Bold HP: #1 PC maker walks away from core business

Now there’s a gutsy firm, led by a gutsy CEO, mr. Leo Apotheker (in Dutch this name can be read as: Lion’s Pharmacist). HP is the no.1 PC maker in the world. Many celebrities have declared on HP’s account that the computer ‘is personal again’. So personal, apparently, that HP itself no longer wants anything to do with it: the PC business has been effectively put up for sale.

In a further twist, HP simultaneously announced it would take over a UK software firm  (ironically?) called Autonomy.

Analysts as well as investors are shocked, causing HP shares to dive to a 6-year low on August 19th.

Why? Why leave a market where you are number 1? Well, on some counts, HP is one of the last giants jumping off a sinking ship: the PC as an autonomous force in hardware

PCs are rapidly being replaced by many kinds of devices, notably tablets. It appears as if in the PC world, the wintel monopoly has held back development of a faster, more user-friendly digital consumption experience. If so, that would maybe represent a form of cosmic justice: The longer a monopoly lasts, the harder its demise will hit those exploiting it…

While some analysts lament this big jump into the unknown, others complain the move was not made fast enough.

This could signify that Apotheker’s medicine for the PC lion turns out to be just what the doctor ordered.

Anyway, for me (active in insurance), to look at IT business events is to see other industries’ events played back in fast-forward.

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