Feeds

How a sceptical Reg warmed to the HP Compaq merger

Vulture volte face

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

There'll be no more cheap cracks about the Sircam merger here - no jibes about Princess Fiorina this or Don Capellas that, no more references to Carly and Curly. Recent evidence we've unearthed convinces us of the imperative that this merger must succeed.

Cast your mind back to one of Fiorina's first marketing initiatives. She blessed a move to remake the HP corporate logo into an italic hp. Very slick, but distinctly lowercase. And the title of the corporate web page was changed to "hp, Hewlett Packard: leader in computing and imaging solutions and services".

Earlier this year "lowercase-itis" was spreading like a contagion through the organisation.
And today, the main products page contains only three capital letters, and that's in a reference to Windows XP. Even the "hewlett-packard company" is lowercase.

Now it's typical of conservative HP staff, Wall Street naysayers, and - we're sorry to say - us too, to overlook the importance of this. Since Labor Day critics have been questioning why one PCs-to-enterprise servers storage and services company should want to merge with another similar but smaller PCs-to-enterprise servers storage and services company that doesn't have a profitable printing division. But they're missing the bigger picture.

The penny only dropped for us with thisdiscovery at BBspot. Only a fortnight before the merger was announced, Compaq unveiled a 208-key keyboard "for people who hate the 'shift' key". Then it fell into place: Fiorina had been alerted early to the one key technical innovation that could remake Hewlett Packard. She'd performed a quick buy or copy calculation, and with the astuteness for which she's become renowned, decided that it was cheaper to buy Compaq, and the IP behind the revolutionary keyboard, than task HP's famous R&D to produce a shift-less clone.

So it all makes sense.

If only we'd been able to piece together the jigsaw at the time the merger announcement, we wouldn't have written so many sceptical articles based on such ephemera as economics, industry precedents, and other awkward pieces of logic. So, we're very sorry.

Now critics of our theory may point out that since BBspot is a humour site, the report on the 208-key shiftless keyboard may not actually be true. They have a point... but when you take into context stories as perceptive as this one, then you realise that if a story isn't actually true today, it probably will be fairly soon. ®

Related Link

BBspot

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.