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HP wrestles IBM for top spot

Claiming victory before the polls have closed

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

HP has claimed it will be the world's largest IT company by the end of this year, surpassing IBM on revenue.

The switch in positions depends on IBM - HP's financial year ended on October 31, and it announced revenues of $91.7bn. IBM's financial year doesn't finish until the end of December; analysts suggest it could report less than $90bn.

HP added that it is already the largest IT company in Europe - and with the $4.5bn Mercury acquisition, it's the world's sixth largest software vendor too, according to Tom Hogan, HP Software's senior veep.

"Mercury was the biggest HP software acquisition ever, and the second biggest HP acquisition overall after Compaq," he added.

He claimed too that HP Software is the only big software vendor to do more business in Europe than in the Americas.

With the Mercury business technology optimisation (BTO) tools now on board, HP Software is going big on BTO, and on ITIL for best practices, according to Hogan. He said HP has reorganised its software around three key IT "lifecycles" - change and configuration, performance and availability, and IT service.

We asked IBM's press office what plans Big Blue has to regain the number-one slot, but they were unable to get us an answer in time. Presumably the IBMers were all out trying to sell enough mainframes to make up the shortfall.®

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