Newly appointed Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman says she's determined to give the tech giant a sharper strategic focus. "I want to be able to answer the question, 'What is H-P?' very crisply," Whitman says. "We will lock and load that and we're going to execute."
Hewlett-Packard agreed to pay $1.2 billion -- a 23% premium as of Wednesday -- to get its hands on Palm's Pre and Pixi smartphones as well as its webOS operating system that the computer maker could put to use in other devices such as tablets. "The attractiveness of the smartphone market is compelling to us," said Todd Bradley, a vice president at Hewlett-Packard. Analysts offered mixed reactions to the deal, saying the risks and rewards for H-P were high.
Even though Dell and Hewlett-Packard both reported strong growth in notebook sales in their latest quarters, analysts see the companies' going in different directions, partly because of H-P's more diversified customer base outside the U.S. While Dell reported a decline in profit, citing more conservative spending by U.S. customers in an uncertain economy, H-P raised its forecasts and saw no softness in its PC line.
Hewlett-Packard Co. is introducing a video-downloading service that enables retailers to sell digital downloads of movies and TV shows through their Web sites, or to sell DVDs for mail delivery -- and Wal-Mart is a first customer.