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Industry welcomes HP's U-turn to retain PCs

Kathleen Hall

Analysts have welcomed HP CEO Meg Whitman's move not to ditch the company's PC division.

Ovum chief analyst Carter Lusher praised Whitman, who replaced former HP head Leo Apotheker in August, for reversing a decision which he described as "An unmitigated disaster."

"Whitman is demonstrating early that she is not hesitant about reversing Apotheker's decisions and that she will act swiftly. These are two characteristics that IT executives welcome as it shows that Whitman might be able to stabilise HP and return it to its previous status as a strategic supplier to IT," said Lusher.

Ovum said its findings showed that IT executives still consider PCs to be an important part of the IT infrastructure. But the challenge will be for HP to make PCs relevant to future-proofing strategies.

"HP needs to embed technology in its PCs that make them better to manage using HP's management software suite. And it is not just in the products that HP has to change to make PSG more relevant. It can increase relevancy through business model changes, for example making it easier for IT to support a BYOD (bring your own device) policy," said Lusher.

Phil Codling, research director at TechMarketView, said investors have responded well to Whitman's move. But Codling believes HP's flip flopping could damage its IT services business.

"One suspects that while its sheer size may protect HP from the self-inflicted wounds of recent months, it may not help it hang on to market leadership in a world of diversifying computing and communications devices," he said.

UK head of HP Paul Hunter also welcomed the company's move not to spin-off its PC division, said, "Looking at the results over the related period for the PSG business, we have performed well. Market share has remained remarkably resilient. We are in a strong position and are striving to increase the gap on our competition," he said.


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