The U.S. computer industry is dying and I’ll tell you exactly who is killing it and why

18326481-empty-computer-room-abandoned-building-basement-sf-old-mintThis is my promised third column in a series about the effect of H-1B visa abuse on U.S. technology workers and ultimately on the U.S. economy. This time I want to take a very high-level view of the problem that may not even mention words like “H-1B” or even “immigration,” replacing them with stronger Anglo-Saxon terms like “greed” and “indifference.” The truth is that much (but not all) of the American technology industry is being led by what my late mother would have called “assholes.” And those assholes are needlessly destroying the very industry that made them rich. It started in the 1970s when a couple of obscure academics created a creaky logical […]

Autodesk’s John Walker explained HP and IBM in 1991

autodeskcoverOne reader of this column in particular has been urging me to abandon for a moment my obsession with IBM and look, instead, at his employer — Hewlett Packard. HP, he tells me, suffers from all the same problems as IBM while lacking IBM’s depth and resources. And he’s correct: HP is a shadow of its former self and probably doomed if it continues to follow its current course. I’ve explained some of this before in an earlier column, and another, and another you might want to re-read. More of HP’s problems are covered in a very fine presentation you can read here. Were […]

Hear that? It’s HP founders Bill and Dave spinning in their graves

 

Corporations, especially big American corporations, file lawsuits all the time for many reasons. Often they sue to force others to comply with agreements or to punish non-compliance with the law. But sometimes they sue, well, just because they can. I suspect that is what’s happening in Hewlett Packard’s current fight over Autonomy, the UK software company HP bought two years ago for $11.1 billion. The HP board seems determined to demonize Autonomy founder Mike Lynch for being smarter than they are.

Given the smarts that HP board has shown in recent years, we may all be at risk of being sued by the company.

HP, its business faltering with no mobile strategy to speak of and its stock dropping, has been looking like stupid-on-a-stick for years […]

By |November 28th, 2012|2012, Business, Companies, Computing, Industry, Technology, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Hear that? It’s HP founders Bill and Dave spinning in their graves

The once and future WebOS

WebOS, first from Palm and then from Hewlett Packard, came and went so fast most mobile software developers never even got a chance to play with it. Now HP has declared WebOS to be Open Source, placing the project (it’s really not a product anymore) under CEO Meg Whitman to show they haven’t totally given up on the mobile OS. But what is WebOS, really, in this new incarnation? Its potential is enormous — far greater than most people realize — but I simply don’t see HP and Whitman as being able to execute on the plan, if there really is one.

WebOS and its Enyo application framework are clever and elegant and have one important […]

By |December 14th, 2011|2011|55 Comments

Meg's Revenge

There is no joy in Round Rock.

Early this morning the database servers at Dell Computer went down hard. The company is unable to accept orders on its web site and almost 5000 Dell sales reps trying to meet their quotas in the last week of the quarter are unable to book sales. Today’s loss for the company is already over $50 million and rising.

The database system in question is Oracle running atop NonStop Unix on a Tandem NonStop (now stopped — what an irony) system made, of course, by Hewlett Packard. So Michael Dell is pulling his hair out at this moment while he waits to be saved by HP.

It could be a long wait.

I […]

By |October 27th, 2011|2011|87 Comments