Friday, February 24, 2012

HP stands for Ho-hum Products

Poor Hewlett-Packard. It's earnings were down 44 percent over the holiday season thanks largely to weak demand for its PCs.

Such news is hardly surprising since the previous CEO wanted to jettison the high volume/low margin PC business from HP.

Out he went and in came Meg Whitman, the woman who made a killing running eBay and then blew a good chunk of it on her failed, egotistical bid for governor of California.

HP, on the consumer end, is known for cheap computers and printers. There are so many models of each that it can barely keep track of them.

Whitman acknowledged as much when she said that HP needed to reduce its SKU, or stock-keeping unit.

Whitman also blamed the economy, flooding in Thailand and changing buying habits for the big decline at HP. Consumers are buying iPads, not HP's failed TouchPad, which lasted about two months.

How about blaming its mediocre to poor core products.

I've had numerous HP products over the years, including printers, desktops and laptops.

The only product that I've ever liked was the 5P laser printer. I traded in my 3P in 1995 for the 5P and it's still working.

But, the desktops and laptops had numerous issues including ridiculous "bloatware," pre-loaded garbage software that nearly incapacitates the computer.

Another big issue is the poor compatibility between HP computers and HP printers. Go figure.

Some of the problems are related to Microsoft's Windows operating system. But, it got ridiculous when I called HP's customer support and they would immediately say they weren't at fault. Call Microsoft. And, of course, Microsoft blamed HP.

I had enough of HP by 2009 after my daughter's first laptop became virtually useless after one year in college. We got her an MSI netbook which was a champ on her travels.

I'm typing this blog entry on a Samsung laptop that came with little bloatware. It's fast and reliable.

My next printer will be a Canon because they're always rated better than HP printers.

The big winners of the PC era, HP and Microsoft, are now the big losers during the iEpoch.

The reason is that they both had microscopic innovation this past decade. They were fat and happy.

Apple wasn't.

Thanks to Steve Jobs' leadership, Apple produced hit after hit: the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad. Now that Jobs has died, Apple will likely begin to fade again.

And then there is Google, the search engine that could.

Its Android operating system is now on more phones than Apple's operating system.

It may not be long before Android hogs market share in computers whether they be tablets, laptops or desktops.

Google and Apple are innovators.

The only knock against Google is that it innovates so much and so frequently that it can barely inform the end-user.

I'm mostly in Google's camp because Apple's products are overpriced, but I have yet to buy any hardware that runs Android.

The updated Asus Transformer running Android, though, is looking good.

I'm done with HP and someday soon I may be done with Windows.


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