HP's Future: A Little Less Confusing - The UpStream

HP's Future: A Little Less Confusing

posted Saturday Oct 29, 2011 by Scott Ertz

HP's Future: A Little Less Confusing

I have a theory: HP and Netflix are actually the same company. Let me explain. Netflix has had some problems lately. First, they raised prices, then announced that they would spin off DVDs to a new company. A lot of backlash and the company undid some of its decisions. Reversing direction, however, did not prevent a loss of customers.

HP has been in a very similar boat. First, they announced intentions to spin-off their hardware division, as well as discontinuing webOS hardware. After a lot of backlash from customers and investors, they replaced their CEO, but new CEO Meg Whitman said she would stay the course. This week, HP announced that they had decided not to spin-off their hardware division, claiming it to be too expensive to accomplish. This reversal, however, might be too little too late for consumers who are concerned about the longevity of the company.

What are the plans for the hardware division and webOS? Find out after the break, along with an interview with Todd Bradley, HP's Personal Systems Group Executive Vice President and the full press release.

According to Meg Whitman, who has the unfortunate task of reevaluating former CEO Leo Apotheker's business plans,

It's clear after our analysis that keeping PSG within HP is right for customers and partners, right for shareholders, and right for employees.

HP's computers were not the only technology whose future was unknown. HP's acquired webOS was also unknown. In an interview with Todd Bradley, HP's executive who would have become the CEO of the spun-off division, it was discovered that webOS being closed up was an unfounded rumor and that HP is currently evaluating the position of webOS and where best to utilize the resources. That is good news for those of us who have had webOS devices since launch (and webOS devices that were never released to the public). Hopefully they will find a partner (Amazon, Facebook) to re-position webOS as a viable platform.

All of this conjecturing aside, this is not enough to guarantee HP to win back consumers who are concerned about HP's decision making skills. We have been big HP supporters at PLuGHiTz Corporation, but even we are afraid of where HP might go from here.

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