Someone needs to tell HP that "cutting edge" tech doesn't actually involve an axe.
HP is laying off up to 525 staff from its global webOS hardware biz, according to reports. The tech titan confirmed last month it is shuttering the unit that produced the ill-fated TouchPad and Pre3 devices. “As communicated on 18 August, HP will discontinue the development of webOS devices within the fourth quarter of fiscal …
HP Inc is piloting a paper delivery service for Instant Ink subscribers as it looks to increase the amount of profit it can wring from customers.
The world is going to print fewer and fewer pages now that employees work from both the office and home, so achieving a greater "share of wallet", as it is often referred to by tech execs, is top of mind for print vendors.
According to IDC, some 2.8 trillion pages were printed in 2020, down 14 percent year-on-year (or 450 million fewer sheets) but it may recover to some degree.
Orders for PCs are forecast to shrink in 2022 as consumers confront rising inflation, the war in Ukraine, and lockdowns in parts of the world critical to the supply chain, all of which continue.
So says IDC, which forecast shipments to decline 8.2 percent year-on-year to 321.2 million units during this calendar year. This follows three straight years of growth, the last of which saw units shipped rise to 348.8 million.
Things might be taking a turn for the worse but they are far from disastrous for an industry revived by the pandemic when PCs became the center of many people's universe. Shipments are still forecast to come in well above the pre-pandemic norms; 267 million units were shipped in 2019.
PC and printer giant HP Inc. is boldly but belatedly turning its back on Russia and Belarus due to the continued conflict in Ukraine.
HP was among the first wave of tech companies to suspend shipments to the countries soon after Russia invaded its neighbor on February 24, but now the company's president and CEO Enrique Lores is making the move more permanent.
"Considering the COVID environment and long-term outlook for Russia, we have decided to stop our Russia activity and have begun the process of fully winding down our operations," he said on a Q2 earnings call with analysts.
HP's cybersecurity folks have uncovered an email campaign that ticks all the boxes: messages with a PDF attached that embeds a Word document that upon opening infects the victim's Windows PC with malware by exploiting a four-year-old code-execution vulnerability in Microsoft Office.
Booby-trapping a PDF with a malicious Word document goes against the norm of the past 10 years, according to the HP Wolf Security researchers. For a decade, miscreants have preferred Office file formats, such as Word and Excel, to deliver malicious code rather than PDFs, as users are more used to getting and opening .docx and .xlsx files. About 45 percent of malware stopped by HP's threat intelligence team in the first quarter of the year leveraged Office formats.
"The reasons are clear: users are familiar with these file types, the applications used to open them are ubiquitous, and they are suited to social engineering lures," Patrick Schläpfer, malware analyst at HP, explained in a write-up, adding that in this latest campaign, "the malware arrived in a PDF document – a format attackers less commonly use to infect PCs."
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has taken up a double-digit stake in PC and print biz HP Inc's stock worth about $4.2 billion, a move that sent the company's share price up by 10 percent.
The purchase, confirmed in a SEC filing by the investment vehicle on 6 April, saw roughly 121 million HP shares shift over to the new owner in what can be seen as a vote of confidence in the residual value of HP. This equates to a circa 11.4 percent ownership of the company.
"Berkshire Hathaway is one of the world's most respected investors and we welcome them as an investor in HP," the world's largest printer and second largest PC brand said.
HP Inc sees the future of its business as one supporting a workforce partially based at home and partially in the office, and appears to have bought office telecom giant Poly for that reason.
Formerly known as Plantronics, Poly changed its name shortly after it acquired Polycom in 2018. HP didn't mention in its acquisition announcement whether or not it would keep the Poly brand separate, but it's still early: the deal is not expected to close until the end of the 2022 calendar year.
HP described the $3.3 billion purchase ($40 per share) as a bid to refocus its portfolio on growth and take advantage of what it said is a massive growth opportunity due to the likely permanence of hybrid work.
The APAC region's market for traditional PCs - desktops notebooks and workstations - grew 15.9 per cent year-on-year in 2021 to 120.3 million units, but shipments appear to have peaked according to analyst firm IDC.
Notebooks topped 2021's sales charts, growing 17.5 per cent year-on-year to 77.3 million shipments while desktops grew by 11.8 per cent to 41 million.
"The Asia Pacific region benefited from significantly improved supply in the second half of 2021," said IDC analyst Matthew Ong. "With slowing demand in mature economies like the United States, PC vendors began to prioritize countries in Asia/Pacific, which led to much-needed backlog order fulfillments and inventory replenishments."
A now-former HP finance planning manager pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and filing false tax returns that follow from the misappropriation of company funds.
According to the US Justice Department, Shelbee Szeto, 30, of Fremont, California, worked at HP Inc from August 2017 through June 2021, first as an executive assistant and then as a finance planning manager.
During that time, she was responsible for paying HP vendors. As described in her indictment, HP issued employees with commercial credit cards called procurement cards, or PCards. Corporate policy said these were not to be used for personal expenses.
Paragon of packetry HP has acquired Choose Packaging, inventor of a zero-plastic paper bottle.
Choose's patented tech can hold a variety of liquids and represents an alternative to plastic bottles. "There are more than 150 million tons of single-use plastics produced each year," said the printer and laptop maker, "and HP intends to disrupt this market with fiber-based, 100 per cent plastic-free packaging."
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although a glimpse at the Edinburgh-based company's website shows it considers its products both "biodegradable" and "sustainable."
Chromebook shipments collapsed in calendar Q4 as the channel – with an eye on market saturation – ordered in lower volumes and PC makers moved available components to higher-margin builds running on Windows.
Unit sales into distributors and retailers plunged 63.6 per cent globally to 4.8 million Chromebooks, says IDC. This is the second quarter in a row that sales of the skinny portables have shrunk.
"Much of the initial demand for Chromebooks has been satiated in primary markets like the US and Europe and this has led to a slowdown in overall shipments," said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager at IDC.
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