Kindle Fire: Take three tablets and call me in the morning

I love the Kindle Fire tablet launched today, even though I have yet to touch one. I love the $199 price, the clever browser (more about that below, it may surprise you), the tight integration, the application, book and video marketplace, the small size, I even like the limited features compared with an iPad.  The Kindle Fire is perfect… for my kids. I’ll be buying three of them for Christmas.

Right now my boys, ages 5, 7 and 9 all have iPod Touches that have served them well despite having been many times lost, spilled on, and in one case very lightly driven over by a car.  But the Touches, which also cost $199 […]

By |September 28th, 2011|2011|185 Comments

Larry Page's Manhattan Project

This week I’m at NASA’s Green Flight Challenge in our new home town of Santa Rosa, California. It’s a contest for efficient flight using alternative energy that I’ll be writing more about later in the week. Much of the $1.65 million in prize money comes from Google, the subject of this column. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to Google’s strategic path under once-and-future CEO Larry Page and think I’ve got a couple things figured out. Google is right now in the process of changing, well, its process. Page is rebuilding the company but not doing a very good job of explaining himself, so I’ll just have to handle that here.

The image we all […]

By |September 27th, 2011|2011|72 Comments

Why Brian Utley should be HP interim CEO

I’ve already explained why I think Meg Whitman is a poor choice to lead Hewlett Packard. Here’s why Brian Utley would be so much better.

What HP needs most at this point is breathing room and hiring Brian as interim CEO would do that, allowing the company to make a proper CEO search (including a number of good internal candidates) while leaving the company in good hands. Well past normal retirement age, Brian would have no Whitmanesque ambitions to run the company long-term, though I think he’d really enjoy running HP for awhile.

It’s time for the HP board to give up trying to act in fell swoops. They simply aren’t smart enough.

Brian, if you […]

By |September 22nd, 2011|2011|41 Comments

Brian Utley (not Meg Whitman) for HP Interim CEO


Since the consensus view seems to be that Hewlett Packard will today replace CEO Leo Apotheker with board member Meg Whitman, let’s just assume that’s what will happen. Now I’ll explain why it is a bad idea.

Oh getting rid of Leo (or not hiring him in the first place) is a fine idea. Leo didn’t fit the culture or the industry and he arrived with way too much baggage from SAP. Hiring Apotheker was an example of the HP board trying to get ahead of the Mark Hurd scandal by making what it hoped would be a brilliant hire in Apotheker that would silence Wall Street criticism. The problem with that last sentence is the word hoped: hiring Apotheker was actually a giant crap […]

By |September 22nd, 2011|2011|29 Comments

Cringely's second column on the firing of Leo Apotheker

Given the news from Hewlett Packard today about the HP board reportedly firing CEO Leo Apotheker and replacing him with board member (and former eBay CEO) Meg Whitman, I could write a new column or take the easy way out and simply reprint my column from February 23rd predicting in some detail both events. Instead I’ll just include a link to that column since it includes 85 very entertaining reader comments that look in retrospect either brilliant or stupid.

That’s what I expect will be my epitaph: “He was either brilliant or stupid.”

If Leo in fact gets the boot today I’ll follow with a column tomorrow about Meg Whitman as HP CEO.

By |September 21st, 2011|2011|39 Comments