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Hewlett-Packard Plans to Break in Two (wsj.com)
162 points by dctoedt on Oct 5, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 112 comments

Relevant parts of the article, since it's paywalled:

> Hewlett-Packard Co. HPQ +2.00% plans to break in two, separating its personal-computer and printer businesses from its corporate hardware and services operations, according to people familiar with the matter.

> The company plans to announce the move as early as Monday, the people said. It is expected to be effected as a tax-free distribution of shares to the company’s stockholders next year, one of the people said.

> The move is one H-P and its investors and analysts have long contemplated. It would come amid a wave of breakups and spinoffs at technology companies and in the wider corporate world, underpinned by the idea that companies with a narrower focus perform better. The moves in many cases have been well-received by shareholders—if not actively sought by them.

> Ms. Whitman will be chairman of the PC and printer business and CEO of the separate, so-called enterprise company, one of the people said. Current lead independent director Patricia Russo will be chairman of the enterprise company, while Dion Weisler, an executive in the PC and printer operation, is to be CEO of that business, this person said.

> In fiscal 2013, the printing and personal systems group, as it is known, inked $55.9 billion in revenue, about half the Palo Alto, Calif., company’s total. Sales for the operation dropped 7.1% amid fierce competition, compared with a 6.7% decline for the company as a whole.

> Last year, H-P lost its place as the largest PC maker by shipments, slipping to No. 2 behind China’s Lenovo Group Ltd, according to industry research firm IDC.

so they bought EDS, turned HP into IBM services (cheap, outsourced shit), and now they spin it off again. makes sense, EDS employees still have their old personnel numbers. plus they never consolidated their ERP systems.

the full blown write-off of the 11bn of autonomy is in there as well.

Apart from the services business that HP inherited from EDS, it also has the server business, that would now go to the HP services unit.

Sounds like they are discharging Compaq.

The most amazing thing for me of the piece is the realization that HP still had $110B+ in revenue last year - its a useful reminder to us (put myself squarely in this category) of some of the behemoths in the valley that get short shift at times in the "Silicon Valley" PR ecosystem. There's apparently some interesting research still going in HP labs - one smart friend moved out here to work on Memristors with them (over multiple alternatives), because they had backed the work for a while.

If you get out of the VC/Silicon Valley/Tech universe these companies are appreciated much more. In the wider business world, they still get a lot of attention, largely because they are good businesses despite not having the sex appeal that smaller, but quickly growing companies might have.

Might you know what HP's current stance on memristor research is, by any chance? It's one of those technologies we've all seen simmering away hopefully, and HP's been (or, perhaps, was?) one of the few large SV corporations with an interest in longer-term R&D.

Well, they were boasting about it just this summer


Thanks for that. With the vulnerability of R&D, I'd feared the group may have been sidelined. I noticed they're claiming to be preparing to ship memristor DIMMs in 2016 - hopefully that's a genuinely commercial roadmap, rather than RSN.

Well, they are the 3rd largest in revenue in the IT / Software services segment after IBM and Fujitsu.

Good point, and how often are the blogs and podcasts overflowing with news about IBM and Fujitsu? I discovered long ago that there is a huge difference between generating news and generating the things companies are created to generate (money, products, services, employment, research, etc.) One consequence of this difference is that our unconscious estimates of the comparative scale of what is going on at various companies is wildly distorted by news coverage.

You just found a great advantage that exists for investors that put money in "old" companies. Many of these old companies will make more and more money for decades to come. But most retail investors are only interested in "big growth" from companies such as Twitter, FB, Gopro, etc.

Small margins and low growth though.

And many would argue that it'd be hard to do better.

I really hope they name the spun-off computer division "Compaq."

Same, but also hoping they'll call the corporate hardware/services company "DEC."

Sounds good. Then Agilent can change its name to HP and all will be right with the universe :)

You mean KeySight?

Hey, not everyone can keep up with the pace of their name changes. It's a moving target.

Kind of hilarious that the core business of OG Hewlett Packard has been spun off twice now.

Only if they start making calculators again!

Only if they start making programmable RPN calculators again.

The return of Compaq and DEC? That would be lovely!

My father worked for DEC; when it got bought out by Compaq, he worked for Compaq; when that got bought out by HP, he worked for HP (and still does).

He's an enterprise-level field-service tech. He's the go-to guy for most HPs largest clients in Minnesota (UHG, USPS, 3M, UMN all come to mind), and in the Upper-Midwest.

He's always said that DEC did the most incredible stuff out of all the generations of hardware he's seen.

I was really sad to see DEC SRC and WRL go the way of the dodo. Really good stuff. Microsoft picked up a lot of the folks, but, still...

DEC engineering was awesome, but management had issues keeping up with their chip geniuses.

There's a brilliant scene in DEC history where the chip guys had to explain to the board that their latest ceramic thing with legs cost $30 in quantity, and it outperformed the top-line million-dollar ECL-based room-filling VAX product.

But DEC were always B2B and B2A (Business to Academia). They never got B2C at all, which is sad for everyone.

Maybe they should have kept some of those brands on, the consumer PC division as Compaq, the 'clever stuff' as DEC with printers and high end hardware in HP.

please no more DECs or COMPAQs. They were both failed businesses that deserve to be dead and buried. Failed businesses run by some pretty poor managers and executives. At least HP is a survivor....remember, they bought COMPAQ, not the other way around.....

HP bought Compaq presumably because they couldn't just beat Compaq in the market.

Or one company's Hewlett, and the other Packard?

Personally, I am hoping for "H" and "P".

They'd save a lot of money on new logos and letterheads by just flipping their existing logo upside down. HP and DY. It'll be fine.

The upside-down hp was the logo of a subsidiary, DYNAC (1956–1958) renamed DYMEC (1958–1959) and finally resorbed as the Dymec Division (1959–1967) of HP.

Compaq and Packard Bell.

Hewlett-Packard and Packard Bell have never been associated.

When I saw the headline, I remembered making this joke ~10 years ago, and then I said, "wait, they're breaking up again?"

From HP to H&P.

I actually liked when they had Compaq as their low-end brand and HP as their high-end. They should bring that back. It works for car companies. Right now HP sabotages their own brand name with their cheap low-end crap, even though they make some good devices.

I want to ser a win/android compete with apple properly - a well-defined and short list of mid-to-high skus and no cheap stuff to apologize for.

> I actually liked when they had Compaq as their low-end brand and HP as their high-end.

Maybe that only applied to consumer hardware? The used the Compaq name for their business hardware, including servers, for a long time IIRC.

There was a time when HP believed it was a big supertanker, impossible to steer.

So they split up. Agilent was born.

Shortly after that a new CEO believed, HP needed to be bigger. So they bought Compaq.

Now they are too big again.

"All of this has happened before. And all of it will happen again."


In case you're curious, you're being downvoted because Tomte was not quoting Armageddon.

I worked for HP in early 90.

At that time, I remember old HP (mainly instrumentation groups now Algilent) had a rule of if a product line is > $100mil. They will spin it off to a separate P/L division. It seems like a good sharding algorithm for scaling out a corporation.

They stopped doing it after PC/Printer div/group. A cynical view was it was good for high level corp managers to hide the cost of fleet of corporate jets into the billions $ revenues with almost no profits.

Looks like it's back. Agilent is spinning off the measurement group into a company called Keysight. Announcement was 2 weeks ago.


Seems to make sense to separate the life science side from "normal" agilent side of biz. Life science have completely different set of customers, market need, etc. Also the time for life science, diagnostic type ROI is probably different than the normal scope/logic analyzer type ROI.

The announcement was actually a year ago. The officially split off the company on September 1st I believe. Really annoyed a lot of EEs that they are splitting it off yet again.

dafuq? I was just getting used to the dumbass name "Agilent."

It's been 15 years.

It really bothers me what has been been done to HP as an engine of innovation and product development. It's extremely similar to what the leadership at IBM has done to that company the last ~15 years.

I feel like the destiny for both of these companies is to slowly be split into ever smaller pieces until half of those pieces are eventually acquired by other US or Chinese firms for dirt cheap (and nothing against Chinese firms, rather, they'll find value in what IBM / HP are throwing away through negligence).

Profit milking, EPS goosing, bad acquisitions, and financial engineering are all the leaders at HP and IBM seem to know how to do. The MBAs took over engineering cultures, and this is the result. (contrasted with actually creating new products the market wants and generating new profit streams and new growth)

And that's why we must understand that at executive level gender does not matter. What matters is strategy and ability to execute. When HP announced "Meg Whitman" as CEO everyone was so voraciously attacking how HP is is being in bad condition because of male CEOs. Being male does not matter. Whitman has failed tremendously. Not only HP has laid off thousands of people from US ( some of them I knew personally very well ) and increased offshoring in India and Philippines but also they now seriously lack true culture of invention. I studied APM at Stanford and HP case study was presented repeatedly as how it went from Inventor's Org. to control structured Org. I was recruiting at major ( top 20 ) universities and from many places I got feedback that young people deliberately avoid joining HP. Those who have left in HP are in survival mode and always worrying if they are next in round of layoffs.

So when feminists advocates claim that female CEOs are better than male CEO answer is simply NO. At highest level you want someone who can not only steer the ship but take everyone along with you without loosing them.

If I was major investor in HP, first thing I would ask is Whitman be removed from CEO position. Get new energy in. Since cultural changes don't happen overnight implement strategies to go from Operational ( Control ) based Organization to Inventor's Org.

I will certainly not consider next CEO based on gender and would not bring someone in just because she has vagina.

PS - Sorry if this came as too bold but I could not resist myself.

> Sorry if this came as too bold but I could not resist myself.

No need to apologize, and the problem isn't boldness but what I think is a lack of factual basis and a bit of a rant:

1) I haven't seen anyone, including feminists, claim that female CEOs are better and certainly not that they are necessarily good managers (I'm sure you can find someone to back any statement, but it's certainly a very small minority).

2) You imply Whitman was chosen to run HP because of her gender Do you have evidence? At least she has a very impressive resume and is fully qualified. EDIT: And you imply that people with the opinion in #1 caused that to happen; it's very hard to believe that is true or that they even have the influence to affect the choice of HP's CEO.

3) The necessary assumptions behind #1 and #2 make your statement read as if you believe there is some sort of conspiracy favoring women in tech and you are pushing against it. I'm not saying you believe that, but the argument looks that way.

If there is a conspiracy to promote women in tech, it is doing very poorly.

I agree with this statement: Cultural changes don't happen overnight.

Oh, did I hurt feminist inside you ? Here are claims[0] from prominent national news organization and many many reputed sources.

So that addresses your question #1.

#2. You are twisting the words. I said when "When HP announced "Meg Whitman" as CEO everyone was so voraciously attacking how HP is is being in bad condition because of male CEOs". It is not same thing as saying Whitman was chosen because of her gender. My point still stands though. In her tenure of last three years she has failed to turn around HP from lost focus despite whatever claim you see. Here is latest news on more layoffs from May [1] So she is doing no wonder than some male in same position being as CEO.

#3. I don't know about conspiracies and I would never see myself assimilate with one. But, here is thing I can tell you. Circle of powerful people do definitely want more women in powerful position. HP, Yahoo, IBM, Oracle( recently ) on and on. I don't know if these efforts are to get more women in tech industry or something else but there are sustained efforts across US for sure.

Regarding your claim "few women in tech industry " is blatantly false. I worked for four Org. on east coast. 8 out of 10 IT managers are women. 7 out of 10 women in mid to senior level mangagement up to VP.

This is not case of any one company , rather I would say there are more women in management than men.

I don't form my opinion from sustained campaigns run by someone and I certainly look far beyond San Francisco hypocrites.

[0] https://www.google.com/#q=woman%2B+ceo%2Bbetter%2B+than%2B+m...

[1] http://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/hp-plans-more-...

> If there is a conspiracy to promote women in tech, it is doing very poorly.

Sad but true.

An example from earlier in HP's history:

When Carly Fiorina was ousted from the company she wrote a book all about how she was despised at HP for being a woman in charge of a major engineering firm. But being a woman had nothing to do with it; being an idiot who didn't understand engineering culture and who damn well nearly broke the company had everything to do with it. Steve Ballmer was ousted from Microsoft for similar reasons.

> But being a woman had nothing to do with it

I don't know the facts of Fiorina's experience but from what I understand discrimination against women in tech is well-documented and very widespread today. It would be surprising if Fiorina were not subject to it back when she ran HP, from 1999 to 2005.

I predict we will see more of this.

There was a reason for conglomerates in 1960-70s: shortage of capital meant that cross-subsidizing one division by another was the only viable way to finance growth. These days are long over.

Nowadays, it makes much more sense to operate unrelated businesses as completely independent companies, with different set of managers and investors.

Not sure. A lot of the success of Samsung in the smartphone market is due to vertical integration. They save around 10-15% of bill-of-materials cost reduction due to this, they sometimes have unique components(like being first with HD-oled display), they have more control over manufacturers(as a condition for using a Qualcomm processor, they wanted the processor to be made at a Samsung fab), They are less exposed to tight supply in components like ram/flash, And who knows what other benefits they have due to this.

Those advantages are a big reason to why they have better access to carriers - meaning much better marketing - and the reason behind their ability to push volumes, create brands, and manufacture so many variants to compete better than others.

Vertical integration makes good sense, but I don't think that's the situation HP is in. This is more of a horizontal split up. It does mean they can apply less collective pressure on component providers, but only to the extent that those business have overlapping needs. So one way to clarify the parent's point is that businesses should split up when they sell to different markets. I think the previous hesitation to take that step was the degree to which HP actually did have some (not hugely convincing) sales synergy between its server and printer businesses.

HP is so far behind Samsung in the consumer market that it hurts thinking about it :-). They failed at smartphones and tablets, their computers are kwap, the printers are absolutely awful. Their strength is (was?) enterprise and business hardware from what I can tell.

A relative of mine with credible information tells me HP is apparently losing a bunch of ground in the server market because of low build quality. HP's trying to compete on prices by slashing them, but their deployments are just that bad.

It's been a real shame to watch the decline of HP.

In the early 90's when I was just starting out in IT, their brand was very highly regarded, especially their laser printers which phenomenal workhorses.

They also made a huge bet on Itanium which obviously didn't pay off. HP, along with Intel, has arguably recovered from that strategic decision, but a huge amount of money and corporate energy went into running that play. If that money and energy had gone into other things, HP might well be in a better overall place today.

In one of the companies I worked in the past, we found that for a similar server configuration, Dell provides lower quote than HP and others almost always. So I doubt, HP can compete on prices with Dell in servers and support.

Ouch. They used to offer some awesome workstations a few years back, but the restrictions on peripherals were insane - I mean, what idiot decided to implement whitelists on processors and PCIE graphics adapters?

Indeed, you are bringing very interesting points:

- vertical integration (and tighter control over quality / schedules) for technology companies, and

- size/scale as an advantage in Marketplace.

We have seeing both of these in play, not just with Samsung: Apple is designing their own CPUs, and you can argue they leverage their size to help iTunes and Apple Pay businesses.

Still, there are counterexamples: NVIDIA (and many other successful companies) are fabless, and AMD divested their fabs (by splitting into AMD and Global Foundries).

What HP seem to be spinning off is their consulting arm and the enterprise hardware businesses, where vertical integration/size doesn't matter that much.

It can have its downsides. For example Nvidia didn't manage to push 16nm chips into their latest Maxwell cards because plants that they use for manufacturing were already booked ahead. Intel on the other hand use their own plants and can decide things more flexibly.

If anything at scale you should own the whole chain.

Not sure the counter example of Apple stands; they have a specific goal: be in full control of the whole technological stack for their products. They don't design processors and sell them like Qualcomm; they just do whatever is necessary for their product line.

A conglomerate like HP and Samsung often has little to no cross-pollination between divisions. Obviously the semiconductor part of Samsung can benefit the whole business, but the intersection between TV and dishwasher is probably zero, even at marketing level (they have totally different marketing and sales departments).

2 years ago I said One of HPs many personalities wants to be IBM. Another step along that path (of course, it makes sense to not bother too much with consumer computer stuff when Apple is dominating the high margin side and everyone else is looking for ways to lose money).


Can we please have a rule against posting paywall links? I know we can find a cached version or search on Google or whatever, but it's still frustrating!

I am not asking for a work-around to access WSJ articles. I'm asking HN to consider blocking domains that force users to pay money to access their content.

> Can we please have a rule against posting paywall links?

Can we please stop already with the complaints about paywalls? Diligent, thoughtful journalism doesn't happen for free; it's great when HN links can be read for free, but paywalled links shouldn't be second-class citizens.

> Diligent, thoughtful journalism doesn't happen for free

A free to use website (with ads) doesn't mean the journalists aren't payed. Most of the time, they are.

Generally, there's nothing wrong with payed websites, but it makes it a bit frustrating for people at a discussion board for web articles. Especially when there are users who really can't afford them (from countries with less income than North America or Europe) and the same information is available on free to use websites.

I disagree, firstly on your call to stop complaints. Anyone should be able to question the status quo. Secondly, I disagree on treating paywalled links the same way "normal" links are treated because this breaks functions of the web. I dislike sites that allow indexing but hide the content from users of indexing sites, like scribd, which contents can be found on a search, but is behind a paywall when you try to access it. This breaks search engines, and this breaks HN. This practice breaks other sites and uses them as advertising spots.

> This breaks search engines, and this breaks HN.

Paywalls might arguably break Hacker News (although that's debatable) but they certainly do not break search engines. The job of a search engine is to index all content. It makes no guarantee that you will not have to pay for the content it indexes. It only claims that the content it finds is relevant to your search.

WSJ is an exception - you can always google the title to get a free copy. Also - they broke the news a good 2+ hours before any other sites - so they were the only source.

How is this different to the strategy/plans outlined by HP's previous CEO Leo Apotheker before he got fired abruptly?


It's been a while, but I think Apotheker's plan was a two-parter:

* to kill off / sell off the consumer division

* to just turn HP into an IBM-type enterprise company.

The former isn't exactly true in this case; the latter is coming true.

The former is in reality the same. It's just splitting the consumer division off (selling it to current share holders) is much easier than trying to find a buyer for it.

The argument against unbundling a couple years ago was that the server/desktop divisions were able to leverage the volume they purchased hardware on, and the obvious synergy in having the desktops/printers open up a channel for servers and software services. Not to mention the value in having a single sales, finances, sales, ordering, procurement, manufacturing division.

I'm wondering if this argument has changed? Looking very forward to hearing what the rationale is.

Can somebody enlighten me on where HP's high-end server business is going in the long run?

I read recently that they announced they would stop developing VMS in about 2020 and sold the VMS business off to some other company (which in turn might port VMS to x86_64 eventually). So at the high end, what remains after killing off HPPA, the Alpha, Tru64?

HP-UX and NonStop on Itanium? I am not being sarcastic, I am seriously asking. My impression so far is that Itanium is either slowly going down (Microsoft and Red Hat stopped porting their systems to IA64 a couple of years back) or simply replacing what HPPA used to be - but in that case it would appear they burnt a whole lot of money for nothing, except that now they are depending on an outside vendor. And Intel, as far as I can tell, does not seem to like Itanium too much, HP seems to be the only company buying them in substantial numbers, and there were already rumors Intel would cease development of IA64.

So where is all this going? Would it make sense for HP to buy the Itanium from Intel and continue developing and building them on their own? Could they pull it off as far as engineering and manufacturing go? Would it make sense to port HP-UX and NonStop to some other architecture?

Reminds me of how during the last bubble, HP spun of its unsexy device and medical equipment making divisions (as Agilent) in order to recast itself to the public markets as a sexy Internet company.


> In 1999, product lines not directly connected with computers, storage, and imaging were grouped into a separate company (Agilent), the stock of which was offered to the public in an initial public offering. The Agilent IPO may have been the largest in the history of Silicon Valley at the time.

Since 11/26/99, HPQ is -24% and A is +40% (both pretty lame 14Y returns)


Both eBay and HP announce splits within six days of each other. Corporate unbundling.

Now only if telecoms and cable companies would hop on the bandwagon :)

I have been an HP customer for about 30 years. I have purchased test instruments, calculators, printers and computers from the company. Some of these products are still with me. For example, my collection of HP calculators starting with several HP-41's up to the current HP Prime. Even a 30 year old HP-41 works and feels as when it was new. Also a range of digital voltmeters, signal generators and scopes. With minor maintenance (replace dried electrolytic caps) good as new.

HP used to stand for uncompromising quality. At least that was the theory. I've owned a range of HP printers, tarting with the original LaserJet, up to the LaserJet IV and a pile of ink jets.

As I said, I also owned a range of computers, mostly a pile of laptops and probably one desktop (the only factory assembled desktop I have ever purchased).

After a while I think I was buying HP out of habit. I say this because their quality has consistently disappointed for the last, say, 15 to 20 years. They went from, to borrow from Mercedes, "The best or nothing" to seemingly building some of the worst crap out there.

Their calculators went from superb to crappy displays and even crappier keyboards. Their printers might work OK but the software and drivers have been horrific for years. On the computer front, I used to buy laptops by the dozen for my business but stopped because of simultaneus failures after N years of use. In contrast, products from companies like Acer and Asus keep on ticking through thick and thin.

To address the split. I hope this means returning to some of HP's roots when it comes to design, quality and superior performance. If that isn't one of the objectives they are going from one "me too" company to multiple "me too" companies. Next year we are already planning to toss out some of our HP printers and laptops in favor of other brands. They no longer stand for what, ultimately, were the reasons to remain loyal customers.

Which division gets the memristors?

Which division gets the calculators?

I learned about the HP-12C today, which appears to be the TI-83 of finance: "The HP-12C is HP's longest and best-selling product, in continual production since its introduction in 1981" ... "In 2008, HP modified the design so that new production runs contain an ARM processor which runs an emulated version of previous chips."

http://www.hp.com/calculators/ http://store.hp.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/PDPStdView?cat... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP-12C

When I left HP around 6 years ago there were maybe 3 HP employees left working on calculators, no joke. They were doing their best to keep the dream alive, but they just didn't have a lot of backing or resources.

They would be mostly managers handling outsourcing contracts...


Horrible calculators despite a major following. I wouldn't buy too much into the HP calculator love.

I myself was a follower and had an HP 50G (Nice 205MHz ARM RPL machine, successor of the HP48 series). Was totally unusable without the manual which was in PDF format only so I'd have to sit at the computer anyway. I couldn't print it out because the three volumes were ~2000 pages. Plus the thing was so damn obtuse and totally non discoverable.

Then they released the Prime which is a buggy turd of a calculator wrapped in a very polished case.

Ended up with an old TI89 I paid £25 for on ebay that came with the manual which isn't a million pages long.

Agreed regarding the graphing RPL models, but the scientific RPN calculators are pretty solid. The 12C financial calculator is more like those. The scientific equivalent, the 15C, is no longer in production, but the current 35S isn't bad for cranking out calculations. The tactile feedback sure beats hitting a touch screen phone.

The 35S is buggy as hell, poorly designed, the battery lasts too little time and the keys break easily. I owned one and regretted the purchase (I went through an "own every calculator phase")

This is the best thing on the market at the moment in the same form factor: http://www.edu.casio.com/products/Calculators_%26_Dictionari...

If you want programmable then there's (but you have to import it): http://www.casio-intl.com/asia-mea/en/calc/scientific/progra...

TI89 for me though.

>I went through an "own every calculator phase"

That could be an interesting HN or blog post if you wanted to do it. I'm a bit of a calculator fan myself, though I haven't used many different models. There's something about physical products, even though virtual ones are more flexible / configurable, being software.

I prefer my HP41 to anything they've made recently. The buttons are too hard to press on the new ones.

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that they won't be going to the consumer PC and Printer side.

I'm excited I think this break up will be revealing in the mid term showing the insane revenue declines in personal computers and printers( still profitable though) , and then showing how little revenue is actually flowing through enterprise business, but how fast it is growing.

It's been a long time HP strategy to use the revenue in device sales and the growth in the enterprise to keep the stock prices strong. If you break those two up you show two businesses with big upsides and big downsides.

Should be interesting to see how the markets react to the separated numbers.

Also worth noting is that Ebay has just recently announced a split (splitting Ebay and PayPal), and many are suggesting that Cisco split into two businesses as well.

See A Short History of HP:


They should break off HP Labs and make this real faster :) http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/06/hp-lab...

Both IBM and Sony sold their PC business. Dell showed us how well stand alone PC business with low margins fares on the stock market.

I wonder why HP toke a different approach, no buyer, no immediate need for cash or something else?

They definitely don't need cash - they got back to a $5b profit last year; $14b in cash; $9b in long-term investments. They do have a mediocre balance sheet at best, but in the current (temporary) low-cost-of-debt environment, they likely aren't worried about cash vs debt.

I'd go with the 'other' category. Either buyers won't offer what they think it's worth, or they liked the synergy with printers (and now they get to spin off both simultaneously).

Nice! Maybe I can now consider buying some HP hardware again. I have been boycotting the whole company because of the poor service of their services unit.


Just search for "Hewlett-Packard Plans to Break in Two" in google. I wish people would stop posting these paywalled articles, as there are lots of other non-paywall sources for this story.

It is sad seeing this happening.

I used to enjoy HP printers and HP-UX was the only commercial UNIX I ended up using across multiple employers.

HP-UX was a pretty good Unix OS. I worked on it for a while at a company years ago. I liked those PA-RISC machines. Pretty rugged and reliable. Did some Unix sysadmin work on those machines for a while. Managing 4 to 5 HP-UX servers, running Informix Dynamic Server, IBM MQ Series and many C, ESQL/C and Informix 4GL apps, later Java servlet and J2EE apps, an early Netscape Java app server (from Kiva, and it even had JavaScript or LiveScript in the server, IIRC - this was all a bit before J2EE first came out, i.e. very early days of Java). All good fun and learning.

HP also had some good Unix tools that were only on HP-UX, AFAIK. Ignite-UX was one of them. It allowed you to set up a configured OS (base OS + kernel parameter customization, patches, etc., init and shell scripts) and then image it onto multiple other machines very easily. Had a real need for such a tool, googled and found it on an HP site. Then installed and used it. The work went like a breeze. I guess there may be tools like that nowadays for Linux and other UNIX-like OSes.

Yes, sad to see this happening to HP. Many years back they had really solid products and tech, and I've read that they were called "the engineers' engineers." I worked in a company that had a joint venture with HP for a while, so saw some of that first-hand.

Calculator division, and lab instruments divison?

Long abandoned, and already spun off (Agilent).

Sigh ... If only Mark Hurd remained at the company.

They'd still be burning the furniture to make quarterly numbers look good? Mark Hurd had no idea what to do with an engineering company. Making numbers look good by cutting costs and reallocating assets was his only skill.

You're serious? Mark Hurd is a bean counter, not a technologist. Meg is not perfect, but she's vastly better than Hurd.

(HP employee)

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