Hewlett-Packard designed and built its first computer in 1966. Has it designed and built its last?
Various Wall Street sources are reporting today that the world’s second largest electronics company will spin off its PC unit in order to concentrate on servers and services. If true, it marks the end to an extraordinary era — one that saw H-P race neck-and-neck for years with IBM and Digital Equipment in the mainframe space, then after falling behind Dell in PCs, snatch up Compaq in a move that was generally panned but turned out to be a masterstroke.
Still, over the past several years PCs became an ever lower-margin business filled with low-cost competitors. Moreover, the emergence of shared-server computing — aka, “the cloud” — posed a threat to those who poured resources into branded laptops and desktops.
It says here this move is H-P’s way of saying that it, too, believes cloud computing is the future, and the money to be made will come from selling the heavy-duty hardware, not billions of “dummy” terminals that are hooked in to it.