Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Léo Apotheker: Hewlett-Packard Will Build a Cloud

Amazon, Microsoft and IBM have a new competitor in the public cloud business ramping up, and its name is Hewlett-Packard.

As part of his remarks at an HP event in San Francisco today, CEO Léo Apotheker said the company intends to “build and manage an HP cloud.” He gave no specific details on when the service will commence operation. HP also plans to develop what it calls an open cloud marketplace for the enterprise

He announced the plan after laying out a strategy combining the cloud, connectivity and software that “enables and joins them together.” He portrayed it as a natural move for HP, which is a powerful player in the server business. “Today seven out of 10 cloud providers are already our customers,” he said.

The cloud service is just one piece of the broad strategic plan that he said will see HP playing on its strengths as a trusted traditional IT partner that will help companies make the shift from traditional corporate IT environments to embrace cloud computing, and hybrid approaches combining on-premise and cloud-based approaches.

He also paid a lot of attention to WebOS, the mobile operating system HP took over when it acquired Palm last year. As previously reported, HP plans to put WebOS on every one its PCs as part of a strategy to encourage developers to embrace. Apotheker said that HP has the potential to deliver 100 million WebOS-enabled devices into the marketplace.

He made another point about “big data,” and the recent acquisition of Vertica Systems is central to it. HP will close the deal during the second quarter. He said HP will offer an appliance for data analytics, though it will also offer Vertica’s capabilities as software and in the cloud.

Apotheker has finished speaking and how CFO Cathie Lesjack is on stage discussing the financial implications of the strategy. She said that HP will be “aggressive acquirer,” of companies. Lesjack also announced a 50 percent increase in the regular quarterly dividend payment to shareholders to 12 cents a share and that company expects it will increase the dividend annually. She also said the new strategy is expected to add $7 in per-share earnings on a non-GAAP basis by 2014.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald