Tuesday, August 30, 2011

There Goes HP

Hewlett-Packard, the largest producer of PCs (17.5% share), plans to spin off its PC business. The company sold 14.9 million PCs last quarter, but evidently that’s not good enough. The PC sector has seen declining sales as tablets are attracting the consumer. With faltering growth, the PC business is suddenly worthless in the eyes of mega-corporations that only look at growth as a meaningful economic measure. Amusingly, HP has also given up on tablets. It introduced the TouchPad in July—and had already killed it off in August.

What do we call this sort of behavior? Having been tutored by that great historian of economic life Fernand Braudel (Civilization and Capitalism), we call it capitalism around here. Capitalism, far from the source of our collective well-being, is an organized form of indifferent selfishness and hard-eyed exploitation; its tendency is evil.

HP has a full-page ad in the NYT this morning, no doubt elsewhere too. In an almost insulting way (insulting to the ordinary intelligence), it attempts to present its proposed spin-off of PCs as an entrepreneurial move (rather than the shedding of a low-growth but huge business) and tries to spin this move into the suggestion that “now, more than ever, we are committed to the future of personal computing.” How can you be committed to a business by putting it on the block? I divorce you. I divorce you. I divorce you. Now, more than ever, I love you. Baloney, HP.

They’re supposed to be so sophisticated, all these mega-mega-wealthy useless exploiters. But the rest of the world isn’t crazy. It is just quiet as it gradually takes over.

2 comments:

  1. It is a real wonder... How a market leading position in an industry like PCs can be so... undesirable, so... non worthy of the effort to keep it going.

    Stranger still, we really like our HP laptop... a lot! Hummnn... Stranger and stranger.

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  2. Nothing wrong with our own two relatively new HP PCs or the HP printer that I use. Brigitte is happy with its little Brother.

    Nothing wrong with HP the enterprise, either, I would say. It's those managements that rule them, in utter stupidity.

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