If Hewlett-Packard were a living, breathing entity, it might have a future in politics where it's perfectly acceptable (or least expected) to flip-flop on key issues. You know, things like whether or not to forge ahead with its PC business, the $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm only to later flip webOS to the open source crowd, and the whole TouchPad fiasco. And did we mention HP is once again interested in building webOS tablets?
Hewlett-Packard joined the growing Ultrabook fracas back in November when it announced the HP Folio 13. Weighing in at 3.3 pounds and wielding a 13.3-inch display, the Folio 13 was to be one of just a few Ultrabooks with a starting price below $1,000. HP said it would be available to order beginning December 7, 2011, and true to its word, the Folio 13 is live and in stock.
Ever since Hewlett-Packard leapfrogged Dell to become the world’s leading PC vendor, it has held onto that position firmly. But according to market research firm IHS iSuppli, HP now faces the “most serious challenge” to its throne in over three years with the emergence of Lenovo as the world’s second-largest PC brand.
Hewlett-Packard's new woman in charge, Meg Whitman, told a French newspaper that it's no easy task deciding what to do with HP's webOS division, but that a decision would be made one way or the other within the next two weeks. Part of what makes the decision so difficult is that there's a team of 600 people working with webOS at HP.
Hewlett-Packard on Monday announced financial results for its fourth quarter and full fiscal year ended October 31, 2011, and it wasn't as bad as some analysts were expecting. In fact, HP posted a 1 percent year-on-year gain in GAAP net revenue with $127.4 billion. Some would call that mostly flat, others a miracle considering 2011 was the year HP screwed the pooch with its Palm/webOS acquisition and, for a period of time, couldn't seem to figure out what to do with its PC business.
Ask Oracle and the company will tell you the only reason Intel hasn't pulled the plug on the Itanium is because Hewlett-Packard is making secret payments to chipzilla to keep the server chip alive. Oracle executives said as much in a recent court filing, which is in response to a larger lawsuit filed by HP accusing Oracle of violating an agreement between the two vendors by announcing back in March it would no longer develop software for Itanium.
Computer system builders like Hewlett-Packard and Dell may look to pull out of the tablet market now that both Amazon and Barnes & Noble cannonballed the shallow end of the pool. Over in the deep end is Apple with its full-size (9.7-inch) iPad line, the only one that seems to be able to stay afloat at the $500 mark and above. Is it worth trying to compete anymore?
If imitation is truly the sincerest form of flattery, Apple should be blushing. That's because Hewlett-Packard went and redesigned its Envy notebooks, which now bear a striking resemblance to the MacBook Pro, only a little sleeker overall, and of course with Windows 7 running the software show. The Envy is now an attractive looking laptop with a black and silver metal-alloy chassis that HP says is durable, and the keyboard has been upgraded with a backlight.
HP went and quietly updated its Wi-Fi Mobile Mouse with a more modern design, added a Facebook button, and has now let the new rodent out of its cage. The new X7000 Wi-Fi Touch Mouse sports the same wireless setup as before and syncs up with your computer's built-in wireless receiver, so there are no wires or USB dongles to mess with.
Remember that whole bit about Hewlett-Packard promising to support webOS and continuing to develop software around the platform? HP said it just wasn't interested in the hardware angle, hence the TouchPad's premature retirement from the tablet market, but had no intentions of abandoning the software. Well, about that. It now appears HP wants to wipe its hands of webOS completely if it can find a willing buyer.