Page 2 of 2
Android: So WebOS failed. You know what? IBM failed with OS/2 but it survived -- eventually using a lot of the skill sets it developed and some of the code in different parts of its business.
While HP will likely not produce any more noteworthy products based on WebOS, that experience should not stop it from diving deep into the Android open source community. While developing and contributing more of its own intellectual capital to the open-source community (a step that could help rivals like Xerox, Samsung and Dell), HP could also see returns here quickly. Android, while a snappy platform that is enjoying amazing adoption rates, is simply lacking in too many areas critical to mid-to-large organizations. HP’s own know-how for print management, enterprise management and security could speed up Android’s adoption in the enterprise -- where HP could make a lot of money selling printers, servers and services through channel partners.
Enterprises will be investing in Android-based technology eventually and, when they do, HP will either be there in a serious way -- with Android running on printers, storage devices, networking units and the like -- or it could well miss a critical opportunity;
Virtualization: HP is currently a member of the Xen.org Community’s advisory board, so it knows that open-source virtualization is an important area both for itself as a company as well as its partners and their customers. But more work needs to be done and the faster the better.
The overwhelming majority of servers now running throughout the world are not virtualized -- and many don’t even have enough hardware to support even rudimentary virtualization. Increased investment by HP in research and development in open-source virtualization -- to tackle issues ranging from hardware requirements to security, areas where it has a lot of know-how and skill -- could open the door to a server refresh in the market the likes of which we haven’t yet seen.
For all its size and reach as a company, HP needs to move swiftly and successfully in so many areas that even the most skilled of CEOs would be challenged to get it done. By contributing half of HP’s R&D investment into open-source projects like OpenStack, Android and Xen.org -- a figure of about $4.5 billion over three years -- Whitman as CEO would be able to shift its focus onto solving growing customer problems without the weight of having to prop up proprietary projects that aren’t really giving employees, partners or investors enough of a return (and HP’s market value has dropped some 47 percent in the past year).
Whitman could solve an awful lot of problems by investing many more HP dollars and resources into open-source projects, and she could solve them sooner rather than later. And, given how much time Leo Apotheker had to work, time would appear to be of the essence.
<< Previous | 1 | 2