After years of chaos and turnover of leadership, HP has chosen another leader, Leo Apotheker who has a quite different background from the USA-anchored HP. HP moved from a company specializing in high-tech engineering products to mass-produced printers and computers. What can we expect of a leader who matured in SAP and ran it? Expertise in software. Intimate knowledge of SAP which is ripe for acquisition by HP and a competitor of HP’s competitor in hardware, Oracle.
HP has staked a claim in servers, PCs, and printers. Could they make a move in software? Could they buy SAP, Suse, or others to give them something to run on their PCs and servers? That makes sense. Oracle is doing that. IBM is doing that. Why not HP? Apotheker will no doubt have a global view of IT and may be friendly to GNU/Linux on desktop and server. They could increase margins by pushing GNU/Linux instead of that other OS. At SAP, Apotheker had no problem with customers running SAP on GNU/Linux.
Apotheker has a background in software and may leave the running of the hardware divisions to the current managers but he may also open up the company to new areas of software, cloud services or GNU/Linux on the desktop. The market is moving that way although slowly and he may feel the need to be more independent of M$.
UPDATE The Register has a different take…