Skip to main content
What We Do in Life..... Echoes...!

Well, the marriage finally happened, Hewlett Packard and Compaq that is, all $87 billion of a partnership, which, among other ambitions aims to kick poor Dell where it hurts.

Confirmed optimist that I am, I think it will probably be a near term and very expensive disaster at a delicate time in the industry’s history, but let’s all hope that the first year’s trading results prove me wrong.

The new Hewlett Packard, HPQ, will of course keep the Compaq brand visible on some products going forward. After all, $19 Billion bought the company some pretty sizeable brand awareness and thousands of big corporations still feel comfortable with the Compaq brand

What will go is my relatively new HP Ominibook laptop. It appears that HP has conceded that Compaq makes better portables unless this part of some hidden compromise. Compaq’s workstation business will disappear and in the Pocket PC space, you can wave goodbye to the Jornada in favour of the Ipaq.

In order to out-compete Dell, the new HP has a new website, the HP Online Store, working. This now offers access to some 10,000 products and configurations. The objective is to move HP swiftly into second place as the largest web marketer with faster growth than archrival Dell Computer faster than Dell Apparently the new site has attracted $5 billion worth of new business in the last three months.

The HP/Compaq connection continues to raise some interesting ideas around the Microsoft relation. In particular, the constant effort to push Windows 2000 Datacenter into the Enterprise. Not so long ago, I wrote that Microsoft was starting to worry over the emphasis that IBM is placing behind AIX and Linux and of course, now we see Hewlett Packard swallowing Compaq, traditionally Microsoft’s favourite friend and now the property of a company, which has its own multi-platform agenda for the enterprise. Not a happy prospect for Redmond.

Enter of course Unisys, the product of an earlier mega-merger (Sperry & Burroughs) which didn’t quite go according to plan. I keep wondering about the company and where it sits, now squeezed between some very large playmates.

According to a story in Client Server News, research consultancy Illuminata has reported that the Unisys share of the joint ES7000-Windows 2000 Datacenter promotion, represents 10% of the total annual revenues that Unisys realises from the ES7000 platform, “A huge expenditure relative to revenue."

While Unisys is steadily moving more of its business focus towards the provision of services, 74% of 2001 company revenues, it’s debatable whether this kind of marketing spend in support of its hardware business is sound. Illuminata, speculates, as I have done in several previous columns, whether Unisys can continue in the market as a systems vendor selling Windows mainframes and if the new campaign doesn’t succeed, then Unisys may find itself forced into the services sector for good.

On reflection then, the Unisys/Microsoft “Big Iron” Datacenter campaign could well prove pivotal for both companies. Unisys MD Brian Hadfield once told me that the company had “Bet the Farm on Windows”. Ironically, Microsoft might have done the same with Unisys.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mainframe to Mobile

Not one of us has a clue what the world will look like in five years’ time, yet we are all preparing for that future – As  computing power has become embedded in everything from our cars and our telephones to our financial markets, technological complexity has eclipsed our ability to comprehend it’s bigger picture impact on the shape of tomorrow.

Our intuition has been formed by a set of experiences and ideas about how things worked during a time when changes were incremental and somewhat predictable. In March 1953. there were only 53 kilobytes of high-speed RAM on the entire planet.

Today, more than 80 per cent of the value of FTSE 500* firms is ‘now dark matter’: the intangible secret recipe of success; the physical stuff companies own and their wages bill accounts for less than 20 per cent: a reversal of the pattern that once prevailed in the 1970s. Very soon, Everything at scale in this world will be managed by algorithms and data and there’s a need for effective platforms for ma…

The Big Steal

I’m not here to predict the future;” quipped the novelist, Ray Bradbury. “I’m here to prevent it.” And the future looks much like one where giant corporations who hold the most data, the fastest servers, and the greatest processing power will drive all economic growth into the second half of the century.

We live in an unprecedented time. This in the sense that nobody knows what the world will look like in twenty years; one where making confident forecasts in the face of new technologies becomes a real challenge. Before this decade is over, business leaders will face regular and complex decisions about protecting their critical information and systems as more of the existing solutions they have relied upon are exposed as inadequate.

The few real certainties we have available surround the uninterrupted march of Moore’s Law - the notion that the number of transistors in the top-of-the-line processors doubles approximately every two years - and the unpredictability of human nature. Exper…

An Ockham of Gatwick

The 13th century theologian and philosopher, William of Ockham, who once lived in his small Surrey village, not so very far from what is today, the wide concrete expanse of Gatwick airport is a frequently referenced source of intellectual reason. His contribution to modern culture was Ockham’s Razor, which cautions us when problem solving, that “The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct;” sound advice which constantly proves to be true.

A week further-on since Britain’s second busiest airport was bought to a complete standstill by two or perhaps two hundred different drone sightings, it is perhaps time to revisit William of Ockham’s maxim, rather than be led astray by an increasingly bizarre narrative, one which has led Surrey police up several blind alleys with little or nothing in the way of measurable results.

 Exploring the possibilities with a little help in reasoning from our medieval friar, we appear to have a choice of two different account…