Printers and ink
If only HP didn't produce shitty overpriced versions of both these days.
As everyone knows by now, Hewlett-Packard is trying to buy the British software company Autonomy as it shuts down its webOS hardware business and hopes to spin off its Personal Systems Group. But here's a question for you: In HP's third fiscal quarter, which of its units actually showed year-on-year as well as sequential …
The author seems to be surprised - or maybe expects us to be surprised - that an ailing giant seeks to sell off a profitable division. But if you need capital (or all your divisional managers have persuaded you that you just need capital), how much can you raise by selling unprofitable divisions?
The problem with HP in recent years seems to have been that the board has always caved in to the demands of shareholders to "realise value", doing so the easy way by just slashing "costs" in a vain attempt to placate the institutional investors who want a return on investment no matter what. What HP needs is someone with the stubbornness of Steve Jobs (but not the belligerence) who isn't afraid to tell such investors where to shove their demands.
"there might be some strategic way to license webOS and extract value from it.
Perhaps by selling it as a patent portfolio."
Just days after Google buys Moto Mob... This was clearly a "Hey Sailor..." shout out to Google. Well, to Google and everyone else. Hey someone has to pay the bills.
I wonder how the shareholders will react to this? I'm guessing not too well and Apotheker may find himself available for offers again.
As for HP developing software, I have my doubts. I'd understand it if they decided to move more into consultancy and design services as that would make a great deal of sense. Equally, providing cloud computing services would fit well with their existing business. But software development? That can't end well.
I wasn't particularly impressed with Leo when he was at SAP - if he thinks he can transform HP into a rival to challenge SAP, then he is even further away with the fairies than I thought.
Founder Mike Lynch, who owns 8.2% of the stock and has pledged to vote for the deal, told the BBC: "HP understands the special culture we have. This is about building Autonomy. It will be a positive thing for Cambridge and the UK."
Apart from the MASSIVE irony of a company called 'Autonomy' being bought, just how will this be good for Cambridge and the wider UK? What if HP decide to ship the business to the US (India / China...)? It's software (plus support services) they provide so 'just' IP and people (well, FTE's). Not a problem.
Buy hey, WTF - the shareholders will be massively rich after the sale (assuming it goes through).
You cannot just be a pusher of tin and expect to make decent money in this day and age. IBM recognized it nearly 2 decades ago, and HP is only just converting itself to a "services" company. Problem is they have no software with which to do it...no database, no middleware, no application servers, no business apps. Stuff IBM and Oracle has in abundance, along with hardware lines to run them on.
Palm was a fuck up of gigantic proportions, a year on and it's a write off. HP has finally figured out that it cannot compete in the consumer space, hence PC/WebOS murder. Problem is that it cannot compete in the enterprise either. High and dry is what they are.
Printer ink has carried this company, that isn't going to last...
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