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You know you struck a chord when multiple people, independent of one another, email to say, "Thanks for having the guts to finally call out Whitman." Apparently, I am not the only one who doesn't believe the hype.
In the above-linked article, I came down on Whitman's comment that
Hewlett Packard(HPQ - Get Report)just needs to be in the smartphone space. How novel.
Now comes official word that HP will take another stab at the tablet market with
an enterprise version running Windows 8.
TheStreet's James Rogers tells us that
HP will step up efforts in the software and services area. Best of luck competing with
Cisco Systems(CSCO - Get Report) and
IBM(IBM - Get Report).
That's really what it comes down to. Whitman and, by association, HP have no business competing with Cisco, IBM and
Apple(AAPL - Get Report). Didn't HP, and its equally-as-inept counterpart
Dell(DELL) learn anything from
Research in Motion(RIMM)?
Let's consider the lessons RIM taught us.
First, own up to getting your hind end handed to you by Apple. RIM did this -- though not explicitly -- but about two years too late. HP sort of has. In fact, Whitman came closer to doing what a company in an entirely different space did.
Domino's Pizza(DPZ - Get Report), like Whitman, told the world, in no uncertain terms,
we stink. What we have been doing hasn't been working. Our customers and the general public deserve a much better effort. From there, CEO Patrick Doyle led a refreshingly honest and innovative wholesale transformation of the company. That segues into point two.
RIM taught us that after you admit defeat or, at the very least, no longer have the will to fight, you need to make major changes. Of course, RIM did not do this. It has basically decided it will chart the same strategy that failed under a new boss, who is, for all intent and purposes, same as the old boss.
While HP might be doing some things different internally, they're not doing anything that we haven't seen before or is an invigorating take on what already exists. HP did not bring in a leader who is capable of enacting such radical change.