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HP Businesses Open Source The Almighty Buck

Could Open Source Investment Save HP? 126

Posted by Soulskill
from the in-case-llama-farming-falls-through dept.
deadeyefred writes "HP's new CEO, Meg Whitman, has a number of issues to deal with to right the ship and put the company on a growth track again. Instead of massive changes to its organization and product line, could $4.5 billion in open source investments do the trick? An argument might be made that HP could boost its competitiveness by putting half of its R&D budget ($1.5 billion a year) into projects like Xen.org, Android and OpenStack. It would still be less than half what HP is paying for Autonomy and allow it to focus on solving problems rather than protecting proprietary product lines and fiefdoms."
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Could Open Source Investment Save HP?

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  • Sun - no

    Netscape - no

    Palm - no

    more examples?

    • Re:uhm let's see (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Svartalf (2997) on Friday September 23, 2011 @06:06PM (#37496960) Homepage

      Red Hat - Yes...
      IBM - Yes...

      It's all in how you go about it all.

      However...

      Sun screwed up and didn't "get it" quick enough to turn it around for themselves. Starting late on the game and/or not having a handle on it costs dearly.

      Palm? OpenSource? I don't see a fully FOSS WebOS. I don't see a fully FOSS PalmOS either.

      Netscape? They FOSSed things as they were DYING.

      Your examples aren't.

      • did FOSS really save IBM? I was under the impression that what saved IBM was reinventing themselves as a "soloutions" company. They may use a bit of FOSS in their solutions and contribute a bit to the projects they use but I never got the impression it was critical to them.

        As for HP the real question IMO is would they be able to monetize their contributions. Contributing to FOSS buys you experience with the software (useful for consultancy) and mindshare with the projects leaders (useful if you are trying t

        • by TheLink (130905)
          IBM is in the business of providing 1 million options to their customers and then telling them "Don't worry, just pay us lots of money every year and we'll make all the pesky choices for you".

          So a world with Linux, Windows, AIX, etc is good for them.
        • by martyros (588782)

          did FOSS really save IBM? I was under the impression that what saved IBM was reinventing themselves as a "soloutions" company. They may use a bit of FOSS in their solutions and contribute a bit to the projects they use but I never got the impression it was critical to them.

          If you look at IBM's decision to support OSS from the business perspective of Porter's Five Forces [wikipedia.org], the benefit they get from supporting open-source is obvious. They are selling solutions; but one major thing they had to buy was Microsof

        • by mjwalshe (1680392)
          IBM always had a solutions side right from the start they also provided systems to run on their mainframes
      • Going FOSS, by itself, is not going to save any company. A company only lives for as long as it has a viable business model. The exact nature of that model depends on circumstances, such as what the company is actually good at, and where they currently are in the market. In some cases, viable business models incorporate FOSS (such as IBM's) or even hinge on it (such as RedHat's). In other cases, they do not.

        Either way, focusing on FOSS alone as a magic bullet for a company (in either meaning - both "FOSS ki

        • by wwphx (225607)
          I read the OP title as the open source community investing in HP, which I don't think is going to happen. HP is doomed, I don't think they'll be much more than a memory in 10 years.
      • by sirwired (27582)

        Red Hat: Tiny, tiny, tiny compared to HP. And how could HP emulate them? Rolling their own Linux server distro? Opensourcing HP-UX? (If Sun was late, that would make HP even later.) Throw their weight behind desktop Linux? How would that improve their profits? Red Hat abandoned desktop Linux, and if Red Hat is small, Canonical is even smaller...

        IBM: IBM backs open source for purely pragmatic reasons. Customers demand Linux, IBM provides it (just as HP does also, incidentally.) IBM's other open so

        • by WillKemp (1338605)

          Red Hat abandoned desktop Linux [......]

          Really? What's Fedora then?

          • by protactin (206817)

            Yes, really.

            They abandoned the old Red Hat Linux distro years ago and now they sponsor Fedora, but it's essentially a community project. Red Hat don't provide support; indeed the Fedora project itself only supports ~one year worth of releases.

            The vast majority of their efforts clearly go into Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

          • "Really? What's Fedora then?"

            Red Hat's community-driven test bed.

    • Re:uhm let's see (Score:5, Insightful)

      by paulsnx2 (453081) on Friday September 23, 2011 @06:13PM (#37497032)
      Sun's problem wasn't because they contributed to Open Source. The problem with Sun was that they couldn't be bothered with making money.

      Oracle made their operations profitable within a year without any significant changes to their open source projects. Or in other words, had they chosen to support all the same open source efforts, the changes in marketing and management Oracle introduced still made sun profitable.

      IBM contributes heavily to open source, and in fact might be the biggest contributor to open source, and they are quite profitable.

      Google contributes heavily to open source, and they are quite profitable.

      Companies that contribute to Open Source just cannot make that their *entire* business plan.
      • Oracle made their operations profitable within a year without any significant changes to their open source projects.

        And by "significant changes" you mean dumping most of the loser projects and monetizing most of the open source projects with proprietary extensions?

        IBM contributes heavily to open source, and in fact might be the biggest contributor to open source, and they are quite profitable.

        Due to their proprietary hardware and software that they sell. Not due to open source. The open source part is just leveraged to sell more proprietary hardware and software.

        Google contributes heavily to open source, and they are quite profitable.

        Due to their proprietary search engine and ad networks. Not due to their open source projects.

        • by paulsnx2 (453081)
          Your argument is like "Apple succeeds because of their Excellent Hardware, not due to their excellent advertising."

          Seriously, Oracle didn't save enough money by cutting projects, nor made enough money by diverting users from open source to proprietary extensions to make Sun profitable. The fact is that Larry is pretty good at walking up to a company/government/organization and saying, "Say, why don't you buy my hardware? Oh, and here is your service contract!"

          I will tell you how dumb Sun was.... Sun
          • I just don't get how people view Sun. They were the greatest workstation provider ever. They were number one, and never lost that spot. They were the opposite of stupid... they were the geniuses who pioneered high end personal computing. What killed Sun was Moore's Law. It wasn't their fault that workstations weren't wanted anymore. In fact, Intel is facing a similar problem right now. Who want's to pay hundreds of dollars for a CPU when my ARM based phone has more power than I need? Sure, if Sun ha

            • by paulsnx2 (453081)
              Much of what you said it true, but much is a bit kind to Jonathan Schwartz. Companies like Sun was need to push their consultants out to bring in the cash. They have great products, tons of open source, and it would stand to reason that they would be the best to provide support and maintenance. But did Sun do this? Here is one example:

              "IBM and Sun have announced that IBM will distribute the Solaris Operating System and Solaris Subscriptions for select x86-based IBM System x and BladeCenter servers. T
          • by smash (1351)

            Your argument is like "Apple succeeds because of their Excellent Hardware, not due to their excellent advertising."

            Well, given that i've seen less apple advertising than any other hardware or software vendor, i'd say that's true. I would wager that more of apple's sales come from word of mouth (through people being happy with their products) than actual advertising.

            • by thejynxed (831517)

              In my area, we've had more advertising for Apple than even Microsoft, and that's including the Xbox360 stuff. This is in Pennsyltucky, aka "The Keystone Light" state.

        • Due to their proprietary hardware and software that they sell. Not due to open source. The open source part is just leveraged to sell more proprietary hardware and software.

          So? Does Google Search make money, or is it leveraged to sell more ads? Is Google Search not important to Google's success?

          • Indeed, open source is a tool, making your entire business model open source, will not generate any income. Giving away open source tools to enhance your primary business model, is the key. Google's business model involves the internet growing at a rapid pace, as a result they did many changes and improvements to boost the pace the internet grows at. Open source is good soil for certain types of growth adn development, it isn't the fruit, but it gives the plant what it needs, and some plants need a mixture
            • by laird (2705)

              Keep it in perspective - 80% of software written is not written to be sold as a product, but as a tool to be used. Open source software is hard to sell (though it's been done), but it's fantastic for the large majority of software developers, who work for companies that aren't in the software business but who need software to solve their problems. There's much more money using open source software to solve problems (i.e. as a systems integrator or developer who uses open source components) than in trying to

        • Re:uhm let's see (Score:4, Insightful)

          by PCM2 (4486) on Friday September 23, 2011 @07:16PM (#37497608) Homepage

          IBM contributes heavily to open source, and in fact might be the biggest contributor to open source, and they are quite profitable.

          Due to their proprietary hardware and software that they sell. Not due to open source.

          Actually, that's not true. In 2010 [businessweek.com], IBM earned $58.7 billion from its business services, technology services, and finance divisions, compared to $40.5 billion for its software and systems and technology divisions. So most of IBM's money comes from consulting and services, in which might involve proprietary products as well as open source software. IBM's policy is to offer its customers solutions that are the best fit for their needs and budgets -- that is, they'll bleed you as much as they can, but if it makes the most sense to use open source software, they'll use that.

          Also, even some of IBM's proprietary software is open source. Let me repeat that: Even some of the software that you describe as "proprietary" also comprises open source elements. Not every open source license forbids commercial use. For example, IBM's WebSphere Application Server bundles a modified version of the Apache HTTP server (unless you want to use something else). In reverse, IBM has donated a number of products to the Apache Foundation, and these are usually mature packages that IBM was already deploying for real-world projects (e.g. CloudScape, aka Derby) and continues to use today -- now IBM just gains the benefits of community development. To the extent that Java is also open source, IBM is obviously heavily involved in the Java Specification Process (even if it has its own, proprietary Java products).

          So you really can't claim IBM isn't a good open source citizen, and you can't claim IBM isn't profiting from its decision to embrace open source,either (where appropriate). Consider this: In 2010, IBM earned $22.5 billion from its software business. You know what it's gross profit margin from that business was? 86.9 percent. That's right, 86.9 percent. Think open source had nothing to do with that?

          The open source part is just leveraged to sell more proprietary hardware and software.

          Correction: The open source part is just leveraged -- or, if we can drop the bullshit MBA jargon, it's used to make money. What's wrong with that? I thought that was the whole topic of the thread.

          • Re:uhm let's see (Score:4, Interesting)

            by dr2chase (653338) on Friday September 23, 2011 @09:50PM (#37498830) Homepage

            I am not sure this is a useful guide to what HP would do. After all, some of Apple's software is also open source; witness the Apache Server bundled with all the stuff on my Mac laptop. You quote numbers which look authoritative, but we don't know how much of consulting and services is attributable to open source and how much is attributable to proprietary, so they don't really make the case for open source.

            It's worth noting that Sun under Schwartz had a plan for open source software, it just did not succeed. As related at the time, the goal was to use open source as a lever into Brazil/Russia/India/China and other places, and then sell other stuff. The goal was that almost all software would be open sourced, under the theory that most of Sun's paying customers (not to be confusing with non-paying non-customers) really didn't have a choice to just download their stuff from the net and service it themselves, either because of expertise issues, or regulatory issues, or quirky-customization issues. That is, Schwartz was pretty explicitly buying into the notion that non-paying software users need not represent lost sales, because the bulk of those users would not pay for it under any circumstances (unlike, say, the RIAA, MPAA, or BSA). They were serious about this; they flew a mess of people out to Santa Clara in late 2007 for a several-day open source summit, and I have 60 pages of notes that I took there.

            Obviously the plan didn't work, but it was a plan, and it had connectable dots. My thinking is anyone proposing open source to save HP's business, had better be able to outline a plan that is better than Schwartz's outline to us.

            I'd like to see the HP train stop wrecking. I have some friends who work there. There's lovely schadenfreude in seeing overpaid board members making stupid mistakes, till you notice that it's not their jobs that are on the line.

            • Re:uhm let's see (Score:4, Interesting)

              by WaywardGeek (1480513) on Friday September 23, 2011 @11:09PM (#37499160) Journal

              Sun's plan worked brilliantly. They dominated workstation markets pretty much everywhere, and their open source policy was central to that. The main reason for Sun's early success (remember how they killed Apollo?) was they just ran the same software that all the universities were using. I remember how my own code just ran on the things... it was awesome. Their open-source policy, which was long before the phrase "open source" was coined, enabled them to trash the competition. Then they got big, and as the number one company in their space, they got cold feet about open source. IMO, the single biggest mistake Sun ever made was to take Berkeley Unix private, and relabel it Sun-OS (and later, Solaris). It was unbelievably super-dumb. Had they kept it open, there never would have been any compelling reason for Linux, much less BSD. My guess is that they realized their mistake, and tried to the end to make up for it by becoming radical supporters of open source. It was too little, too late. However, it wasn't that their open source strategy failed. It was their choice of back-stabbing the community that killed them. Well, that and Moore's Law, and the lack of an evil marketing genius like Jobs.

              Anyway, Meg isn't the marketing genius HP needs. She pretty much is a nail in the coffin.

              • by dr2chase (653338)

                Your history's a little buggy. Sun switched OSes in the early 90s from Berkeley-based SunOS to AT&T-based Solaris (I was there at the time). Marketing helpfully muddied the waters by renaming SunOS "Solaris 1.0" and the new stuff "Solaris". This was pretty much a done deal by the end of 1994 (Solaris 2.3 shipped in late 1993; I recall there was still grumbling and resistance to the switch). After that came the dot-com boom.

                I do agree that in the early years there was a lot of "open" stuff at Sun, in

                • Hey, great post. I guess this thread is pretty dead, but I love learning from the people who were actually there. I didn't know they actually switched OS-es... amazing because I was using their hardware at the time. I'm not familiar with HP's open-source effort... I guess it was so late and so lame it had little impact. Sun at least went out with the world's highest respect. In comparison, HP is very sad indeed.

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          So what's your point? No one (with a brain) ever said you could make money working on OSS, giving it away for free, and doing nothing else. If you want to make money directly on software, you have to be proprietary, like MS or Intuit. OSS is a way for non-software companies to provide more value to their customers and sell more of whatever it is they're selling (be it hardware, support, consulting services, etc.).

          Similarly, HP is not a software company, it's mainly a hardware company. However, they're p

          • by PCM2 (4486)

            So what's your point? No one (with a brain) ever said you could make money working on OSS, giving it away for free, and doing nothing else. If you want to make money directly on software, you have to be proprietary, like MS or Intuit.

            Or a hybrid model: Make a server software package, give it away for free under an OSS license, but if you want to use it with an Oracle or DB2 database (for example), you need to buy a proprietary plugin.

            Or do what EnterpriseDB does -- it takes PostgreSQL and adds a bunch of features to it, perhaps the most significant being Oracle PL/SQL compatibility (so you can take applications written for Oracle and port them easily to PostgreSQL). EnterpriseDB is proprietary, but obviously it relies 100 percent on Pos

            • by Grishnakh (216268)

              Yes, those are great examples too. The anti-OSS zealots always gloss over all these possibilities, because in their mind it's either 100% Free or 100% closed.

        • by guruevi (827432)

          Some of their projects were simply amateur-level or research-only or trying to replace something that didn't need replacing. ZFS was and is currently being monetized by a host of smaller companies in it's open-source state. Many companies would've loved to pay for specific enhancements to ZFS or support for what was considered the unstable branch but the business-side of Sun was still stuck on the "let's see how we can sell the hardware with it" and even though the hardware was nice, it was overpriced and o

        • by jimicus (737525)

          And by "significant changes" you mean dumping most of the loser projects and monetizing most of the open source projects with proprietary extensions?

          With few exceptions, that's how most successful F/OSS projects work. The free (as in beer) version is essentially subsidised in some way - either with a proprietary version that usually includes a few extras or with a company that provides consulting and support.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        Intel also contributes a lot to Open Source. Of course, they make all their money selling chips.

    • by AvitarX (172628)

      The thing is, sun didn't leverage open source. They open sourced things they had, things that already had minshare even.

      Netscape died, but mozilla makes ten million a year, not huge, but decent.

      The summary suggests hp invest in existing projects (leveraging work already done) rather than buying companies. A stradegy that worked for IBM.

      Open source as marketing worked for one of the DBs (MySQL I think), and drupal (I imagine dries does better now than before)

    • Google. Facebook. They both do plenty of proprietary; but their FOSS is clearly what's given them the leg up to get competitive and they have pretty strong community involvement in quite a bit of the software they have released back.

      • They both do plenty of proprietary;

        And by "plenty" you mean pretty much the entirety of their revenue streams, right? The only things that Google or Facebook put out as FOSS are things they can't monetize. Now if Google were to open source its search engine or ad platform then you might have a point.

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          You're really being an idiot. No one said you had to open-source everything, only the things that make sense to. You think Google would have been successful in the mobile space if they made their own proprietary mobile OS instead of adopting parts of Linux and creating Android with it? You'd be an idiot if you said yes. OTOH, open-sourcing their search engine would also be quite stupid, but I'm sure they make use of lots of OSS software to run their search engine software on top of.

    • by smash (1351)

      LOL. beaten like a red headed step child.

      "Open source" isn't some magical silver bullet for business strategy. Sure, it may be part of some solution, but simply open sourcing everything with no other plan is only going to make things worse for HP.

  • by paulsnx2 (453081) on Friday September 23, 2011 @05:59PM (#37496898)
    Man, what a dream that would be! A company that focuses on solving problems for customers, and doesn't try to own every little crappy angle to squeeze their customers!

    Seriously, imagine if HP took *every* possible open source option in building a PC, and opened as much of the system as possible to allow crowd sourcing of solutions to the problems that always pop up in systems! Now with Windows, that would still be pretty limited. But hey! This would be a company I could buy from!
    • by nomadic (141991)
      Seriously, imagine if HP took *every* possible open source option in building a PC, and opened as much of the system as possible to allow crowd sourcing of solutions to the problems that always pop up in systems!

      Then another PC manufacturer would wait until it's perfected and just take the whole thing and sell it for less because they didn't spend all that money on R&D.
    • by DogDude (805747)
      "Seriously, imagine if HP took *every* possible open source option in building a PC, and opened as much of the system as possible to allow crowd sourcing of solutions to the problems that always pop up in systems! "

      I can imagine. Every Chinese manufacturer would copy it down to the last screw and sell it for half the price.

      It's impossible to have an intelligent discussion about Open source anything without talking about the downsides, a big one of which is a distinct loss of competitive advantage to t
  • by MarkvW (1037596) on Friday September 23, 2011 @06:01PM (#37496930)

    The HP board of directors would never stand for the short term instability that such a dramatic move would generate. They're too focused on the immediate share value to even begin to think about the long-term health of the company.

    • by Svartalf (2997)

      If they are that...why did they hire the previous joker that hurt them in the big-picture sense in a way more severely than the suggested dramatic move would do...hm?

      • by MarkvW (1037596)

        They canned Apotheker just after he announced something really dramatic.

    • by jo42 (227475)

      HP needs to invest in management with more than half a brain.

      So far all management at HP has done is fuck the company into the ground even faster than before.

    • by hey! (33014) on Friday September 23, 2011 @07:42PM (#37497880) Homepage Journal

      There was a time in which HP had a corporate identity that would have fit well with open source. They made great hardware, mostly for professionals. Now they're just another mish-mash jack of all trades tech company that needs to sell consumer products to a disappearing middle class in order to thrive. It doesn't really stand a chance. The only tech company dependent on selling to consumers that's doing well in the last several years is Apple, because they're selling luxury goods.

      • by PCM2 (4486)

        There was a time in which HP had a corporate identity that would have fit well with open source. They made great hardware, mostly for professionals. Now they're just another mish-mash jack of all trades tech company that needs to sell consumer products to a disappearing middle class in order to thrive. It doesn't really stand a chance. The only tech company dependent on selling to consumers that's doing well in the last several years is Apple, because they're selling luxury goods.

        I don't think that's true. Maybe that's only the part of HP that you see. HP still has twice Dell's share of the server market, and quarter over quarter it's been pretty much neck-and-neck with IBM. And when HP talks about ditching its PC business, it's not talking about x86 servers; it's just talking about jettisoning the consumer-facing business that you claim it depends on. HP's printer division also sells a lot into businesses (is there even such a thing as a business-class Lexmark?), and believe it or

        • by Compaqt (1758360)

          >What it really wants to do is become a company more like IBM, which reorganized itself around services and consulting in the mid-90s.

          Ah, that's just the thing: IBM didn't suddenly wake up one day and think that it wants to be X (a services company). It already was X.

          The PC division was a minuscule portion of profits already.

          That's not the same for HP. (Somebody posted the figures here during the original discussion when news broke they were trying to do an IBM.)

          It was stupid to announce they were jettis

        • by hey! (33014)

          I understand that HP sells servers and IT services. If that's all they did then it would be a different story. The point is that at present they're too unfocused to make a broad statement like "open source will save their business". That would have been true back in the day when they focused on the stuff they spun off into Agilent. But seriously, 1.2 million for Palm?

          • by PCM2 (4486)

            But seriously, 1.2 million for Palm?

            I think you mean billion, and I for one think Palm could have been worth it ... to somebody. I just don't understand why HP believed itself to be that somebody. Anyone could have predicted how that would turn out. Even if you believed you had a suspicion of what HP's strategy might possibly be, that piece didn't fit into it. Baffling.

    • The only way to save HP is to stage a public hanging of the board of directors, including previous board members for the last 15 years or so. I would include the disinterred remains of any who have already died.

      To be thorough, they should be hung with slip knots instead of a hangman's noose, so that they die slowly by strangulation. Then their body should be allowed to rot at the end of the rope. With any luck there eyes will be eaten by ravens, but I wouldn't count on this.

      Anything short of this will be

  • by Anonymous Coward

    HP should sell of their cash cow - printer ink - and start working on building living spaces for unicorns. They have about as much experience with that as they do in software, and in contrast, haven't demonstrated gross incompetence in unicorn housing.
    Can I be CEO next?

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday September 23, 2011 @06:13PM (#37497024) Journal

      ...Can I be CEO next?

      I'm afraid you'll have to wait the obligatory week for your chance. The HP board is trying as hard as it can to match the CEO replacement cycle with the Mozilla release cycle, so give them a chance.

    • by fluffy99 (870997)

      Exactly. HP can't write software very well (e.g. their horribly bloated printer drivers). Rather than go out and buy something like WebOS which would struggle to get any market share, they want to join the Android bandwagon. The open source crowd has done most of the port getting Android to work on the Touchpad already, so their business model just needs to leverage the free software development and concentrate on cranking out the cheap chinese-made tablets.

      Honestly, the HP desktops and laptops have impr

  • Figure out how to make a profit off of manufacturing Touchpads at a $100 and flood the friggin' market.

  • ... does every major story have to be followed up with a "open source" side story?

  • The problem with open source -- the competition has imitated your product before you've recouped your R&D $. When you have a solution to that one, let me know.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Make a better product and compete in a larger market. Funny how this concept is so foreign in technology, but basic business in every other field. You can always have lock in/proprietary stuff, but if your niche market fails to grow, you are stuck. Having a larger ecosystem solves that, and open source does not guarantee that you will succeed, but it increases the probability given the greater adoption.

    • by Bert64 (520050)

      Open source R&D is shared, so you build 5% on top of someone else's work, then someone else builds an extra 5% on the sum of your work and what came before... To add to that, you can benefit from their extra 5% too should you wish to.

      How much R&D do you think palm/hp saved by building webos on top of linux instead of having to develop their own os totally from scratch?

    • by zzatz (965857)

      You know, selling software isn't the only way to make money. In fact, the only reason *anyone* sells software is that their customers can make money using it.

      When you make money by using software, driving down the cost of acquiring said software helps profits. That's where open source comes in. If you are in the business of web hosting, it makes sense to use Apache or other open source software, and maybe hire a developer or two if you need enhancements. Your competitive advantage isn't being the only compa

      • by smash (1351)

        When you make money by using software, driving down the cost of acquiring said software helps profits. That's where open source comes in. If you are in the business of web hosting, it makes sense to use Apache or other open source software, and maybe hire a developer or two if you need enhancements. Your competitive advantage isn't being the only company using that software, it's using it better than others; another reason to hire developers who know the software better than anyone else.

        So, you're saying i

        • by zzatz (965857)

          Perhaps I did not explain that well enough, if that's what you think. I'll try again.

          Developing proprietary software for internal use is indeed a common and successful business model. Developing proprietary software which is embedded within some greater product is a common and successful business model. So are using open source software for internal and embedded applications. In all of these cases, profits do not come from sales of software. Software is a necessary expense, not a profit center. Open source

          • by smash (1351)
            So what you're actually saying is that we need open standards (standard bolts example). This doesn't require open source - it just means giving microsoft the flick...
  • by LifesABeach (234436) on Friday September 23, 2011 @06:40PM (#37497248)
    IMHO. It's been HP that has lead the way for corporations to outsource services to India, and manufacturing to China. Hell, at Fry's,(Fountain Valley), I was told HP hardware was being phased out. I use to like HP hardware, now the new stuff will become as tainted as the refugee from Goldman Sacks. If her job isn't to bring jobs back into the U.S., and manufacturing back to the U.S., then the only thing she has experience in is Mergers, and Acquisitions. I'll go out on a limb here and say, "SELL ! SELL ! SELL ! SELL !", because I wouldn't trust her engineering knowledge to properly plug in an extension cord for her portable hair dryer.
    • there isn't a single manufacturer of computers that is going to 'come back to the US' unless the US allows mass dumping of toxic chemicals from the tech process to be dumped into the local river, and protestors put into labor camps.

      because thats what they do in China, and it saves a bundle of money.

      • by am 2k (217885)

        Don't forget people working for 1/3 of what is payed in the so-called first world, and putting them into labor camps (sleeping in a small room with 5 other workers), where they can only go to their families once a year.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Rly? Your getting your tech advice from a sales droid at a Fry's? Even for Slashdot, your post shows a stupendous lack of understanding as to what goes on inside HP. A trivial amount of research would show how uninformed that post was.

      • Responding to an A.C.'s hysteria is slightly less pleasurable than wiping my hemroids with steel wool, but this A.C. has some confused allegiance to the tainted bottle blonde.

        Only the most simple minded would ask a fourth world refugee part time working at Fry's for technical advice. But when the part timer states, "Fry's is phasing out the selling of HP computers." Your not listening to a decision maker, but some economic slave parroting the ravings of their handler. I can't say it any more simpler, "
  • There is no reason to care about what happens to HP any more. The old HP is long dead, and the current HP sucks.

    Die soon please.

  • While OpenStack and Xen.org may be viable investments, they will have to find a way to get a return on their investments. As long as they don't kill off their Linux-based server products, they could really benefit from a competitive and strategic advantage.

    Android investment? Huge Legal liability, as Google is finding out from Sun currently. It could also be a huge white elephant. No-one is seeing ROI in their involvement with Android. It could be argued that Android isn't open source either

  • This sounds like a very short sighted idea in a moment of desperateness

  • There's actually a lot to be gained from taking from and contributing to open source. There are so many great products out there based on open source software. Red Hat is poised to be a billion dollar company this year, and Apple's growth has been meteoric after the rise of OS X and iOS, both of which have kernels rooted in open source. Even though a lot of these big companies have evil tendencies, a commitment to open source can be a healthy way to integrate robust technologies without having to spend a fo
    • by geekoid (135745)

      Irrelevant. Apple meteoric rise is do to Jobs getting behind Ives. Style and good engineering saved Apple, not open source. Open source allowed them to do it cheaper and easier.

  • by geekoid (135745)

    getting a team of good designers and engineers, led by someone who drives for excellence and style, and let them do what they do best will save HP - nothing else.

    Hiring me to put the team together and lead it will save HP.

  • HPs problems aren't due to high level leadership issues, the platforms it's promoting or how it's getting to the market. The problem with HP is that they produce utter crap, and have support that makes me want to scratch my eyes out. That is, once you dig through a few pages and manage to finally figure out how to contact their support. In my most recent interaction they were absolutely useless in helping me and got my name wrong.

    I'm typing this on an HP computer that is absolutely LOADED with bloatware.
  • Why would HP fund Android? Android makes more money, at this point in time, for Microsoft than WP7 does and will probably do so for quite a while. Google makes its money by showing Android users advertising.
    • HP is in bed with Microsoft to a great extent. They sell a huge number of PC, servers and various solutions based on Microsoft technologies. HP wouldn't risk Microsoft hiking prices for them or cutting them off their goodies. I was suspecting this was one of motives behind axing WebOS and Palm.
  • No, God no. If they want to improve things, they can focus on making their laptops bullet-proof. Focus on the hardware, and let the software guys do their things for now. I want a titanium or some other metal case on that laptop. I have a plastic one right now, and I melted part of it with pieces falling off.

    Yes, focus on the hardware.

    • by PCM2 (4486)

      I want a titanium or some other metal case on that laptop. I have a plastic one right now, and I melted part of it with pieces falling off.

      I have an HP laptop with a metal case (I think it's aluminum). On mine, the two USB ports on the right-hand side are too close together, so you can't use both of them at once. They also seem shoddily made, so they don't fit easily with most cables I've tried -- you feel like you really have to shove them to get them in, and sliding them in and out produces a scraping sound. The touchpad absolutely sucks and has shitty drivers that weren't even available on HP's support site until recently (so if you reforma

  • Sorry, this idea makes no damned sense. And even assuming that it DID make sense, Whitman is not the person to do it. She does not know how to make things. She's a professional manager, which makes her an upper-class twit who will continue to get paid millions to run companies into the ground. Apotheker collected $25 million severance in return for destroying HP. Whitman is not smart or capable enough to do any better than he did.

  • HP's problems are much worse than that. They've been driving customers away for years now - and those customers won't be coming back.

    I gave them the benefit of the doubt a few times, but the DV2000 laptop was end of my relationship with HP. It had that bad Nvidia chip; HP knew those chips were bad and they had a warehouse full of laptops with bad chips in them. What did they do about it? Yup, they sold those laptops knowing they'd fail.

    What did HP do about it? My experience was that their "customer service"

  • As the CEO of EBay after it hit its "upward spiral", Meg proved to be a mediocre executive. She managed to broker one of the largest deals in history, the purchase of Skype, without managing to buy the source and lost her company tons of dollars. Having been handed one of the sweetest hands in executive history, she managed to not actually bankrupt the company.

    She managed to spend STUPID amount of her personal money trying to become governor of California, only to fail miserably. I voted against her, and I

  • . . . is taking a belt-fed to the boardroom.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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