Remember when HP announced that they were considering selling their PC division? They felt the market was weak and they should focus more on servers & storage. That killed PC sales for HP, ensure Lenovo was the number one choice in business, and fired yet another HP CEO. Eventually the non-decision was reversed but at what we can only guess was a huge cost.
Meg Whitman, the current CEO, seems determined to kill off HP’s enterprise business completely. If you follow me on Twitter then you would have read a tweet I sent out on Feb 7th (while on vacation):
HP formally announced (we read rumours over a month ago) that they would be restricting access to firmware updates. You would need to maintain an active support contract on your hardware (a la Cisco) to have the right to download firmware for your servers and storage.
Huh!?!? Sure, HP, this firmware is your “intellectual property” as you asserted in the announcement. But I’m sure that people who bought the hardware with 3 years support expect, you know, support for 3 years. With new Linux variants out every few months, vSphere updated annually, and Windows versions appearing every 12-18 months, we kind of need those firmware updates for a stable platform. If HP doesn’t want to offer me stability, then why the hell would I consider using their out-of-date hardware? Seriously?!?!
It appears that Mary McCoy of HP felt like she needed to defend the boneheaded decision. There is no defence. This is about as stupid as changing the licensing of a virtualization product to be based on maximum VM RAM – and we saw how quickly that course got reversed.
HP is truly a Blackberry in the making, but just bigger. Ineptitude is the central quality you need to sit on the board or to be an executive. Cluelessness and a disconnection from reality are desirable skills. In my non-guru hands, 3Par underperforms against Dell Compellent (and much better people than me have proven this) and the Gen8 servers are now doomed.
I used to be a HP advocate. Their server hardware was my first choice every time for a decade. But that all changed with the release of WS2012 when I saw how Dell had taken the lead – or was it that HP stopped competing? And now HP wants to commit Seppuku at the hands of the samurais at the top. Bye bye HP.
In other recent news, Lenovo bought the X series server business from IBM. I HATE IBM’s products and support. But I do love what Lenovo has done to the IBM PC business. I wonder how or if they’ll repair the IBM server business to give Dell some competition that HP evidently doesn’t want to offer?