back to article PCs punch HP in the gut, servers knee it in the jewels

It has been a long time since Hewlett-Packard has had a happy quarter, and it looks like it is going to have to wait quite a while to have one again if its final quarter of fiscal 2012 is any indication. In the quarter ended on October 31, it was mostly tricks, not treats, with revenues off 6.7 per cent to $29.96bn and after …


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  1. Robert E A Harvey

    Product, Product, Product

    Keep turning out the same old tired laptops with tors-r-us screens, and no-one wants to buy them. Surprise!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Online store

    HP were assembling a dream team to build an online store to rival Dell's, indeed, they even managed to entice some Dell staff to work for them (entirely legally of course). So what happened ?

    Too many mis-steps. Bring back the HP of old - with a solid reputation for quality (I'm talking calculators, measurement instruments, diagnostic kit etc.). If the same engineers had designed PCs, you'd have PCs engineered as well as Macbook Pros but at a keener price.

    What happened to due diligence - viz. Autonomy. Autonomy would have had a data room and allowed Autonomy and their advisers in to see all the company information. Records would have been kept. A diligent, conservative HP would have been cautious about this high valued deal.

    1. Radelix

      Re: Online store

      Indeed that would be great but they spun that business off years ago. I have to wonder why though considering I have my fathers HP financial calc from the 70's and it is fabulous to this day even though it takes batteries

  3. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    ".....What happened to due diligence - viz. Autonomy....." Ask KPMG, I'm sure hp will be.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      KPMG are a joke. They build their client network from tax-avoidance and they're basically clueless about anything else. Much like PwC, in fact. Both companies are nothing more than devices designed to funnel money from taxpayers into private hands by one method or another.

  4. saundby

    HP needs execution, execution, execution. Still.

    Instruments and most components went out the door with Agilent, which frittered the advantages away for the most part.

    HP would do well to try to actually *sell* their services. Marketing and sales for a lot of services was disconnected from those services over a year ago and the pipelines have finally run dry.

    As to their laptops, yeah, the Playskool concept of design definitely rules here. The keyboards are the ten-fingered version of the great, thick pencils given to youngsters. Touch typing involves waving hands more than a Ouija board, and they're depressed into the base at an angle that makes extensive typing rough on the wrists.

    They still have calculators, but other than the HP-35s there's nothing to see there, and the initiative in schools has been entirely lost to TI offerings that haven't changed much for a decade. It'd be theirs if they reached out for it, though. Heck, if they simply re-issued the calc line from 1987 with new make guts in them, they'd be way up in the market. If they put in media card slots, USB, and a modern display, but kept the old keyboards and cases, they'd be back at the top. Small change, but one good product line helps sell another.

    More recently, there's Palm. Try again, this time with a tad more attention to hardware. I can't believe developing something new would be cost effective compared to bringing the OS back in new devices. Price them at the low end of Apple's price spectrum, and they'll sell--just not at the high end.

  5. Alain

    No innovation anymore in the server business

    HP... they used to have unique, innovatively designed server blades. Although the P-series (BL20p/BL30p...) and such had some design flaws (especially the BL35p was quite unreliable), they were a dream to manage compared to whatever existed at that time.

    Then came the C-Series. The BL460c especially had a mature, clean hardware design, excellent reliability and much improved and more integrated ILO (hardware management and remote console).

    Then... nothing. The newest models have inferior hardware design IMO and nothing significant has happened in terms of integrated, centralised administration.

    In the meantime others have come up with much more advanced concepts like virtualised WWN/MAC addresses (eg. Cisco).

    HP are lagging behind now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No innovation anymore in the server business

      " In the meantime others have come up with much more advanced concepts like virtualised WWN/MAC addresses (eg. Cisco)."

      Showing your expertise there. HP have had both for a very long time now, the difference being HP's blade based network stack is open, unlike Cisco's.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: No innovation anymore in the server business

      "......In the meantime others have come up with much more advanced concepts like virtualised WWN/MAC addresses (eg. Cisco)......"

      COUGH!*hp FlexFabirc*COUGH!

    3. Mikel

      I like the C-series blades.

      Especially Gen 8. Dual LOM 10Gbps FCoE, and all the 1U server goodies, 16 core/32 thread servers with up to 512GB RAM, Terabytes of Fusion IO storage if you need it. FDR Infiniband and 16Gbps FC if you want it. Good, stable management that's now got Android and iOS apps. Huge RAM full-height quad socket blades for when the software licensing costs more than the server.

      There are some new architectures that challenge it in the non-x86 realm but for the general use case this is still good stuff with a long leg on the road ahead. In the blade space I can engineer you a solution from any major blades vendor but if you ask me - HP is the way to go in blades. I don't just engineer the solutions - I fix 'em too - and HP is a rock-solid member of the blade uptime club.

      I'm not a fan of their Windows obsession in the client space but that's a different thing. If anybody deserves props in the blade space, HP does. HP still have AMD blades too and I like those for certain use cases. Most others have let AMD go because they don't move enough units to sustain that much choice, or never took it up.

      Long story short if you want x86 blades, HP is still my first recommend.

  6. The Godfather

    inner search too..

    You buy Palm, you write down, you buy EDS, you write down, you buy Autonomy, you write down. Given 60 odd billion it's spent in fairly significant acquisitions (including Compaq), one has to ask the question, what happened to them all?

    I cannot really see how such extensive due diligence could have missed such a bloody big hole in numbers. Autonomy was publicly listed and due diligence was extensive. Yeah, HP paid more than it should have but this was at a point in which direction was moving away from its traditional core.

    Inner machinations at HP appear to need a good oiling....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: inner search too..

      You should really apply oil before the engine overheats and then seizes. All those bad deals, it can't be far from overheating.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The future is bright, the future is Oracle.

    RIP... HP.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The future is bright, the future is Oracle.

      How much does Larry have to repay HP?

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: Re: The future is bright, the future is Oracle.

        And how long does Larry have to keep providing guaranteed support and development of his software for hp Integrity? That's right, for as long as hp say so.

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