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BLOG: The fate of PCs at HP: 10 questions

Nate Ralph | Aug. 19, 2011
With HP mulling over spinning off its PC business or selling it outright, there are plenty of questions that need answering.

But more importantly, TouchSmart PCs got better and better with every update. PC manufacturers are... stubborn. Case in point: Laptop manufacturers' struggle to compete with Apple's Macbook Air. HP bucked the trend here. Other companies (Apple included) leave their All-in-Ones largely unchanged -- a slimmer chassis here, a curvier bezel there. HP consistently sought out ways to change and improve the user experience on their machines, from a software and hardware perspective. I can't say they were always successful, but at least it gave us something different to look at down in the PCWorld labs. Would an independent PC division have the drive (or more importantly, the research and development resources) to carry on this tradition?
Is this (finally) the end of Compaq?

Oh right, Compaq. A familiar tune: they went from being the largest supplier of PCs in the world to being picked up by HP for $25 billion back in 2002. Their technology and products were shuffled into the PSG group's various product lines. With HP's PC business in limbo, what will become of this vestige of a vestige?

Should consumers steer clear of HP's products?

This one is tricky. An HP desktop like the TouchSmart 610 is still going to be a fine machine a week from now. But PCs are long term investments -- HP might not be out of the PC business just yet, promising that it's business as usual while they investigate their options. With no clear idea of the PC business' fate, should someone hoping to pick up a new laptop or desktop consider HP, with the knowledge that their PC's support network might be owned by an entirely different company well before their warranty is up?


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