Tag: hewlett packard

PC sales continue to slump

The third quarter was always a boom period for PC manufacturers but it looks as though the mould is broken as Gartner released details of shipments during the period.

Shipments fell by 8.6 percent in Q3 2013, compared to the same period last yeaar, amounting to 80.3 million units.

Gartner said this is the sixth consecutive quarter that sales have fallen worldwide.

Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said that a move from PCs to tablets continued to erode the installed base of PC in both emerging and maturing markets.

Lenovo was the number one player in the market, followed by Hewlett Packard and Dell.

But the Chinese marketwas weak while the Americas and EMEA were not so badly affected, as Gartner’s table shows, below.
PC Sales Q3 2013

Sales in the US amounted to 16.1 million units in the quarter, the second consecutive quarter of growth. Ms Kitagawa said: “The US market may have passed the worst declining stage, which started in 2010. The shrinking installed base of PCs has also passed the steepest decline phase because the structural change has progressed fairly quickly. Tablets will continue to impact the PC market but the US will see a more moderate decrease rather than a steep decline in the next two years.”

Intel under attack on server front

Mighty X86 firm Intel looks as if it might have a new vulnerable point – and this time it’s on the server front.

According to Silicon Valley News, Applied Micro Circuits is on the verge of releasing a low power semiconductor aimed at the server market. Analysts believe, according to the report, that it will lose market share to the Sunnyvale minnow.

Intel, most believe, has already lost the plot against ARM and the army of low cost tablets and smartphones with sales of notebooks and PCs under threat.

Its position has been protected in the server market where it currently dominates the market although servers based on ARM architecture are expected to nibble at Chipzilla’s server gravy chain.

The Applied Micro processor – dubbed the X Gene – will be adopted by Hewlett Packard, according to the report.

Oracle sparks up its Sparc server chips

Database giant Oracle has upgraded its high end server systems, putting pressure on rivals such as IBM.

It has upgraded the Sparc microprocessor, devised originally by Sun Microsystems, and aimed squarely at running enterprise applications, including Oracle database systems.

IBM uses the proprietary Power microprocessor but Oracle is claiming the T5 servers will have a considerable lead over comparable systems from Big Blue.

But such high end servers are not for mid range systems – a market dominated by Intel’s Xeon X86 microprocessors.  Even though Oracle also produces X86 servers, it hasn’t achieved a great deal of traction against similar systems produced by HP and others.  IBM still produces X86 servers too.

The Oracle Sparc T5 and M5 servers are intended for mission critical applications.  The T5, Oracle claims, is the world’s fastest CPU and includes wire speed encryption and over 2.3 times performance over the previous Sparc microprocessor.

Shareholder accuses HP of lying about Autonomy write-down

An HP shareholder has accused it of lying about the reasons for the $8.8 billion write-down following its Autonomy buy in a lawsuit filed in a US court.

The lawsuit, filed by Stanley Morrical, who owns 1,200 shares in the computing giant, claims that promises around an integrated platform using Autonomy were not delivered.

The lawsuit states that a Next Generation Information IDOL 10 product was promised when the firm paid $11.7 billion for the British software, combining software with HP’s Vertica technology.  Morrical says that such a product has not yet been delivered.

The case, filed in a San Jose District Court, claims that it is this lack of product development which is to blame for the write-down, rather than the fraudulent accounting practices that HP has alleged.

“The integrated Next Generation Information Platform that HP claimed existed did not exist in the form that was announced,” the court filing claims, “it was a fraud – not accounting fraud as stated by HP – but a more fundamental and foundational fraud because HP did not and does not have the revolutionary product it promised the public, its customers and its shareholders.”

Morrical is also alleging that the board of directors were fully aware of Autonomy’s inability to deliver on “next generation” products, claiming that “HP’s officers and directors know that they wasted $11.7 billion worth of HP’s corporate cash to buy a company with an outdated product with multiple competitors.”

HP has claimed that of the $8.8 billion write-down, around $5 billion has been down to ‘accounting improprieties’ at Autonomy prior to the sale of the company.   This includes ‘channel stuffing’, with allegations that software licences, which were sold to resellers but not to customers, were included in its sales.

Former Autonomy boss Mike Lynch has denied the allegations, countering that the board of directors should have been fully aware of the financial well being of the company.  

Leo Apotheker, HP CEO at the time of the Autonomy purchase, also weighed in to claim that the blame was with the board of directors.

Other investors also filed lawsuits last month after the write-off caused HP’s shares to plummet.

Apotheker: Don't blame Apotheker for Autonomy

The most exciting CEO in Hewlett Packard’s history, Leo Apotheker, has joined the very public blame game surrounding the multibillion dollar acquisition of British software outfit Autonomy, claiming the buck stopped with the firm’s board members.

Apotheker was in charge of HP when the $10.3 billion purchase of Autonomy was completed, shortly before he was ousted from the firm in September last year.   

In a statement to Bloomberg, Apotheker claimed that the subsequent write down of $8.8 billion from HP’s value as a result of the purchase was not entirely his fault.

Apotheker said that “no single CEO is ever able to make a decision in isolation”, particularly when it is one the size of HP. He said that the board convened regularly to review the acquisition, before “unanimously” supporting the deal. He also commented that the HP board was in full support of the proposed strategy to move into enterprise data services.

Apotheker took the top job at HP following the departure of Mark Hurd as CEO, and attempted to change the focus of the company away from PC and printer sales. However, he claims that he was not given enough time to complete his vision for the company’s transformation, and that his strategic vision was essentially “sound”.

“Unfortunately, I was never given the opportunity to implement the strategy in its totality,” Apotheker said. “The new leadership has now been in place longer than my 11-month tenure. But it’s clear that HP still is in search of the right path forward.”

Current CEO Meg Whitman was one of the board members at the time of the Autonomy deal. She has laid much of the blame for the botched deal on Apotheker, as well as starting legal proceedings against former Autonomy boss Mike Lynch.

Lynch, who left the firm earlier this year, ramped up the public feud recently by starting a website aimed at providing a voice for former Autonomy staff. Lynch has argued that he has been unfairly scapegoated by the IT giant, with HP making accusations through the press without providing full details of financial irregularities.

Aside from the infighting of HP staff, present and former, the Autonomy fiasco has also allowed competitors to weigh in with their views.

Tin box mogul, Michael Dell, told the Sunday Telegraph last week that he too was offered the opportunity to purchase the British enterprise software firm, but was aghast at the price.

“It was shopped to us as well,” he said, adding that the it would not be willing to meet Autonomy’s valuation. “Not at that price. That was an overwhelmingly obvious conclusion that any reasonable person could draw.”

Oracle boss Larry Ellison has also been vocal about the overvaluation of Autonomy, claiming that HP paid double what it had previously refused to hand over for the firm.

HP has vowed to stick by its expensive purchase, and will aim to increase the integration of Autonomy software into its portfolio.

Autonomy founder Mike Lynch slams HP in new website

Former Autonomy boss Mike Lynch has launched a website to help fight back in a very public battle with Hewlett Packard.

The site, autonomyaccounts.org, is said to be maintained by Lynch on behalf of the former management team of the British software company.   

According to a statement, the site will be used to provide “relevant information pertaining to the accusations made by Hewlett Packard[…]of financial impropriety at Autonomy”. 

HP has accused Autonomy of financial foul play, alleging that staff inflated the value of the company in a number of ways, including ‘channel stuffing’, the practice of accounting for sales to resellers which had not yet reached customers.  

HP made a $5 billion write-down in its most recent financial results following the acquisition of the company during the ill-fated tenure of former CEO Leo Apotheker.   

Lynch and his former colleagues have continually stated their innocence, though have faced a stream of high profile accusations from HP.  The US firm has released a number of notices to the press, including issuing statements through its website

The website, spearheaded by Lynch, is aimed at providing a platform for former Autonomy staff to fire off missives in retaliation to HP’s claims, and is the latest step in an escalating PR war between the two.   

“This site is designed to be a public point of contact for Dr Mike Lynch and other former managers at Autonomy with the wider world,” a statement on the site read. “It will contain information about Autonomy and any public statements made on behalf of the former management team related to these issues.”

It continued: “The Autonomy team are committed to providing clear and transparent information during this process, and would like to see the issue resolved as quickly as possible.

In one post, Lynch writes a letter to HP demanding that it provide details to support the allegations it has made. This follows steps from HP to report Autonomy staff to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

“HP should provide me with the interim report and any other documents which you say you have provided to the SEC and the SFO so that I can answer whatever is alleged, instead of the selective disclosure of non-material information via background discussions with the media,” the letter reads.

Lynch claims HP had full sight of the financial condition of the firm prior to its purchase.   Autonomy used independent auditors Deloitte and LLC to check its accounts, with current HP CEO Meg Whitman part of the board which gave the go-ahead to the acquisition deal at the time of the buy.

HP has so far refused to engage directly with Lynch over the allegations.

“While Dr. Lynch is eager for a debate, we believe the legal process is the correct method in which to bring out the facts and take action on behalf of our shareholders,” a recent HP statement read. “In that setting, we look forward to hearing Dr. Lynch and other former Autonomy employees answer questions under penalty of perjury.”

HP told TechEye in a briefing session last week that the company is committed to selling Autonomy products following the major write down, and will be increasing its attempts to integrate the analytics software into its range of products.

HP to bet big on Windows 8 tablets

HP is planning to bet big on Windows 8 tablets, prioritising business growth as analysts forecast a sales boom.

HP may not have had much financial success with its TouchPad last year, but the firm is intent on grabbing a larger share of the tablet market, particularly in the business space. 

With CEO Whitman indicating a widening of its product range to incorporate more mobile devices, including smartphones, HP is seeking to increase its range of hardware being sold through the newly formed Printing and Personal Systems (PPS) group.

“I would say it is one of the three big investments for the year,” Paul Hunter, Vice President, PPS, UK&I told TechEye at the firm’s Gold Partner event in London.  “We have got growth aspirations for next year, and Windows 8 tablet is big – I would probably put it at the top of the tree. It is the biggest point of customer engagement”.   

With the Windows 8 on the way there, Hunter believes there is an opportunity to sell more business focussed devices, telling us in no uncertain terms that the Microsoft infrastructure for corporate enterprise “is there to be competed for”.

Hunter added that he sees more growth in the number of devices owned per person: “They have got a laptop, they have got a tablet and they have got a phone, and there is not a huge amount of consolidation of that,” he said.  

“Five years ago  it was all about a single device, and whilst quite often the industry is talking about consolidation of devices, we actually haven’t seen that happen, what we are seeing is people with more devices,” Hunter said. “So the tablet is a big opportunity for us.”

Figures from International Data Corporation (IDC) forecast total tablet sales to all areas of the market are set to hit 117.1 million units this year, an upwards revision from 107.4 million. IDC expects 165.9 million units next year, and 261.4 million in 2016.

As sales increase, analyst Tom Mainelli at IDC says that there is “room in the market for others to find success”, with Windows and Android devices finally showing signs of challenging the iPad.

IDC predicts that Windows tablets, including Windows 7 and Windows 8, are expected to make a greater impact over the coming quarters, though they are expected to lag behind Android and iOS for some time. This will mean growth from one percent of the market in 2011, to four percent in 2012, eventually accounting for 11 percent of the market in 2016.  

Recent figures from Context showed that tablet sales are booming in business use as well as with consumers, though Apple reigns supreme in this area too.

Mike Lynch joins top Autonomy execs in abandoning HP

Under Apotheker’s brief rule, British software company, Autonomy, got sold to HP for a staggering amount of money that some of the competition believed to be a ridiculous price tag. Now its founder, Mike Lynch, is leaving Hewlett-Packard, reports TechWeek Europe. He isn’t the only one.

Describing HP as ‘too bureaucratic’, he is joined by other former execs who were absorbed into the Hewlett-Packard machine. The Guardian talked to someone familiar with the matter, the matter being Lynch, who said the entrepreneur is “not going away”. He “still has entrepreneurial ambitions,” according to the source.  The $11 billion Autonomy sale certainly won’t hamper those.

HP has found itself in a tricky position. It announced that it would cut eight percent of its total workforce following disappointing results, and a report on our sister site ChannelBiz UK revealed that the company had been desperately clawing at deals for its ink products – something one partner described as going ‘down the toilet’.

Of course, there is also the case of Leo ‘You’ve Got To Pick Apotheker Two’ Apotheker declaring that the company would demolish its PC business, its old CEO Mark Hurd implicating himself in a soft porn star expenses scandal, and the whole Itanic battle with Oracle.

The Autonomy staff who are leaving could well prove to leave behind a phantom spanner in the works. It’s difficult to do a job when the management have located greener pastures.

Since the takeover, here’s a list of some Autonomy execs who have jumped ship:

Sushovan Hussein, President

Steve Chamberlain, CFO

Pete Menell, CTO

Nicole Eagan, CMO

Andy Kanter, COO

Martina King, Head of Aurasma

HP is the top spender in Taiwan

Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs has revealed that the top spender for the country’s products is inkjet churn-house Hewlett Packard.

The ministry did not say exactly how much HP had been spending, but the Taipei Times says HP’s spending rose 10 percent from the $25 billion it splashed out last year. 

HP plans to spend roughly $30 billion each year in Taiwan over the next two years. It plans to go on a hiring spree, too, considering adding 100 employees to its roster in the region. 

Other big spenders in the country include Toshiba of Japan, which came second in the MoE’s top of the pops by handing out just over $10 billion to Taiwanese companies. It was followed by tinbox maker Dell, then Sony and Lenovo. They all spent roughly $7.5 billion on Taiwanese products.

A company which dropped out of the top five list was Samsung. Whether Sockgate was a defining factor in that isn’t clear.

The ministry also gave a nod and a pat on the back to technology bigwigs like Nvidia and Qualcomm. Taiwan was happy for them to be investing in local semiconductor companies.

According to the country, the total purchases of Taiwanese products reached a stonking $90.2 billion for 2011, which is 5.7 percent growth from the year before. Ten years on, the figure is just about double the $43 billion in 2001.

Hewlett Packard, others, sued over employee recruitment system

A case started in an Illinois district court accusing Hewlett Packard and a number of other large US corporations of breachinq a patent.

The patent – 5,592,375 –  is wittily titled Computer-Assisted System for Interactively Brokering Goods or Services between Buyers and Sellers and registered to Trunquate LLC.

Trunquate alleges that Hewlett Packard, Aramark Corp, Best Buy, Dow Chemical, Hyatt Corp, Merck & Co, Realmatch Inc, Taleo Corp, United Airlines and Whirlpool Corp all breach this patent.

The case against HP is similar to the case against the other defendants. The writ says HP infringements include using an enterprise resource planning and/or talent acquisition system used for the recruitment, promotion and hiring of employees, including at least the Taleo computer implemented system for assisting with an employer’s hiring decision from among a pool of candidates.

Trunquate wants a jury to decide all the defendants breach its patent and give it heaps of cash.