LOS ANGELES—Hewlett-Packard Co. Chairman Carly Fiorina said recent strategic moves by rival computer makers provides validation for her controversial decision to buy Compaq Computer Corp. for about $19 billion in a deal completed in May.
"Today we are in a much better position to serve you than we were a year ago," Fiorina said in her keynote address to about 5,000 attendees of HP World packed into an auditorium at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Wednesday.
"We think that other competitors are now reacting to us and starting to make their own strategic choices," she said.
For example, Fiorina noted that Sun Microsystems Inc. is "going so far as to offer Linux on a PC," a dramatic shift from its historic sole focus on supporting only its proprietary Solaris operating system.
Dell Computer Corp., according to the chief executive, recently made the "decision to upend its business model in search of new growth opportunities in printers, services and white box PCs."
Dell on Tuesday announced it had signed a deal with Lexmark International Inc. to develop and market its own line-branded printers starting next year. In response to Dells plans to enter HPs most profitable business market, HP in July canceled a reseller agreement through which Dell acquired and sold HP printers and supplies, as well as handheld devices.
Fiorina saved her harshest comments for IBM, the giant computer maker often cited as the model company for HPs expansion beyond hardware to a greater focus on services. The chief executive contended that rather than expanding and embracing new technology, IBM was reverting to its old ways of promoting its own technology and reducing choices for its customers.
"IBM is reverting to completely vertical integrated strategy of the 80s, so you cant have it your way, but you can have it IBMs way," Firoina said, spurring laughter from the crowded hall.