It looks like HP have finally gotten some direction. When they acquired Autonomy in August last year there was a feeling from the HP leadership that the company was on the verge of entering a new path to change its core focus. I am referring to the fact that HP is a manufacturer of various computer related items and Leo Apotheker had envisioned HP becoming a software based company. To cut a very long story short that idea never got off the ground and Leo Apotheker is no longer employed by HP.
HP then got Meg Whitman, ex-eBay supremo to take over from Apotheker and she has been on the back foot from day one. She had to make the call on the future of WebOS, an operating system that HP acquired at great cost. HP’s workforce has faced a great deal of fear and uncertainty and that is stating it mildly. The number of staff that departed during this period has not been made public but I would be very surprised if it is a small number.
The direction I refer to is the decision that Whitman and the HP board has made; to merge the PC and printer divisions together into one. It makes a lot of sense as printers are mostly used with a PC or notebook. There is a definite synergy between the 2 divisions and I hope that this is the beginning of a period of momentum for HP. In terms of consumer computing, HP and Dell play a very important role and both of these iconic brands have had their struggles over the last 18 months.
HP has unveiled a notebook that according to them has a 32 hour battery life. Yes, I said 32 hours! I have been saying for the last couple of months that whoever gets their battery technology right will be printing money. This is especially the case for mobile products. The innovation that is seen in this notebook is a good sign as the Apotheker era was largely dominated by press spats. Hopefully the general downward spiral is over.