1HP’s New Strategic Direction: 10 Products to Guide Meg Whitman’s Plans
Apples iPad 2When HP made the decision to discontinue its TouchPad tablet, it was met with great criticism by some stakeholders—and for good reason. The tablet space is set to explode in the coming years, and HP should want to capitalize on that. If Whitman agrees, shell need to look at the iPad 2 for inspiration. That device is easily outselling all competitors and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
If Whitman needs to keep the iPad 2 in mind, she should also think about the device Apotheker discontinued, the HP TouchPad. Although that device didnt sell well at launch, it was flying off store shelves when it was priced at just $99. Maybe there is something to that story that Whitman can use to her advantage if she decides to offer more tablets in the future. A cheap, high-powered tablet might be just what Whitman would need to solidify HPs position in the marketplace.
3Apple MacBook Air
The MacBook Air is one of the most compelling computers on store shelves. It comes with a nice, thin design and powerful components that has helped the device sell quite well. HP is thinking about spinning off the PC business because of its inability to compete against tablets. What a mistake. Creating a real MacBook Air competitor would be the ideal move for Whitman to make to help maintain the success of her companys PC business.
The cloud is the future. And Apples iCloud is proving that quite convincingly. That service, which lets users sync content across a host of devices, including iOS-based products, PCs and Macs, should provide some inspiration for Whitmans future cloud strategy. Not only does HP have the cash to take on iCloud, but it can use its fine design as a way to improve cloud services it might provide to the enterprise in the future.
Although HP didnt say so, it appears that under Apotheker, the company was ready and willing to turn its back on webOS. But Whitman cant allow that to happen. webOS was a compelling platform that simply didnt catch on with consumers or enterprise users at launch. But now that the TouchPad has sold well, it might have a future, especially since its so well designed. webOS should provide some inspiration for Whitman and what she might think about the mobile space.
6Dell’s PC Line
If there is anything that should inspire Meg Whitmans decision-making in the coming years, it should be Dells PC lineup. Dell is the company that has the most to gain from HPs decision to spin off its PC business, which could also seriously harm HPs ties with the enterprise. HP and Whitman simply cant allow that to happen. Dell will always be HPs biggest threat, and Whitman must keep that in mind.
Before Whitman decides to follow Apothekers lead and spin off the PC business and get out of tablets altogether, maybe she should think about Windows 8. That operating system, which is scheduled to launch next year, is designed with both PCs and tablets in mind. And some analysts say that Microsoft could sell as many as 400 million Windows 8 licenses. If that number doesnt inspire Whitman, what will?
As mentioned, Whitman should think twice about turning her back on webOS. The mobile space is vastly important to the future of any company, and to move away from it now would be a mistake. If Whitman does, in fact, stay in the mobile space with webOS, however, shell need to take a long and hard look at iOS. Apples mobile operating system is the best in the business, and appeals to both consumers and enterprise users. HP will need to develop webOS to have more of the features that are attracting buyers to iOS if it wants to compete in the mobile space.
All this talk of webOS yields one other important consideration for Whitman: should she maintain exclusivity or license it? Chances are the best move would be to license WebOS. And in order to determine how to do that, and how to be successful at it, she should consider Android. That operating system has taken off in the mobile space, and vendors around the world are lining up to use it. With the right adjustments, webOS could just be another Android.
Although HP has seemingly turned its back on its Personal Systems Group, the internal name for its PC division, Whitman must look at the success her company has had with computers. HP is currently the biggest PC maker in the world, easily overshadowing Dell, Lenovo and Acer. Whats more, the company could capitalize on that huge installed base by promoting its future software and cloud solutions to the enterprise. Its easy to say good-bye to the PC business, but its much harder to follow through when one considers all the benefits it brings to the table. And Whitman cant forget that.