HP: We would prefer to spin off PC business

HP's announcement earlier this month that it was looking into alternatives for its Personal Systems Group division, otherwise known as its PC business, sent shock waves in the entire tech industry. While HP's PC business is still the world's biggest in terms of PC sales, it's still not yet clear what HP wants to do with the division. Currently the company is going through a review of the PC business and is expected to make some sort of decision by the end of 2011.

However, a new statement from an HP spokesperson, as reported by Reuters, suggests that if HP had its way it would want to spin off the PC division and turn it into a stand alone company. The spokesperson is quoted as saying, "We prefer a spin-off as a separate company and the working hypotheses is that a spin-off will be in the best interests of HP's shareholders, customers and employees." However the spokesperson added, " ... we have to complete the diligence process and validate this assumption, including fully understanding the dis-synergies in separating the PSG business from HP."

If HP does in fact decide to spin off its PC business, it could take between 12 and 18 months to accomplish this task. Some companies might be interested in buying the PC division but one company, Samsung, has already publicly admitted it is not interested. Meanwhile HP has tried to make assurances to its customers that it is perfectly safe to buy a HP PC at the moment, saying, " ... whatever structure we ultimately take, we plan to continue delivering innovative products and stand by you."

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I sense a lot of haters on HP (and older/legacy Compaq). Let's face facts - *every* computer maker has had some lemons in their lineup. (Even Dell's Optiplex line - these are typically middle-end workstations for enterprises - has laid a few eggs.) While Compaq's desktops (especially the old Presario consumer/prosumer desktops, but including some DeskPro desktops) mostly were bad, their ProLiant server line was *always* well-built and respected (the ProLiants, in fact, remain the core of HP's server line today). HP's Pavilion desktops are basically retooled DECpc desktops (one thing about DECpc desktops is that they were solidly built, though deathly dull in terms of exterior design - DEC never had their desktops OR towers in any color other than beige). My mom has a refurb (by Joy Systems) HP DC7600 (yes, basically a rebadged Compaq Presario). The case itself is rounded and downright elegant (it's even screwless - the side cover latches open and slides off; after sliding the side back on, just close the latch to secure it again; a harbinger of the HP Blackbird line of semi-boutique PCs). It's just that the DC7600's innards (like those of most prebuilts - the same applies to all the others) are run-of-the-mill. That's not HP's fault - that is *our* fault by putting price ahead of everything else. The old saw still applies - you get what you pay for. However, between prebuilt HP and prebuilt Dell/Lenovo/Acer (and I've worked on them all), if I HAD to buy prebuilt (and couldn't build my own, as I have for all except the first PC I ever owned), HP would be my only choice.

Dell is still crap unless you spend more than 900 on a box. Stay away from any value series from them. Their support is still overseas and hard to understand most of the time but they do seem more adept at trying to resolve the issue. If you know what to buy HP and Compaq are still WAY better choices for longevity. I've Never had a Compaq or HP fail that I bought. My main box is still an HP Media Center from 2006 and the daily beater laptop is from 2008, it just continues to work and all i do is beat on it. After Dell got caught using bad parts on purpose to try and save a buck why would I ever trust them again? Their servers with Dell on-site support are almost worth the purchase since they come out and replace the parts that will fail. Again, HP Servers have more a reputation to just work more than they don't. Sure, everyone has a hardware horror story from any vendor. Geeks prefer to use the devices from the companies that haven't failed them personally. Kinda goes back to the hard drive wars...Seagate or Western Digital? I'd much rather buy a HP refurb over a new Dell any day since Dell has failed me way more than HP ever has.

I still remember rockin' a Compaq Presario 4840 with a second generation DVD-ROM, and integrated 4MB ATI Rage video card. I loved that thing. Pimped it out until the stock power supply died in 2005. Now, it just sits in my parent's basement collecting dust. I attempted to replace the power supply, but I guess when it the original PSU went, it took the board with it.

If the HP mentality of dubious service for their PC peripherals is going to migrate to the new company, who cares. HP remains a loser. I see parallels with what happened with GM's Saturn division--started out great, then GM's mentality returned, Saturn now junk.

Chrono951 said,
So, lets spinoff something we are best at and try and get into something else? What is going on at HP?

Yea. I think Sprint tried the same thing and it didn't go over so well. Word has it that if someone buys Sprint the most likely company is actually it's spinoff.

Their notebooks are not bad, especially their business lines are outstanding. Until a month ago I had to set up HP notebooks regularly, never any problems with the hardware.
The one drawback I knew of a couple years ago is that it's very difficult to replace things on your own, the cable management is not user nor technician friendly. Certified HP technicians told me this themselves...

Edited by speedy_86, Aug 30 2011, 9:36am :

.Neo said,
Honest question: In what other areas is HP succesful beyond printers/scanners?

I believe they are the largest IT company in the world, providing services to major banks, stock exchanges, government, military and private companies,etc. They're a leading provider of servers, networking equipment and software. They're still making calculators after 35 years also.

MFH said,

I believe that you're speaking about IBM

HP overtook IBM years ago but they're still so close they probably trade back and forth all the time. IBM did take back the top spot for servers this year for example but in total revenue I think HP is still in the lead. Needless to say they are both huge.

"Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest IT company..."

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/blogs/j...l-off-pc-division-10024156/

.Neo said,
Honest question: In what other areas is HP succesful beyond printers/scanners?
They are the undisputed king of Server market. Hold a very largest market share over there.

And new logo, huh?

speedy_86 said,
Their notebooks are not bad, especially their business lines are outstanding. Until a month ago I had to set up HP notebooks regularly, never any problems with the hardware.

Aren't notebooks part of the PC business?

.Neo said,
Honest question: In what other areas is HP succesful beyond printers/scanners?

Successful in Printers and Scanners? Yea I guess their hardware is decent but their software is still as bloated as ever.

The last time I had an HP printer though it took me 3 calls for them to admit there was an issue with the printer and when the supposed fix came it had no indication that the fix didn't work over the network. Needless to say I gave them a piece of my mind and grilled them on Windows Vista driver support (it was still pending). On that same token they still screwed me over on driver support. In Windows Vista only the printer worked over the network (it was an network-ready AIO) but it all worked over USB. That ruined it for me and I started looking elsewhere.

P.S. - I didn't specify above but the issue was that the paper feed wheel was manufacturered wrong and didn't have the correct grit to feed the paper. The fix was a plate that was inserted in place of the paper and the software manually controlled the feed to make it more rough and therefore allow it to grip better.

romac said,
HP should spin off their PC business and call it Compaq Computer since they own the brand.

I actually would love to see that. I don't know why, I used to hate Compaq. I guess it's nostalgia.

romac said,
HP should spin off their PC business and call it Compaq Computer since they own the brand.
I would prefer AHPple (pronounced: Ahpple.)

romac said,
HP should spin off their PC business and call it Compaq Computer since they own the brand.

Compaq is synonymous with cheap junk.

rajputwarrior said,


ells are a lot better nowadays. their vostro line is pretty good.

My recent experience with Dell is horror, they ruined alienware, and have the worst service ever. They sent FOUR replacement screens for my alienware notebook and ALL were bad...was amazing.

Beyond Godlike said,

My recent experience with Dell is horror, they ruined alienware, and have the worst service ever. They sent FOUR replacement screens for my alienware notebook and ALL were bad...was amazing.

That's not really Dells fault it's the fault of who ever makes the LCD, Typically LG or Samsung.

BletchleyPark said,

That's not really Dells fault it's the fault of who ever makes the LCD, Typically LG or Samsung.

Or Toshiba.