% fortune -ae paul murphy

Welcome Back Compaq

In the spirit of making everything old new again, I have a question for anyone past their mid twenties: Which of the following names evokes an expectation of quality?


Right. Compaq: so now that Intel has all but officially declared the end of its commitment to Itanium what's HP going to do?

Perhaps what it should have done ten years ago - turn itself into a printer and related products company while releasing Compaq as a stand-alone public company.

Right now, HP's printing and related product groups make money, but Itanium sells only to people who are anti-everything else including Sun, IBM, and Wintel while HP-UX is tottering, PA-RISC is dead, Alpha is dead, MPE is dead - you name it, and if it isn't a printer or a PC they've killed it.

Sometimes betting the company means losing the company - and any shareholder with an ounce of sense can tell when it's long past time to fold. So lets see HP call a loss a loss and get on with creating real shareholder value out of the debris.

How? re-invent Compaq; sell the consultants to IBM or EDS; take up Sun's offer to support the remaining HP-UX businesses; and, focus what's left of HP on printing and related products.

Paul Murphy wrote and published The Unix Guide to Defenestration. Murphy is a 25-year veteran of the I.T. consulting industry, specialising in Unix and Unix-related management issues.