HP Must Do a Lot More Besides Launch a Tablet: 10 Other Major Tasks

NEWS ANALYSIS: Hewlett-Packard is preparing to introduce a tablet. That’s not a bad idea. But it’s the least that this troubled company must do to get back on course.

Hewlett-Packard has made the surprising decision to get back into the tablet game. The company says that its device, which will be known as the Slate7, will be available in April for $169. The tablet, which is running Android, is designed to take on the lower-end of the slate space, including devices from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google and even Apple. And at such a low price, many folks are listening up to see what else HP has planned.

The trouble is, HP shouldn’t have wasted its time trying to deliver a tablet to the marketplace without first thinking about the rest of its operation. HP, despite its financial success, is in a difficult position. The company has watched its market share dwindle due to rising competition from Lenovo. It has no presence in the mobile market and its Autonomy acquisition has ignited a burgeoning investor revolt. Simply put, things are not going well at HP. And Meg Whitman needs to address them sooner rather than later.

Read on to find out what HP should do in the coming months besides launch a tablet:

1. Quell unrest among directors, shareholders

According to reports, HP is having all kinds of board issues right now. The company’s chairman, Ray Lane, is being called on by big investors to step down. Two other board members are also facing the chopping block. The company is reportedly trying to quell the unrest. But so far, it’s been unsuccessful. Let’s hope HP addresses that before it’s too late.

2. Address Lenovo’s growth

Lenovo has become a huge threat for HP. The company continues to inch closer to becoming the world’s largest PC maker. Just about every market researcher believes it’ll eventually leave HP behind. Meg Whitman needs to prove those people wrong and fix her PC business or be forced to sell it. Since Dell is in trouble, the time is right for HP to make up some ground on both Dell and Lenovo.

3. Figure out what to do with Autonomy

When HP made the decision to acquire U.K. software company Autonomy, many believed that it was a mistake. Now, it’s clear that it was. Whitman and her management team need to address investor anger about the acquisition and try to find a way to derive some value from the company. To not to do so now would be a huge issue for HP.

4. Focus on the enterprise first

The corporate world is arguably the best chance HP has at turning things around. Corporate customers are still heavily invested in HP technologies and for the time being, they aren’t going anywhere. So, why not work on enterprise products and ensure they stick around? It’s the smart move for HP.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...