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Hewlett Packard to buy Compaq Computer

By twodot72 in News
Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 09:30:42 AM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)

Late Monday night, the largest merger in the computer business ever was announced. Hewlett Packard will buy Compaq Computer in a deal worth USD 25 billion. The new company will rival IBM in size.

News.com has the full story. More details can be found in Hewlett Packards press release.

It was only a few months ago Compaq announced that they would discontinue its alpha platform and transfer the technology and key personnel to Intel. The Alpha architecture was, performance-wise, the main competitor to Intel's new IA64 architecture. Compaq, suffering from the slump in PC sales and low margins on PC hardware, has lately tried to reinvent itself, focusing more on services.

The question is, where will this leave the customers? HP and Compaq both belong to the big four in PC sales (together with Dell and IBM). Merger mania continues, again leaving us with less choice. Who will be the next happy couple?


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Related Links
o the full story
o Hewlett Packards press release
o discontinu e its alpha platform
o IA64 architecture
o Also by twodot72

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Hewlett Packard to buy Compaq Computer | 58 comments (55 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
A few more links... (4.50 / 8) (#4)
by twodot72 on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 06:30:09 AM EST

News.com has extended their coverage of the deal. Mike Magees Inquirer has a short piece about the future of the PC industry in the wake of this merger.

Just a few years ago, Compaq itself was on an agressive buying streak. In 1998, its acquisition of DEC was big news. A year earlier, they bought Tandem. These two acquisitions transformed Compaq from being solely a PC maker to a big player in the enterprise market.

Then... (3.75 / 4) (#10)
by pulsar on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 11:07:32 AM EST

Just a few years ago, Compaq itself was on an agressive buying streak. In 1998, its acquisition of DEC was big news. A year earlier, they bought Tandem. These two acquisitions transformed Compaq from being solely a PC maker to a big player in the enterprise market.

Then they sell off Alpha (sorry I couldn't find a better article) sucessfully removing themselves from the enterprise market! and away from the only thing they really had going for them! Very unwise decision, if anything they should have sold it to someone else. Intel just wants the technology. They have tried so many times before to kill off Alpha, it looks like they win in the end. Very sad...

[ Parent ]
Looking on it today it makes sense (4.00 / 5) (#20)
by uweber on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 12:41:33 PM EST

When they anounced that the were selling Alpha to Intel I didn't think it makes sense - just like you. However I'm sure they were already deep in talks with HP - since this is a "friedly" takeover - and it was a smart move to ensure that IA-64 becomes a sucsess (it is as much HP's child as it is Intels's).
Of course this is no excuse for Compaq tu run Tandem and DEC into the ground!

[ Parent ]
Compaq and Alpha (3.75 / 4) (#22)
by twodot72 on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 01:36:11 PM EST

The problem was, as I see it, that Compaq could never really decide what to do with the alpha platform. Ever since they bought DEC, rumors of alpha's demise has been an annual event. Due to lack of commitment, the alpha plaform lost market share, which made Compaq even more hesitant to spend resouces on it. In the end, they really didn't have any choice but to get rid of it.

Selling it to someone else would have been good, but to whom? I can't think of any company with the necessary resouces who would want it. The alpha engineers themselves apparently tried to get Samsung and AMD to step in and save them. Not interrested. Sun could sure use a fast CPU, but they are firmly locked into the Sparc architecture. IBM builds several processor families already, Motorola has PowerPC, and all the others are moving to IA64.

[ Parent ]

the brown touch (4.25 / 4) (#18)
by Sikpup on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 12:32:35 PM EST

And everything they've bought, they've turned to...

Compaq destroyed Tandem, and royally screwed Digital. I don't know what would happen with this merger, but I hope it doesn't go through.

I make $500k purchases of Compaq/Digital equip on a regular basis, and would hate to get involved with trying to recertify everything in rapid order to compensate for all the discontinued lines. The future of the alpha platform is scary enough as it is, and migrating a platform off a nice, super-stable vms base and onto something else isn't going to be fun. Having that timetable shortened is a very scary propostion.

[ Parent ]
Big Iron (3.36 / 11) (#5)
by supine on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 07:06:18 AM EST

Anyone notice the irony?

For the past decade most of the "big boys" ('cept IBM and Sun) have been doing their best to get out of *nix and mainframes/big boxen and into the wintel market.

Now that the PC is such a commodity with wafer thin margins everyone is beating a path back to the big iron.

I don't think that HP really wants Compaq's PC business (but given their's is not, in my opinion, as good, they won't throw it away either). I am convinced they want whatever is left from Digital (and some of the other acquisitions) that Compaq hasn't managed to kill in the meantime.

Put the know-how from HP's PA/RISC days and Compaq/DEC's Alpha days together and HP might have a chance of pushing the IA-64 into the big boxen market.


"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant
ugh (2.25 / 8) (#8)
by core10k on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 10:25:08 AM EST


OT, but does anyone know if the word 'boxen' is actually ever used by sysadmins, consultants and the like? It just makes me want to go on a shooting rampage.

[ Parent ]

Yep (3.50 / 8) (#9)
by Anonymous 242 on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 10:54:11 AM EST

I've heard actual in-the-wild sysadmins utter this word.

I've also heard the word 'concatenate' used by the same in conversation completely unrelated to anything tech.

What a strange sub-culture is brewing.


[ Parent ]

concatenate (3.66 / 6) (#19)
by fluffy grue on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 12:40:42 PM EST

Concatenate \Con*cat"e*nate\ (k[o^]n*k[a^]t"[-e]*n[=a]t), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Concatenated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Concatenating}.] [L. concatenatus, p. p. of concatenare to concatenate. See {Catenate}.] To link together; to unite in a series or chain, as things depending on one another. [1913 Webster]

It's actually a pretty old word; it's only relatively recently that it's come back into fashion.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Yes (3.50 / 20) (#23)
by trhurler on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 01:58:47 PM EST

There are morons and self-important blowhards everywhere. Typically, they either invent or quickly seize upon catchy variations on perfectly good words in order to make themselves seem more "in the know" or "with it" or whatever than they actually are.

Pointing this out in meetings is so much fun that I cannot begin to describe the joy. Management types are especially prone to it, as are incompetent techies or people without much depth of knowledge. Point this out, and they squirm like worms on hot pavement:)

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Male Bovine Excrement (3.50 / 10) (#25)
by Robert Uhl on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 04:29:55 PM EST

It's not to show off; it's out of the shear joy of wordplay. That you cannot appreciate that speaks volumes. It's fun to play with multilingual plurals. It's the same spirit which enjoys puns (an ancient English game) and other such games. It arises from an appreciation of the language.

The reason that it is so common in computer types is that we tend to be expert symbol-manipulators. And of course, if one looks at language as just another collection of symbols to be manipulated, one then comes up with these things. I feel sorry for the fellow who believes that his language just is, who does not see it as the living, breathing, animate thing it is.

[ Parent ]

Speaking of shit... (3.00 / 9) (#26)
by trhurler on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 04:44:49 PM EST

You honestly think the average person using the word "boxen" has any clue where the "en" came from?! If so, then you certainly aren't as clever as you think you are. Most people use such terminology precisely for the reasons I gave, whether this pleases your sensibilities or not. If you are in some minor way better than them, so be it, but frankly, there's nothing too clever about playing mix and match with multiple languages, unless you can do it so that it actually is cunning in some way, and I fail to see the cunning in "boxen." Like "virii," which is in fact not the proper plural of virus, it exists mainly to make people feel smarter than they really are.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
nah (3.50 / 8) (#27)
by alprazolam on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 04:53:07 PM EST

it exists mainly to make people feel smarter than they really are

most likely it exists because some dork thought it was funny and some other dorks agreed. after that who knows. whether it makes anybody feel smart or not has nothing to do with it.

[ Parent ]

I think (3.40 / 5) (#30)
by PhillipW on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 06:37:15 PM EST

I think it sounds kind of stupid, and am annoyed at it's usage.

[ Parent ]
actually (4.40 / 5) (#31)
by mami on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 06:47:49 PM EST

...I remember some "funny" incidence where I exchanged an email with someone, who always expressed himself in very high level technical English (so that I often had to look up words in order to "get" it as non native speaker and non hacker etc.). It sounded always very professionally, polite and subtly manipulative. At least I felt always very impressed and slightly misplaced in the company of those emails, when I had to juggle the next abbreviation or fancy English words. (For example, completely new to programming, I had a hard time to understand the meaning of stacks and heaps.)

One day I needed to use the plural of the word virus. I thought I would be okay to go with my faded-away old school Latin rules and constructed the plural like I thought I had learned it to do some thirty five years ago. So, I used the workd virii.

Holy cow, again I failed. I was not understood. Years later I learned that apparently in American English you are not allowed to build the plural that way. Now I learn that I might have been even a dork (one of those words I have to look up too). I guess neither the guy who didn't get the word virii, nor me found that it was actually very funny.

I guess this was an "accidentical revenge" of an underdog (me) who tried to level up with guru talk. :-)

Relax, just words.( I even never checked if my memory of Latin was all wrong :-)).

[ Parent ]
arghh (3.50 / 4) (#32)
by mami on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 07:03:34 PM EST

My dictionary says this should read ..."accidental revenge", and not "accidentical revenge".

[ Parent ]
that's a first one (3.40 / 5) (#34)
by mami on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 08:24:35 PM EST

someone gives me a rating of 1 because I tried to fix my own mistakes... ?

[ Parent ]
Ummm.. no? (2.00 / 1) (#42)
by Surial on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 09:25:33 AM EST

Look it up again. -ii isn't a Latin plural.

if Virus were a Latin word, (male), then the plural would be Viri.

And that's exactly how I write it, when I'm feeling pedantic. ;-)
"is a signature" is a signature.

[ Parent ]
Virus is a Latin word (3.00 / 2) (#43)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 09:35:33 AM EST

And it is already plural. RTFM for some true pedantry on the topic.


Lee Malatesta

[ Parent ]

True... (2.50 / 2) (#46)
by Surial on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 10:48:58 AM EST

the only 'safe' way to go here is to take it as an english noun, and add -es: viruses. However, if one assumes virus to be a 'plain' count Latin word, which it is not, but it looks like it, the plural would be viri. As a result, I sometimes write that in the hope that people start pointing out my 'typo' of missing another i.* *) When I'm feeling pedantic, that is.
"is a signature" is a signature.

[ Parent ]
isn't it funny ? (3.00 / 2) (#49)
by mami on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 11:59:36 AM EST

Thanks for the link...:-)

Isn't it always funny where each of us can go wrong in its assessments of why others behave the way they do ?

From the link:

*Virii is still completely silly, so don't do that; otherwise everyone will know you're just a blathering script kiddie.

So, we have pedants, blathering script kiddies, linguistically inclined Perl Gurus and mommies with bad memories all mixed up in one pot ?

I definitely can say now, that this link has cured me completely from ever getting in touch again with this terrible virus "virii". The virus(es) of viri (men) won't hurt me any further, rest assured.

[ Parent ]

Sure, (3.00 / 2) (#48)
by mami on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 11:29:33 AM EST

I said that I didn't try to check it out when I used it. My old school books were not available to me at that time and my memory of such rules very faint. Contrary to you I am not a pedantic, so one day I will try to find out why I had this "strange -ii plural construction" left in my memory somewhere. :-)

Can't quite follow through with what I might have mixed it up. But then I always mix up things, so no wonder.

[ Parent ]
It comes from... (3.00 / 2) (#45)
by beergut on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 10:14:58 AM EST

...the same place from whence "VAXen" comes.

And, when dealing with Digital/Compaq/HP/God-knows-whose boxen, that's what I call 'em. So, yes, I'm one of those sysadmins "in the wild" that uses that term on a semiregular basis.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Fine amongst equal minded people. (none / 0) (#36)
by Tezcatlipoca on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 03:04:43 AM EST

But it iriates IT people from non IT types. As much as surely any jargon anoys a non specialist.

But we IT people are not like lawyers or doctors, we don't need to resort to obscure acronyms and pseudo-words to boost our self confidence, because we are confident, well rounded people that understand a clear communication with others is The Right Thing, isn't it?

"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
[ Parent ]
Jargon (4.00 / 1) (#28)
by cactus on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 06:04:08 PM EST

FYI: "very common"

"Politics are the entertainment branch of Industry"
-- Frank Zappa
[ Parent ]
Not by me. (3.00 / 3) (#35)
by Tezcatlipoca on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 03:00:14 AM EST

boxen sounds stupid and pedantic IMVHO.

It is bad enough that most non IT people think IT people are pedantic, so I don't really need to go around throwing stupid words and acronyms ...

"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
[ Parent ]
IBM still the giant (3.80 / 10) (#6)
by Delirium on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 10:02:34 AM EST

It's interesting to note just how much of a lock IBM has on this market (though not nearly by as much as they did in their monopolistic heydey). The number two computer company (HP) merges with the number three one, which results in it becoming... still number two.

Not really (3.75 / 4) (#17)
by uweber on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 12:30:16 PM EST

Actually IBM is simply the only company left to cover the whole market. There is nothing large (market wise) in computing, except maybe Mainframes and Supercomputing, where IBM is still No.1.
This is also the reason why the were not hit so bad by the economic downturn.

[ Parent ]
As an employee of the "buyee" (3.42 / 7) (#7)
by el_guapo on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 10:09:18 AM EST

it is ironic in the extreme to be on the other side of this transaction. Or as a friend of mine in Paris said in an email "Now the boot is being on the other foot" :)
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
better get that resume in order (3.00 / 2) (#53)
by alprazolam on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 03:54:46 PM EST

I'm dead serious.

[ Parent ]
yup - preaching to the choir on that one :) (3.00 / 1) (#57)
by el_guapo on Thu Sep 06, 2001 at 08:21:39 AM EST

i'm torn between job security and severence though - if i leave now i'll miss out on like 4 months of severence if i get laid off. also, my group is the one that will be connecting the 2 companies, we're the network architects - so during the merger we'll be very needed, and after we'll be redundant as hell :O
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
merger (2.00 / 1) (#58)
by alprazolam on Thu Sep 06, 2001 at 09:53:02 AM EST

will the work you're going to be doing be beneficial to your career or enjoyable? if it's high visibility, it might be more trouble than its worth. either way, you should definately be prepared for anything, you can always try to leverage offers into raises.

[ Parent ]
Unix/Linux consolidation (3.87 / 8) (#11)
by cactus on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 11:26:24 AM EST

What I find most interesting is that this brings three flavors of "Unix" under the same roof: HP-UX, Tru64, and Linux (both HP and Compaq have done substantial Linux work, both on their own and through contracts with companies like Red Hat).

How likely do you think it is that they'll continue to sustain three different, parallel efforts?
"Politics are the entertainment branch of Industry"
-- Frank Zappa
Too many *nix (4.00 / 5) (#21)
by twodot72 on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 01:15:59 PM EST

How likely do you think it is that they'll continue to sustain three different, parallel efforts?
In the long run, not bloody...

Since they are both moving to IA64, it sounds plausible to me that the would-be Tru64 port for IA64 instead becomes some sort of compability layer in HP-UX, easing transition for Compaq customers to the HP-UX/IA64 platform.

Or perhaps they opt for Linux? But I'm not convinced they dare to try and move their big-iron customers to Linux just yet.

[ Parent ]

And Linux run on all the new HP's platforms (4.00 / 1) (#47)
by Per Abrahamsen on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 10:57:29 AM EST

None of the other OS's can claim that.

[ Parent ]
I wanna know what this means for me ? (2.36 / 11) (#12)
by mami on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 11:49:42 AM EST

starting a ridiculous rant:

I am the little dummy end user, who wants to run his little e-commerce server on a SDSL line in my living room, so that I can sell my books all by myself and compete with Amazon. I wanna show those bezoses of the world how to make a profit selling books by being the smallest, independent bookseller on earth, caprice ?

Independent, small, cheap and secure. Wanna mind my own business. Will Hewlett Packard -Compaq-RedHat folks think of me ?

That's why I like this open software and watched carefully this this package , which costs a sweeping price of $ 2995.00, if it's in the box and $ 0.00 if you can download the stuff by yourself ( Tell me, does that makes sense or what ?).

Now, I always like to read stories like this one , because I am a lazy dummy end user and wanna get my server "ready to go" preconfigured with all the stuff I need at CompUSA. Those expensive geek-guru-consultants are just too expensive and rough for my thin-skinned emotional make-up and my savings I keep under my mattress for the biblical next seven bad years to come.

So, with HP buying Compaq, HP having Bruce Perens, will he be nice with Fiorina and will we finally see a low end, inexpensive server for mami optimized for RedHat with nice software like RH e-commerce IC package, which I finally can buy everywhere and do my own thing out of my living room ?

I don't quite get it. RH tries to sell their RH database (PostgrSQL based) for $ 3,000.00, their IC e-commerce platform for $ 3000.00 and tries to sell their .net and consultant services. Of course they price them high enough, so that they get real businesses' business and not some lousy mami wannabe's online chocolate cake selling stupidities (I don't blame them).

But will HP-Compaq now build low-end servers for home usage with e-commerce platforms on it for home-based businesses or not ? I mean if I were RH I would avoid me as a customer like hell, but on the other hand, we are in the majority and the midsize businesses of tomorrow are the home-based mom and dad businesses of today. Hey, that's America, right ? Keep hope alive ! Right.

I wanna keep my freedom. I don't wanna get managed hosting, don't want to rent and colocating with rackspace, don't want space on some ISPs administrated servers. I want everything all by myself and just an automated update and security fix service from RedHat for my software. Will I get it ? At affordable prices ? Do I have to write Fiorina a letter ? I am sure she would get my point, right ?

end ridiculous rant

correction (3.00 / 1) (#44)
by mami on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 09:46:45 AM EST

hmm, actually the IC e-commerce platform I was mentioning includes the RH database, so basically you can get the whole thing for $275.00 per month, a complete open source e-commerce platform. Add $2000.00 - $3.000.00 for hardware and a SDSL line to your home/store for around $200.00 - 300.00 per month, you are set, if you can administer and customize (speak Perl and system admin skills a must) your home/store-based network. That is definitely a good thing compared to solutions a couple of years ago costing a "digit" more.

So, what's missing in this picture ? May be just the lack of enough small businesses and merchants ? If you go back to the bazaar picture from ESR, I ask myself where do you see all the mini merchants, who all would need the services from independent consultants and system admins (like you) to set-up, customize and maintain their open source, store-based e-commerce solutions ?

If the market just deals with the B&Ns, Starbucks, Home Depot's and Ikea's of this world, how many small merchants are left to have the courage and means to compete against those chains ? And the countries, which still have a multitude of small merchants, don't have the low cost bandwidth infrastructure available and don't have the money to pay for the high costs of the available training.

Let's say that the merger of HP and Compaq would result in a more focussed support for just one or two unix based OS, like Linux and HP-UX, and they would build a reliable low-end server for the small merchant, sell them at mass outlets like CompUSA etc, and team up with services from RedHat and may be their certified engineers etc., then why wouldn't that take off and be a good thing ?

Free and open source software has opened up the creation for thousands of smallest consultant businesses, but the internet has closed many possibilities for thousands of small merchants, who actually would need those consultant's help. Very weird all this. At least to me it's confusing.

Just mumbling along...

[ Parent ]
Days past. (3.00 / 7) (#13)
by MattOly on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 11:54:30 AM EST

This really reminds me (albeit, on a much larger scale) of when 3Com bought (read: absorbed) USRobotics. As a marketting guy, I had to tell my customers it was a good thing when they asked, and fortunately it was. All in all, the results were lower costs on both companies products and beefier margins for the parents and retailers.

I'm just waiting to see what this new company will be like. Will HP take the server arena from Compaq and leave the home desktops the way they are? Or will they do the opposite, making decent HP workstations out of the Prosignia line? I'm intrigued.

A final note to...the Republican party. You do not want to get into a fight with David Letterman. ...He's simply more believable than you are.

HP & Compaq = Eurasia or Oceania? (1.05 / 18) (#14)
by Trephinator on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 12:09:22 PM EST

I don't know why, but the first thing I thought of when reading that the 'Big 4' in PCs hardware are now the 'Big 3' was that its a bit Orwellian :)

Are these 3 (IBM,Dell,HP&Compaq) now too big to obtain a deciding market share each? I read that Dell is going for 40% share in desktop PCs, but does this mean they'll be giving ground in another area? It's obviously not in any of the 3's best interest that the situation should stay as it is (as with the controlling powers in 1984 ) but will this happen anyway?

HP & Compaq = Eurasia or Oceania? (1.11 / 17) (#15)
by Trephinator on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 12:10:43 PM EST

I don't know why, but the first thing I thought of when reading that the 'Big 4' in PCs hardware are now the 'Big 3' was that its a bit Orwellian :)

Are these 3 (IBM,Dell,HP&Compaq) now too big to obtain a deciding market share each? I read that Dell is going for 40% share in desktop PCs, but does this mean they'll be giving ground in another area? It's obviously not in any of the 3's best interest that the situation should stay as it is (as with the controlling powers in 1984 ) but will this happen anyway?

HP & Compaq = Eurasia or Oceania? (1.22 / 18) (#16)
by Trephinator on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 12:12:31 PM EST

I don't know why, but the first thing I thought of when reading that the 'Big 4' in PCs hardware are now the 'Big 3' was that its a bit Orwellian :)

Are these 3 (IBM,Dell,HP&Compaq) now too big to obtain a deciding market share each? I read that Dell is going for 40% share in desktop PCs, but does this mean they'll be giving ground in another area? It's obviously not in any of the 3's best interest that the situation should stay as it is (as with the controlling powers in 1984 ) but will this happen anyway?

There's a standard economic theory (4.00 / 2) (#54)
by aphrael on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 04:17:45 PM EST

which says that most markets will eventually settle down to have 2-3 major players and a bunch of minor niche players. That this seems to be happening in the PC industry is simply a sign of the maturity of the PC marketplace (which also means, sadly for those of us who make our living in it, lower growth rates).

[ Parent ]
Name indicates business line (2.90 / 10) (#24)
by ThePlague on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 02:31:26 PM EST

What the story failed to mention is that the new company will be called "Compaq Packard" and specialize in making econonomy-sized versions of old cars.

A look into the future (3.50 / 6) (#29)
by satch on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 06:18:42 PM EST

As an ASE (Acredited Systems Engineer) at Compaq in the Intel line of Proliants, well the merge has been like a big stone falling over me. I've spent my afternoon with random thoughts about it with the following conclusions: -As the Alpha is going to dissapear, OpenVMS and Tru64 are going to go into oblivion too. It would cost too much money, and HP will make HP-UX for large systems and Linux for Small Bussiness -HP will continue with the printing/networking part, and Compaq will put their Proliant instead of the crappy NetServers. Proliants have been the most sold server of the year (well of course there are the shitty low-end ones), and have a good name in industry. So I think both lines will merge as one including the 6 processor machine into some kinda HP/Proliant. I hope they don't change the Compaq Smart Start installation cds for the HP Navigator. The later are the most hideous way to install a server. -Desktop models will be HP mostly with brio, and vectras all around. Deskpros were just some kinda clonics with matrox cards, and flashy lights for diagnostics. In workstation range, HP has discontinued the Kayak line putting some high end vectras, and suppose they'll take the AP and XP workstations from Compaq. -They'll try to get sell directly, instead of the channel focused seller way of Compaq. This way they will have the same offer as Dell and Compaq. -Windows 2000 and Linux will be the OS of choice for medium sized servers. The Microsoft money will make W2K the default choice for the NEW HP consulting firm. -My certifications will be crap in a couple of month as everything will eventually change, several people will have to retrain in the new utrapowerfull and reliable and blalbhalaa new products, what a pity

1 loser + 1 loser = 1 winner? (3.66 / 6) (#33)
by sneakcjj on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 07:41:33 PM EST

Will this mean much considering BOTH companies have been losing money recently? I doubt either will be filing their chapter of choice any time soon but I would like to know which of the failing lines from each company will be let go.

Ironically, I'm writing this from a Compaq Presario laptop I've owned for only four months. Hopefully this won't ruin the extended warranty I bought and planned to use.

Aren't brand name PCs obsolete? (3.00 / 3) (#37)
by Psy-Q on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 03:49:03 AM EST

The last brand name "PC" I bought was an Amiga 2000, and that's a few years back. Ever since that day none of the machines I work with came from one of the "big" companies. Instead I bought from little mom & dad stores (PCs) or OEMs that specialize in large quantities (rackmounted stuff).

And my home PCs are all homebrewn. So how does this affect us, I'm sure I'm not the only one doing it this way? I never understood why anyone would buy a prebuilt PC, the only difference seems to be the warranty. There are dozens of small shops that build PCs AND provide warranty around here, though.

Except for the really-really-really high end market, what is affected by this?

Re: Aren't brand name PCs obsolete? (3.75 / 4) (#38)
by dagw on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 05:43:47 AM EST

It's not really about individual purchases, it's about companies. If you need 500 computers delivered you're not going to go to looking for the best deal on 500 motherboards, 500 CPU's etc.

In addtion to this the number of PC owners who are willing and able to build their own PC's is rather small. These people want to buy something that works out of the box, and most of them are more comfortable buying brand names.

For the record, I've built almost all of my home boxes my self, but if I need new hardware at work I call HP or SGI

[ Parent ]

how many layoffs? (3.00 / 4) (#39)
by anonymous cowerd on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 07:11:27 AM EST

We're talking about two companies with over 125,000 employees. Note the extensive duplication between the two product lines; they both make competing desktops, laptops, servers and PDAs. All that superfluity! So, as a result of this merger, how many jobs will be dissolved?

I was watching the news on TV last night and amidst all the worshipful gushing over the $80-billion+ revenues and the huge projected market share in the various categories of products there wasn't even a single word about all the workers who'll get the axe. When they interviewed the CEOs, the layoff question was nowhere in sight. Hell, that's the first thing I thought of, and if I were interviewing those two the first question I'd have asked would have been, "So you have extensive business plans already drawn up. Tell us, how many layoffs are programmed into those business plans?" You'd think the inquiring minds of TV watchers would want to know stuff like this, but I guess it isn't in the interest of the giant media corporations to distract "Survivor" fans by discussing such depressing questions, so into the oubliette with them!

Now there are two CEOs, and of course no company need more than one CEO, so I imagine someone's going to be "downsized." But I'm sure the experience won't be all that unpleasant for him or her, as CEOs typically get luxurious "golden umbrellas" as part of their contracts, so the loser will walk away smiling with millions of dollars of cash in pocket. Not so, though, for the thousands of low level workers who get the axe; they'll be thrown out into a job market already overstuffed with technical workers, subsequent to the dot-com bubble bursting (not to mention last week's mass layoff at Gateway 2000).

Also, whenever you see large-scale mergers like this there are always considerable one-time expenses associated with all that administrative razzmatazz, and in order to keep the stockholders happy these expenses will probably be made up by yet more employee cutbacks. Not so good for the ex-workers being shuttled off to the unemployment lines, not so good either for customers who can expect longer hold times and lousier service. Not so good for the readership of K5, who traditionally think themselves exempt, due to their high IQs and l337 h1tek 5k1llz, from being subjected to the noxious short-term side-effects of that gentle, beneficent "invisible hand"; wake up guys, this is your industry whose workers are getting squeezed!

Oh well, we can always hope that John Ashcroft's Justice Department's antitrust division will disallow the merger! (That was meant as broad and obvious sarcasm.)

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

The one thing that really disturbs me about America is that people don't like to read. - Keith Richards

layoffs (3.00 / 3) (#40)
by malikcoates on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 07:40:04 AM EST

I think this is the real question. A lot of people are going to be laid off as a result of this. Looking at the down economy, I just hope they will wait a while to do it.

[ Parent ]
X layoffs. So? (3.66 / 3) (#50)
by quartz on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 12:34:33 PM EST

wake up guys, this is your industry whose workers are getting squeezed!

OK, I'm awake. Now what? Should I join the IT workers union and go on strike? Nah, I'm not the union type - I always choose higher wages + higher risk over lower wages + job security. Besides, unions are big, cumbersome and inefficient and everybody hates them. Oh wait, I think there's no such thing as the IT workers union anyway.

What else? I could lobby my elected officials to regulate the hell out of the IT industry, then I would get to keep my job regardless of the economic situation. Fuck the economic downturn and all that shit, I want my paycheck and I want it now, dammit! Um, wait a minute, something's wrong here. I can't really expect that to happen. When demand for something is low, companies producing that something see decreasing revenues, i.e. less money. And since money doesn't grow on trees, where is my paycheck supposed to come from? The government? But the government gets its money from ME anyway, so what's the idea here? If I am to benefit from my own money, I'd rather manage it myself, thank you. The government isn't much of a manager.

I don't think there's much else I can do, except maybe for demonstrating in front of the HQ of whatever company laid me off, chanting "give me my job back, because I feel I'm somehow entitled it!", which I find a rather stupid thing to do.

There would be this other thing, though, namely to take my life into my own hands and plan my expenses carefully, maybe set up a savings account so I won't have to worry about money between jobs, think about a career change when I notice my skills are no longer "hot" and things like that. But hey, why go to all that trouble when I can have it all with a minimum of effort? Just let the almighty State manage my life and I'm set. Because, really, things cannot go on like this anymore. It's outrageous, CEO's walking away with millions in their pockets and poor me only getting my puny severance bonus, THAT'S NOT FAIR! BOO! EVERYBODY should have millions or NOBODY will. Right? We should all earn the same exact amount of money, live in houses the same size, drive the same cars, eat the same food and basically be oh so equal. And social justice will prevail.

Yeah. Right.

Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
[ Parent ]
Everyone hates unions? (3.33 / 3) (#51)
by Spendocrat on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 02:59:33 PM EST

Really? Weird.

[ Parent ]
Like that Yogi Berra quote... (4.00 / 2) (#56)
by flimflam on Thu Sep 06, 2001 at 07:51:12 AM EST

(Probably slightly mangled): "Nobody goes there anymore -- it's too crowded."
-- I am always optimistic, but frankly there is no hope. --Hosni Mubarek
[ Parent ]
parable (4.16 / 6) (#55)
by anonymous cowerd on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 07:03:49 PM EST

So these nerdy tech guys are standing on the railroad track. Suddenly a bell begins to ring, and these two red lights hanging off a metal beam over their heads start blinking, first the right one, then the left, then the right, then the left...

Libertarian #1 says "Hey isn't that a kewl color! Red! I always liked red. It's really bright." L2 sez, "But that's the color favored by the hated Communists! I hate Communists. Joseph Stalin was a bad man." L3 points out "Whenever I frag some d00d in Quake he turns splat! into a real neato red blob!" L2, the political one, points out that "When American industry was in its early stages, workers were free to advance themselves financially by laboring seventy-five hours a week. But in today's socialist nanny state, there are unjust wage-and-hour laws that prohibit this! We need more guns!" Libertarian #4 has been boozing it up; he's looking blurrily at the lights, swaying and grinning. L1 notes that there is an all-red theme for Enlightenment on his Linux box. L3 comments that the wavelength of red light is about 7500 Angstroms. Whereas the wavelength of green light is 5000 Angstroms. So if you go approximately half the speed of light toward a red traffic light, it will appear to be green.

Commie rat #1 (rattus marxicus), who happens to have stepped off that particular track sometime last year, mentions, "Hey, yo, you guys, hey listen up; you're standing on a railroad track. And there's a train coming. Dudes." L2 sneeringly ripostes, "Everyone hates labor unions. Except for you, you whining Commie pansy. Why don't you just throw your mother into a Gulag, you statist!"

CR1 shrugs and walks away.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

The one thing that really disturbs me about America is that people don't like to read. - Keith Richards
[ Parent ]

CEO's don't get laid off (3.00 / 2) (#52)
by alprazolam on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 03:53:35 PM EST

I believe Carly will stay as CEO (obvious marketing ploy) and Michael Capellas (Compaq CEO) will be president. CEO's don't get downsized, they sometimes get axed by the board, but there's nobody in the company above them to downsize them. I predict that 40,000 of the ~150,000 employees will get laid off. Gateway will fold within 2 years time.

[ Parent ]
Not so good (3.33 / 3) (#41)
by uweber on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 09:20:49 AM EST

I doubt this will work out. Of course the "box pushing" (PC building) will integrate o.k. but to merge the stuff from Compaq's recent aquisitions like Tandem and DEC with HP's own big-iron offerings will need substantial resources. Especally finding a good strategy to integrate the Convex leftovers (owned py HP), Tandem and OpenVMS or just keep them moving forward will be next to impossible.
Of course integrating HP-UX and True64 won't be easy either but since both seem to already run on IA-64 this should at least be doable.
Of course the new company will not go broke but if all is said and done (lets say in 5 years) they won't be as big as they are now.

Hewlett Packard to buy Compaq Computer | 58 comments (55 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
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