is the #1 PC maker on the planet, and that won't change. I can assure you our future is brighter than ever. Spirit of a Startup Our preferred course to harness our vision of the future is to build a separate, more agile company. It's time to think like a startup again. It's time to be nimble and revolutionary. It's time again for world-changing innovation. And so, it's time we realized we're at a crossroads in an evolving HP. But don't misunderstand: We-the same great folks who make HP PCs today-will make them tomorrow. We will continue to build on our legacy creating reliable, stylish, and high-performance PCs to improve your personal and professional life.

Re:Email from HP about this (2)

silverglade00 (1751552) | about 3 years ago | (#37692128)

Crap, forgot to format it... sorry everyone.

Re:Email from HP about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37692850)

I can assure you our future is brighter than ever. Spirit of a Startup Our preferred course to harness our vision of the future is to build a separate, more agile company. It's time to think like a startup again. It's time to be nimble and revolutionary. It's time again for world-changing innovation. And so, it's time we realized we're at a crossroads in an evolving HP.

Which Hollywood goofball comedy were these lines stolen from?

The obvious name... (2)

Tenek (738297) | about 3 years ago | (#37692106)

Well, somebody has to use the Quikster name, might as well be them.

Good luck in retail! (1)

soupforare (542403) | about 3 years ago | (#37692122)

Especially Best Buy which is, I'm sure, a not insignificant partner. After the complete abortion that was Touchpad, retail stores are going to be hesitant about stocking up on product. HP shipped units to them, then almost immediately tanked the price and ran.

Good. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 3 years ago | (#37692126)

the company's braintrust is reassessing the wisdom of dumping a division that contributes nearly 30% of revenue and holds together a valuable supply chain.

Not to mention a significant chunk of jobs. We have enough unemployed (read: competition to get a job) as it is, thanks.

Win 8 (0)

MikeURL (890801) | about 3 years ago | (#37692180)

Three things,

I had a 'hands on' with an HP laptop that a coworker bought recently. A budget model but it was quite nice. Frankly better in feel than my quite pricey Dell XPS.

The ultrabook form factor DOES hold promise for energizing laptop profit margins.

Lastly, Win 8 finally appears to be an upgrade that may finally pry people off Win XP and truly offer integration across smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop and gaming (xbox). MS is set up to finally at long last have an integrated solution for the home that can challenge apple. I mean, it seems like exactly the wrong time to be getting rid of two parts of that ecosystem.

With all of this it hardly seems like a good time to sell or spin off the laptop division. The death of the PC, IMO, has been greatly exaggerated. Yes, they do need to catch up with the macbook air but as components shrink and with Intel support that should not be too hard.

Re:Win 8 (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37692226)

Lastly, Win 8 finally appears to be an upgrade that may finally pry people off Win XP and truly offer integration across smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop and gaming (xbox).

Uh, what?

XP laptop and desktop users are waiting out Windows 7 so they can 'upgrade' to a crappy tablet interface?

That's some good stuff you're smoking.

is anyone surprised? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 3 years ago | (#37692224)

I'm not going to belabor the point that the spin off wasn't a good idea. The problem now is that they're coming off as indecisive, unsure, rudderless, out of control, pick your metaphor.

Weird trends (2)

Sedated2000 (1716470) | about 3 years ago | (#37692282)

I see a lot of really strange business trends going on. It seems so many companies are announcing terribly thought out decisions, and then reversing their opinion, and an entirely different set are content to do nothing but play a game with patents, where nobody builds or designs anything anymore, they just collect up the patents and sue people who actually are building and designing things. Why does this feel like some really weird corporate-hijinks fiction novel we're living in?

HP is lost... (2)

sco_robinso (749990) | about 3 years ago | (#37692342)

HP has always had extremely poor support at the consumer level, IMO. I remember about 10 years ago I wanted to buy a replacement Li-Ion battery for the OEM NiMH that came with my HP. With credit card and HP part number and SKU in hand, I called the HP store. I was transferred to literally 5 different people before I just gave up. I never did get a new battery, living with the ~40 minute degraded life of the NiMH for the next couple months.

I've had great success with their printers, though. I still think at the mid-to-high business end, they're very solid machines. I recently worked at an office that used Ricoh's, and never again with I touch Ricoh printers. They can't even get simply LDAP right...

Re:HP is lost... (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37692384)

Yeah, I had an HP scanner and it was great. But I moved across the Atlantic so it won't work anymore because the power adapter is 220V and they won't sell me a 110V adapter for less than the cost of a new scanner.

That was one of the reasons why they lost a $1200 sale to Toshiba when I bought my laptop last year.

Printers (1)

jgotts (2785) | about 3 years ago | (#37692346)

HP's best products are its laser printers. Its most profitable products are probably its inkjet cartridges. If HP spins off its PC business it's going to have a harder time selling its laser printers and inkjet cartridge cartridges (aka printers).

I like my hp (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | about 3 years ago | (#37692432)

After getting tired of screwing around building PCs from parts I decided to get one of the hp ready to ship models. I'm quite satisfied. It was easy to set up, runs every game I want to play and is stable. I also had one of their TouchSmart all-in-one models (where the computer is built into a touch screen). It was quite nice but someone stole it. The point is, hp does have some good products coming out of the PC division. It would be stupid to let it go just because margins are small.

We use HP machines (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 3 years ago | (#37692466)

We buy oodles of them. A shipment of ten every week or so. We clone them and crank them and prep them and deploy them in a neverending cycle to keep our clients (many of whom are also growing) up to date with decent machines. Their business class desktops are reliable little workhorses, and my office was nervously considering the prospects of what we would have to do if the supply of HP boxes disappeared. I volunteered to hand build machines from kits, but I don't think my boss took me seriously.

Shortsighted as usual (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 3 years ago | (#37692512)

When I heard they were "considering" spinning off their PC division my first thought was...Guess who's sales of PC electronics just took a nose dive? Sure their margins are razor thin but they had sales. Who wants to buy a product that may not be supported in 6 mo. because the company that made it no longer supports it. Granted hp does that now but the consumer has the illusion of a supporting company. I've watched hp squander opportunity after opportunity. Perhaps it's the Digital Equipment Corporation [wikipedia.org] curse. DEC floundered and it's carcass was purchased by Compaq in 1998. It gave Compaq indigestion and they were swallowed by hp in 2002. Now hp is circling the drain.

HP has an identity problem (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 3 years ago | (#37692664)

They started as a gadget company - lab devices. They got into printers. then computers. Then software services after buying DEC and EDS. I presume they were emulating IBM which moved mostly our of hardware into integrated services.

Access to retail the problem? (1)

sirwired (27582) | about 3 years ago | (#37692690)

WTF? Seriously? Is there some kind of legitimate fear that stores that can't sell HPs crappy PC's will stop selling their crappy printers? The other major printer companies don't sell PC's, and they seem to be doing just fine.

Dumba$$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37692704)

Haha.

I am really amazed how management do not look for direct and indirect synergies between products and products.

- Apple has mastered this.
- HP is obviously oblivious to this.
- Google understands this but thinks their simple google search page must be a consistent theme across their entire landscape.
- Microsoft is trying to find what sticks and is very quick to kill its products. (To Zune or not to Zune, etc).

We live in an age where one manufacturer can now dominate the entire global market. When you realise this, you understand why Apple and Samsung are now at each others throats locked in an eternal live/or/die grip. I believe the religious Google v.s. Microsoft war will die down a little as Apple has taken centre stage.

So... My point. This was an arbitrary move by HP especially since they are the only large player who is in a position to find synergy between their desktop and enterprise environments to find an advantage over its competitors in the enterprise space (IBM, etc). Google will do this with its Chromebook.

I love my HP printers, HP laptops not so much. (1)

BLToday (1777712) | about 3 years ago | (#37692846)

I had the HP6L and that thing was a workhorse for almost 10 years. My newer HP laser printers are very solid but some don't have Mac drivers.

HP laptops on the other hand only last a little bit longer than the warranty period. They tend to overheat and fail almost as much as Acers from my experience.

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