Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Posts Tagged / HP

  • Jul 14 / 2014
  • 4

It’s Been A Long Time Coming But Competition Returns To The Market For PCs

It was just a few years ago that M$ could tell OEMs what to do if they wanted to sell a PC and that included bundling M$’s OS with (almost) every PC shipped on the planet.“Microsoft operating chief Kevin Turner said that the company and its partners won’t cede the low-end of the PC market and will sacrifice Windows licensing margins to do it.” That’s over and here’s what happened:

  • That pesky GNU/Linux operating system would not go away and was installed on just about everything except desktop PCs…
  • Finally Dell, HP, and other big OEMs figured out that they could make money selling some PCs with GNU/Linux, probably as a result of US Department of Justice twisting arms…
  • Then Google figured out that PCs had to be a lot cheaper if Google’s market, everyone on the Internet, was going to grow sufficiently rapidly to maintain Google in the manner to which it had become accustomed, and Google provided an inexpensive */Linux OS, Android/Linux the world could ship on inexpensive ARMed PCs of all kinds: tablets, smartphones, all-in-ones and yes, even desktop PCs. Further, Android/Linux did not have a lot of the problems of that other OS: malware, slowing down, re-re-reboots, and high and hidden price…

Chuckle. The good times are rolling. Eventually even retailers and businesses locked into doing things M$’s way will take the opportunities that exist in the market. Already Google has sponsored a billion small cheap computers running Android/Linux and there could be more than another billion shipped this year. M$ had better compete on price to have any hope of keeping up. Then there are all the lock-ins that M$ has built over the year. Those lock-ins now keep M$ out of the market: Bloatware just doesn’t fit on most small cheap computers, bloatware just doesn’t run fast on most small cheap computers, and M$’s GUI for the desktop and the touch-screen doesn’t fit well on the tiny screens that people love to put in their pockets.

Forget charging a price of $0. M$ will have to pay people to buy something running that other OS. People won’t take that pay as just a reduction of the price of the device a few dollars. They will want a huge cut or some substantial benefit. Using a word-processor designed in the 1980s won’t cut it. Most users of small cheap computers can’t even type… They just want to click and */Linux lets them and their friends and their friends’ friends click to their heart’s content. Remember the 1990s when M$ held that monopoly naturally called on them to dominate the market? Well, it’s the 1990s all over again, done right this time. :-))

Do the maths. Millions are buying small cheap computers that do for them what bulky PCs used to do: compute and communicate. Those small cheap computers even do it better, being small and cheap (bonus for no extra charge). If M$ does give away its OS for small cheap computers or pay people to use its OS, everyone will know that the value of M$’s OS on desktop PCs and servers is about $0, too. The endgame is that M$ cannot just compete on price for consumers’ gadgets. M$ will have to compete everywhere and actually work for a living from now on. That will lower their margins considerably. That will cut into their bottom line. That may not maintain their market share anywhere near where it is now.

See Microsoft eyes Chromebooks, low-end PC market: All about the platform.

  • Apr 24 / 2014
  • 3

Another Blow To Wintel: UK Retail Shelf-space

Recently, “Fed up with Windows? Had enough of Apple? Grab yourself a slice of history with this HP laptop. The first manufacturer installed Ubuntu machine available from a UK retailer.” consumers in UK have been offered GNU/Linux by eBuyer on a notebook by HP. eBuyer offers several machines with GNU/Linux. Under the “laptop” category, you can find, “OS Provided / Edition

  • Google Chrome (8)
  • No Operating System (1)
  • Ubuntu (1)”

It’s about time. This shows M$ may have delayed GNU/Linux on the desktop when it stifled netbooks but FLOSS is just too good an idea to die.

See HP 255 G1 Laptop.

  • Feb 12 / 2014
  • 10

GNU/Linux-only, What a concept!

HP is producing powerful servers for which they don’t support that other OS…
“Only Linux distributions are supported: Red Hat, CentOS, Fedora, and Ubuntu. No Windows.”

Chuckle. Is it the EULA? Is the fact that efficient operators don’t want to bother with that other OS? Is it reliability or flexibility or that driver thing? Whatever… ;-)

See FIRST LOOK: HP takes giant leap in server design.

  • Feb 04 / 2014
  • 0

Lenovo Bought IBM’s x86 Servery Just In Time For HP’s Suicide

“Hewlett-Packard’s policy of clamping down on third-party and budget server support has swung into effect. According to a message sent to HP Proliant customers and seen by The Reg: Starting February 2014, an active warranty or contract is required to access HP ProLiant Server firmware updates.”It never ceases to amaze me how a successful business like HP can blow up their opportunities. Rather than ramping up the salesmen to poach IBM’s server customers who might be worried about Lenovo, they fire the cannon in an opening barrage against their own customers. The value of older HP servers has just plunged if they can’t be fixed/updated/reflashed. Why not buy from others servers without such burdens?

See Just as we said it would: HP clamps down on server fixers.

  • Jan 31 / 2014
  • 2

It Pays To Sell GNU/Linux

For years I have watched the web-stats for GNU/Linux languish in Mexico. No longer. In the summer of 2013, retailers, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer and Canonical got together in Mexico and sold PCs. It does pay to have actual salespeople and retail shelf-space. Obviously the PCs are selling. I hope other countries get going on this, mine, for instance…
“In Mexico, HP has been running in-store initiatives with Bodega Aurrera stores – a subsidiary of Wal Mart – where consumers could buy HP laptops with Ubuntu pre-loaded off the shelf. The computers are available in several hundred of the stores, and the initial units sold out at three times faster than anticipated. Proof that where Ubuntu device are available in stores, then customers will see strong value and purchase.”

  • Jan 07 / 2014
  • 8

Opening The Valve To High-volume GNU/Linux PC-Production On A Global Scale

OK, gaming’s a niche in IT, a place where teenagers and young men work out their frustrations with the real world… but it has long been one of the few places GNU/Linux has not thrived: gaming, business, and retail shelves. All that is ending in 2014 with news from CES 2014:
“Valve’s new hardware partners are Dell’s Alienware, Alternate, CyberPower PC, Falcon Northwest, Gigabyte, Maingear,, Next, Origin, Scan Computers, Webhallen, and Zotac. Prior to Valve’s small CES news conference, Digital Storm and iBuyPower announced that they will be building Steam boxes. Many of these are small, obscure computer OEMs, but three of the companies — Dell’s Alienware, Falcon Northwest and Gigabyte — are major PC gaming powerhouses.”

See Valve announces over more than a dozen Linux-powered Steam gaming boxes.

OK, if those players are too small, consider that HP and Lenovo are at long last going to produce */Linux PCs for businesses and consumers. Lenovo is the Chinese outfit that bought out IBM’s client PCs, remember? They have grown globally. If they enter a market, it will be in a big way. HP? They are reputed to be #1 in production of legacy PCs. HP has been struggling to maintain that share recently but if new management sees */Linux as viable, it will happen and retailers will sell what these two produce because they are globally recognized brands.

There you have it. All three of the last props under the Wintel house of cards are being yanked out. The world can and does make its own software and does not need M$. The world can and does make other CPUs than Intel. After 2014 there will be no niche in IT owned by M$.

  • Dec 23 / 2013
  • 6

Oops! HP Shoots Other Foot!

HP suffered some setbacks a year or two ago as a result of shipping some client devices the world was not ready to embrace. Now they are taking a big mis-step with servers. They are restricting firmware patches to paying customers… This will hurt many small IT businesses, small organizations running on used equipment, refurbishers, and folks doing in-house maintenance etc.

It certainly would make it difficult for some of the organizations I worked for to use HP’s servers. Check out some of the comments by others. e.g. “In the end we will have this fixed, tested and working before the rest of staff get back from the New Years holiday. The only ones who will know be the people who sign off on my overtime, my girlfriend who may be spending the week of new years by herself and anyone who mentions HP to me in the next couple of years.”

It is likely HP will end up with fewer customers although those may pay more. It remains to be seen whether this improves the bottom line. Servers are periodically replaced and there are always those who will supply firmware upgrades at a lower price than HP’s subscriptions. I know HP makes good solid servers. I may be able to pick up some cheaply after this takes effect.

This is yet another example of why FLOSS is vital for end-users even those unaware of its existence. If the firmware were FLOSS, HP would indeed have customers and not slaves. Strange HP doesn’t get that. They’ve been around long enough to know better.

“HP will only release updates in return for an in-warranty product serial number or an active Service Agreement ID.”

See HP clampdown on 'unauthorised' server fixing to start in January.

  • Nov 27 / 2013
  • 11

HP Perfects the All-in-One PC And It Runs Android/Linux

Need a 21-inch monitor? How about a PC bundled with that including Android/Linux for $400?
“The screen is the Slate 21’s strong-point. A 21.5-inch, 1920 x 1080 IPS LCD affair, it’s bright enough for indoor use. It’s sharp, colourful and good to look at from almost any viewing angle. The last fact is rather important because HP sees the Slate 21 as a device the family will huddle around. Narrow viewing angles would have put the kibosh on that.”slate-banner-21

See HP’s ENORMO-SLAB: The Slate 21 MONSTER tablet.

The problem with All-in-One PCs to date has been that they come with that other OS and huge increment in price. This thing will cost you less than a monitor, ATX box and a licence for that other OS,… a lot less. Powered by the Nvidia Tegra CPU, it doesn’t need any fan or bulky PSU.


  • Android 4.2 w/multi-user support
  • Nvidia Tegra Quad Core T40S
  • 1GB DDR3-800MHz SDRAM
  • 8GB Flash Memory
  • 21.5″ diagonal touch screen; 16:9 widescreen IPS full HD LED backlit display; 2-point touch enabled

See HP Slate 21-k100 All-in-One Desktop PC – $399

Whew! 2013 is heating up as my weather cools down! This looks like a PC that will replace a lot of legacy PCs with their bulk, cabling, fans, heat and noise… My Beast is trembling in the corner… I wonder how long it would take to build a kernel on this thing? Heh, I don’t need to do that in real time anyway… This thing could work for me if Beast weren’t healthy and I wasn’t overstocked with monitors. I expect copycats and lower prices still to come.

Wow!Small cheap computers are maturing quickly. Chuckle…

Alun Taylor at The Register gets the final word: “If you’re after something for domestic web browsing, light computing duties, social networking and media consumption, the HP Slate 21 has plenty to recommend it. It’s powerful, affordable, easy on the eye, comes with all the expected Android/Google goodies and services, and has a great screen and speaker combination.
It may be an answer to a question you’ve not asked, but it’s an impressive answer nonetheless. HP’s PR wallahs are going to have to go some to prise this one away from me.”

  • Nov 25 / 2013
  • 8

Small Cheap Computers Walmart Is Pushing

I received an ad from Walmart:
Walmart_ad_pre-Black_Friday_20131125 Interesting features of the ad are that

  • 3 of the 4 PCs being pushed are not that other OS,
  • the “first” two (on the left) are ChromeBooks ($230 and $248), and
  • the last of the 4 is an Android/Linux tablet ($69).

So, you are a consumer itching to spend money. How do they stack up?

Feature Samsung Chromebook Acer Chromebook HP Notebook Nextbook Tablet
Screen diagonal 11.6″ 11.6″ 15.6″ 7″
CPU ARM Exynos 5 Dual 1.70 GHz Intel Celeron 847 2.0 GHz AMD E-300 1.3 GHz peak 3.20 GHz ARM Cortex A9 1.0gHz
RAM 6gB 6gB 4gB 1gB
Battery life 6h 3.5h 4h 5h
Price $248 $230 $298 $69
Storage 16gB 16gB 320gB 6gB
Weight 4.1 lb 4.1 lb 7.3 lb 1.6 lb

So, are you going to pay extra for screen size, weight, storage, a bit faster idling CPU and that other OS or are you going to buy a real small cheap computer? I think the price/performance comparisons give the answer. If you want extreme mobility, go with the tablet. You could even buy a bunch and give them to friends or leave one at each of your locations so that you don’t even have to carry anything around. If you want good mobility, go with the Chromebooks. Take your pick. If you want to be a slave to Wintel and lug a brick around all day, go with the most expensive and not smallest computer. Given a bunch of choices some will take one choice or another. The bottom line is that a very small fraction of consumers will choose Wintel this winter.

  • Oct 20 / 2013
  • 108

Workstation Computers From HP

This is kind of a different sentiment from some OEMs we know…
“It’s nice to have choices

All HP Workstations can support a variety of operating systems. HP engineers work extensively with Windows® and Linux operating system providers to verify top performance, flexibility, reliability, and compatibility with HP Workstations. We conduct joint engineering collaboration with industry partners long before systems are introduced.”

Further, when you look at the products we see things like this:

Form Factor Rackable minitower
Available Operating Systems Windows 8 Pro 64-bit
Windows 8 中文版 64-bit
Windows 8 Pro Downgrade to Windows 7 Professional 32-bit
Windows 8 Pro Downgrade to Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Windows 7 Professional 32-bit*
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit*
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit*
HP Linux Installer Kit
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop/Workstation* (1 year paper license; no preinstalled OS)
* This system may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware and/or a DVD drive to install the Windows 7 software and take full advantage of Windows 7 functionality.

The point is that the OS is not bundled with the workstation and users can get to see the price of that other OS. They do supply that other OS pre-installed but you can see the price difference between that and installing GNU/Linux.
With identical hardware, getting that other OS costs about $100 more.
HP_workstations_comparison I would bet the cost of tweaking the OS would amount to more with that other OS too. That has been my experience, hours instead of minutes with GNU/Linux.

Now, obviously, HP can do that for all their PCs and they could bundle GNU/Linux as well. Pick any of the major desktop distros and consumers would be happy. It costs HP nothing to give consumers a choice. It is a distortion of the market to give M$ the bye on retail shelves. Clearly there is a market for GNU/Linux PCs.

  • Sep 26 / 2013
  • 1

Ubuntu GNU/Linux Selling in 2500 Chinese Stores

Not only did Dell ramp up the number of its stores selling Ubuntu GNU/Linux but HP “began stocking two new Ubuntu laptops in over 1,500 of its Chinese stores as of September 16th.”

see HP to Stock Ubuntu Laptops in 1,500 China Stores.

Between the two of them there are 2500 stores with GNU/Linux on retail shelves in China. If they can sell a few machines per day each, that’s millions of GNU/Linux PCs selling in China annually. Imagine what Lenovo, Acer and others are doing… What’s so special about China? Less lock-in? Built-in emerging market? A government that encourages independence from outsiders? Whatever the reason, this could be the year of the GNU/Linux desktop in China. It remains to be seen whether this growth will continue and how far this will go in stimulating legacy-PC sales.

  • Sep 11 / 2013
  • 3

Intel Strikes Back

Intel is striking back at the ARMed ecosystem two ways:

  1. “The Quark design is fully synthesizable, with extension points to allow customers to integrate their own functional blocks onto Quark SoCs. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich also said that although Intel would prefer that Quark chips (including those with custom, third-party blocks) be built on Intel’s own fabs, Quark will in time be buildable by third parties.”

    see Intel aims another barrel at ARM with synthesizable, ultra-low-power Quark

  2. “Krzanich also talked up Haswell-Y chips during his keynote, demonstrating a new HP laptop that has a processor using just 4.5 Watts of power, which is available as fanless Core i5 and Core i7 parts.”
    Intel CEO talks up 14nm Haswell successor, Broadwell at IDF

So, Moore’s Law marches on and Intel is figuring out how to do what ARM does… but Moore’s Law works for ARM as well and ARM certainly knows how to do what ARM does so expect fierce competition on performance for years to come. Now, about that price… Can Intel compete on price? The world is wanting small and cheap PCs not just small PCs. Combined with FLOSS, Intel’s latest moves should make products using Intel more competitive but ARM still has a lead and huge advantages for emerging markets which made the glory-days of Wintel seem pale.