WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. (TheStreet) -- Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) - Get HP Inc. (HPQ) Report announced bumptious, innovative and radical plans to...become exactly like IBM (IBM) - Get International Business Machines (IBM) Report. They are going to sell off their computer division in a massive overhaul that will, if the planets align correctly, transform the larger-than-life hardware maker into a nimble and thriving service company.(
Will H-P succeed?
As always, there's a lot of guesswork involved. But in appraising H-P's prospects, the business media should zero in on the company's experience with the TouchPad, H-P's ill-fated answer to
iPad. It is probably the only full example we have of H-P's recent behavior when shifting directions.
The New York Times told the story, which might be instructive, thoroughly. CNNMoney.com, The Associated Press and most others barely touched upon it.
Here's what we know: H-P went into this new area with big ambitions and promises. It was dismissive of critics, even scoffing that the move into tablets would be a marathon and not a sprint. Then, after only two months, they pulled the plug. Done. Finished. After all the big talk, they gave up.
This, of course, does not mean that their current efforts will fail, too. But with so much guesswork involved, it's important to consider this past as potential prelude. The New York Times did well to call traders' attention to the TouchPad disaster--CNNMoney.com and The Associated Press fell short.
At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.
Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page. For his "Business Press Maven� column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Fuchs appreciates your feedback;
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