For the quarter ended October 31, HP reported a net profit of $2.4 billion, up 14 percent from $2.1 billion in Q4 2008. That's good news for HP, considering the company's net revenue dropped 8 percent to $30.8 billion.
HP's struggles have been in just about every sector minus services, including big losses in revenue in consumer PCs, enterprise storage and servers, software, and printing. But the continued strength of HP's services business, along with corporate cost-cutting measures, helped the company turn what looked like an unlikely profit in Q4.
"HP's solid performance in Services drove record profit, and the accelerated pace in signings creates strong momentum going into 2010," said Mark Hurd, chairman and chief executive officer, HP. "Our operational execution and improving cost structure generated strong quarterly and year-end results. We expect to outperform the market due to our significant scale, broad portfolio, and market-leading position."
Out of all of HP's businesses, only services (and to a smaller extent, financial services) saw an increase.in revenue. Services spiked 8 percent to $8.9 billion, the company reported.
HP on Monday launched a whole bunch of new hardware and software products, including a blade system the OEM claims can fit two systems in the physical space of one.
The company's ProLiant BL2x220c G6 combines two server nodes in a single blade chassis and supports up to two 4-core low voltage Intel Xeon 5500 series processors per node. And according to HP, the G6 increases memory capacity by 33 percent over previous generation blade server products.
HP's G6 is one of several products aimed at extending the company's Extreme Scale-Out (ExSO) portfolio introduced in June. The goal, HP says, is to cut back the total cost of ownership while also increasing data center capacity.
"The ExSO portfolio was created to meet the demanding needs of scale-out as well as high-performance computing customers that require highly efficient and powerful computing infrastructures," said Steve Cumings, director of Marketing for the Scalable Computing and Infrastructure organization at HP. "We will continue to add to this portfolio, delivering innovative solutions based on our deep understanding of scale-out data centers and enabling our customers to gain more value from their infrastructure."
3Com's board of directors and the company's shareholders appear to be at odds over a proposed $2.7 billion merger agreement with HP that was announced last week. Displeased with the potential merger, the shareholders have filed a class action lawsuit in hopes of preventing the deal.
The complaint names the entire company's board of directors and accuses the defendants of attempting to deceive 3Com shareholders by agreeing to a deal that undermines the true value of their investment in the company, TechCrunch reports.
Under terms of the agreement, HP would pay stockholders of 3Com $7.90 per share, but the bankruptcy lawyer who filed the case on behalf of the plaintiffs argues that 3Com's directors should have insisted on a higher price.
In a blockbuster deal, Hewlett Packard on Wednesday announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase 3Com at a price of $7.90 per share. That breaks down to about $2.7 billion and puts HP, which is already a strong networking company, in a better position to compete with Cisco.
"“Companies are looking for ways to break free from the business limitations imposed by a networking paradigm that has been dominated by a single vendor," said Dave Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager, Enterprise Servers and Networking, HP. "By acquiring 3Com, we are accelerating the execution of our Converged Infrastructure strategy and bringing disruptive change to the networking industry. By combining HP ProCurve offerings with 3Com’s extensive set of solutions, we will enable customers to build a next-generation network infrastructure that supports customer needs from the edge of the network to the heart of the data center."
The acquisition will help HP build its networking portfolio, particularly in expanding the company's Ethernet switching offerings and routing solutions, HP said the move will also help strengthen its position in the fast growing Chinese market.
Terms of the transaction have already been approved by the HP and 3Com board of directors and is expected to close in the first half of 2010.
Hewlett-Packard is stepping up to the plate with improved data protection and better backup solutions for small and medium businesses, The Register reports.
First on the list is HP's LeftHand Networks P4000 SMB storage area network (SAN) lineup, which will now come equipped with application-integrated snapshots. This will make it easier on admins, who can use the P4000 GUI to signal that a snapshot needs to be made of a volume, and the P4000 array software will handle the rest.
The second change comes to HP's Disk-to-Disk (D2D) backup product, which has been given a file interface allowing applications to view it as a NAS box. In the long-run, customers will be able to reduce their reliance on tape.
For those who want to keep using tape, HP introduced its new DAT320 tape drive. The 8mm DAT320 packs 320GB, or twice as much as the DAT160.
We've been talking a lot about Acer lately, and that's because Acer has been doing a lot of talking of its own. The OEM's been pounding its chest like Kevin Garnett after an 'and-one' and talking smack to Dell, HP, and anyone else who stands in its way. And now the OEM is saying it's fully prepared to take on HP in a bit of a pricing war, which comes just a day after Acer said it feels confident it will ship 40 million notebooks in 2010.
According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, HP has already kicked off some pretty fierce price competition in a few designated markets, which includes sub-$300 models in the U.S. Acer's ever talkative chairman JT Wang said his company will not only follow suit, but plans to one-up HP by aggressively marketing its netbook and ultra-thin segments, both of which are areas HP is a little weaker in.
Beyond 2010, Wang said the global netbook market is on track to reach 350 million units, and we're a bit surprised Acer didn't say it plans to capture 349 million of them.
According to IBM, some 235 former Sun and HP customers moved their critical business workloads to IBM servers and storage systems in the third quarter. And in the past three years since IBM first established its Migration Factory program specifically for this purpose, Big Blue has been able to convince nearly 2,000 customers to make the switch, most of which have come from rivals Sun and HP.
Perhaps weary of what the future holds once Oracle's acquisition of Sun is complete, 84 Sun clients made the move to IBM Power Systems in the third quarter alone. According to IBM, it's the company's long-term investments in systems and consistent roadmaps that have been the biggest draws.
Speaking of Power Systems, IBM gained five share points in the third quarter, which is the sixth consecutive quarter of share gains. System x systems gained two points, while IBM storage went up an unspecified amount in the third quarter.
With a lot of help from the University of Michigan, Hewlett Packard on Wednesday unveiled its beta BookPrep project, which seeks to make more than half a million rare books available through a print-on-demand system.
Using imaging and printing technology from HP Labs, HP is able to automatically scan rare books and then clean up, brighten, and align the text. As of this writing, there are exactly 472,509 books available for purchase, most of which were published before 1923.
"HP BookPrep technology allows publishers to extend the life cycle of their books, removes the cost and waste burdens of maintaining inventory, and uses a full spectrum of technologies to deliver convenient access to consumers," said Andrew Bolwell, HP's director of New Business Initiatives.
In addition to rare books, HP said it is also extending its BookPrep project to publishers and content owners who want to offer their full catalogs of titles online, The Inquirer reports.
Almost as a side note, HP today announced its new Compaq L2105tm touchscreen monitor, dedicating just a few lines to promoting the display in a press release which covered several items.
The 21.5-inch, 1080p display sports a multitouch panel with one finger scrolling and two finger mousing capabilities.. But if you prefer to roll with a stylus, you'll find one jammed conveniently into the side of the monitor. You can even use a gloved finger, says DisplayBlog.com, who points out that the two cameras, infrared light, sensor, and reflective film create a rugged light field capable of detecting just about any type of object.
There was a little bit of marketing glitz on HP's part. According to the OEM, this is the world's first Windows 7 certified monitor, which you means you can plug it in groove to your newly acquired copy of the just-released OS.
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but so what, they have 9 lives anyway. And because of some curious folks who did some digging on HP's website, we now know what the OEM has in store for its fall notebook lineup, and it starts with a Core i7 laptop.
Dubbed the dv8, HP's 18.4-inch desktop replacement will be one of the first portable PCs to use Intel's mobile Core i7 processor (we've seen Core i7 notebooks before, but none that have used the mobile variant). The quad-core chip will come clocked at 1.6GHz and be able to scale up to 2.8GHz when ramping down one or more cores. It's also likely the system will ship with a 4GB of RAM, 640GB of storage, and a Blu-ray drive.
On the other end of the mobile spectrum, HP will also launch a pair of CULV-based notebooks in the form of the 11.6-inch Pavilion dm1 and 13.3-inch dm3. The former will sport 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive, while the latter beefs things up with 4GB of memory and a 500GB hard drive.
Other upcoming models include an updated Voodoo Envy 15 and an Ion-based Compaq Mini 311c.