Hewlett-Packard promised that its acquisition of Compaq would allow it to "offer the industry's most complete set of IT products and services for both businesses and consumers".
One year after the acquisition legally closed, on 3 May 2002, this goal remains just that: a goal.
There have been real improvements from the merger. It is also clear that HP has managed to avoid a major disaster as it integrates these two giant companies' cultures, product lines, philosophies and strategies.
But this mega union can't be called a success yet because:
- IBM remains by far the largest provider of IT services, both in terms of size and revenue. It also is a mighty competitor in high-end servers.
- Dell continues to be a thorn in HP's side in the PC and low-end server business, and a rising threat in printers and handheld devices.
It's unclear whether HP did the right thing by betting on Intel's Itanium chips for its servers, and whether its plan to migrate server clients to Itanium will succeed.
So the Compaq acquisition and ensuing integration is, most say, a work in progress, that still holds the potential for big successes and big failures.
HP is still struggling with its major competitors. It hasn't lost the game, but neither has it won.
The stories below examine key aspects of the company's first year.
HP expands services, but trails IBM
HP defends Compaq servers from IBM and Dell
Work remains on HP/Compaq storage merger
Software strategy still in flux
Jury still out on HP's Itanium server bet
This was first published in April 2003