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ShadowRAM, Dec. 20-27, 2004

John Thompson, North American channel chief at Hewlett-Packard, has figured out how to eliminate at least some of the angst around special bid pricing: pay full list price. At least that's what he did when bought a new PC for his wife's medical practice.

Thompson called in a local solution provider and hid his identity by using his wife's last name. The solution provider crafted a solution that included HP hardware bid at the full list price. Thompson confesses that he's probably the last person in America to pay full-list for a PC, but "at least I used a solution provider."

Emmitt Smith, the NFL's all-time leading rusher, is no neophyte when it comes to high tech. Well, at least sort of. The Arizona Cardinals running back started an RFID company to track, among other things, football jerseys. The technology can authenticate, for example, which jersey Emmitt was wearing when he broke a specific record, an application that would presumably be targeted at the sports memorabilia industry. But when it comes to understanding what solution providers do for a living, Smith is at a loss. Earlier this month at an Avnet conference, he urged HP enterprise partners to "keep selling those mainframes."

Mark Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks NBA team, among other toys, reminisced on his blog last week about the 15th anniversary of the introduction of Lotus Notes. He included a column he wrote for CRN shortly after Notes hit the market: "Michael Dell in The New York Times said that he used Notes instead of holding meetings. Compaq is using it to communicate internally and with customers. Intel is using it in dozens of ways, and its chairman, Andy Grove, has gone on record as saying that collaboration software, beginning with Lotus Notes, is the way of the future. The critical point is that Notes is the first of a genre of software that fosters collaboration. It will not be the last. Those resellers that make the investment to learn the software, and more importantly use the software internally, will find themselves in position to make sales and significant margins today."

Thanks for the early tip, Mr. Cuban.

So, we heard last week that Intel agreed to hire HP's entire Itanium development team, and the joint-development muscle that brought the 64-bit processor to market will now be Intel-only. First, Compaq decided to end-of-life Alpha. Then, HP sentenced PA-RISC to death. Now it's out of Itanium development--even though it has pledged to spend $3 billion over the next few years to push its Itanium 2-based Integrity servers.

While it's noteworthy that a few hundred HP developers will now draw Intel salaries, it would have been even more notable if AMD hired them. You snooze, you lose, Hector Ruiz.

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