The Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), commonly referred to as HP, is an information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States. HP specializes in building personal computers, notebook computers, servers, printers, calculators, software and home media devices among other technology related products.
The company once catered primarily to engineering and medical markets—a line of business it spun off as Agilent Technologies in 1999. Today, it markets primarily to households, small businesses, and enterprises, selling products such as printers and printer supplies, home and business PCs, and industry-standard servers both directly via online distribution and through independent consumer-electronics and office-supply retailers.
HP posted US $91.7 billion in annual revenue in 2006 compared to US$91.4 billion for IBM, making it the world's largest technology vendor in terms of sales. In 2007 the revenue was $104 billion, making HP the first IT company in history to report revenues exceeding $100 billion.
HP is the largest worldwide seller of personal computers, surpassing rival Dell, according to market research firms Gartner and IDC reported in January 2008; the gap between HP and Dell widened substantially at the end of 2007, with HP taking a 3.9% market share lead. HP is also the 5th largest software company in the world.
||Public (NYSE: HPQ)
||Palo Alto, California (1939)
||Bill Hewlett, Co-founder
David Packard, Co-founder
|| Palo Alto, California, USA
||Meg Whitman, Chairman, CEO and President
Cathie Lesjak, CFO and EVP
Randall D. Mott, CIO and EVP
Michael Holston, General Counsel and EVP
||$124.57B USD (2008)
||▲$104.3 billion USD (2007)
||▲$7.3 billion USD (2007)
||Snapfish, HP Labs, Compaq, EDS
Main entrance of HP headquarters building in Palo Alto
William (Bill) Hewlett and David (Dave) Packard both graduated in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1934. The company originated in a garage in nearby Palo Alto during a fellowship they had with a past professor, Frederick Terman at Stanford during the Great Depression. Terman was considered a mentor to them in forming Hewlett-Packard.
The partnership was formalized on January 1, 1939 with an investment of US$538. Hewlett and Packard tossed a coin to decide whether the company they founded would be called Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett. Packard won the coin toss but named their electronics manufacturing enterprise the "Hewlett-Packard Company".
HP incorporated on August 8, 1947, and went public on November 6, 1957.
Of the many projects they worked on, their very first financially successful product was a precision audio oscillator, the Model HP200A. Their innovation was the use of a small light bulb as a temperature dependent resistor in a critical portion of the circuit. This allowed them to sell the Model 200A for $54.40 when competitors were selling less stable oscillators for over $200. The Model 200 series of generators continued until at least 1972 as the 200AB, still tube-based but improved in design through the years. At 33 years, it was perhaps the longest-selling basic electronic design of all time.
One of the company's earliest customers was The Walt Disney Company, which bought eight Model 200B oscillators (at $71.50 each) for use in certifying the Fantasound surround sound systems installed in theaters for the movie Fantasia.
The company was originally rather unfocused, working on a wide range of electronic products for industry and even agriculture. Eventually they elected to focus on high-quality electronic test and measurement equipment.
From the 1940s until well into the 1990s the company focused on making electronic test equipment. A distinguishing feature was pushing the limits of measurement range and accuracy: many HP instruments were more sensitive, accurate, and precise than other comparable equipment. Amongst instruments produced were signal generators, voltmeters, oscilloscopes, frequency counters, thermometers, time standards, wave analyzers, and many others.
Following the pattern set by the company's first product, the 200A, test instruments were labelled with three to five digits followed by the letter "A". Improved versions went to suffixes "B" through "E". As the product range grew wider HP started using product designators starting with a letter for accessories, supplies, software, and components.
HP is recognized as the symbolic founder of Silicon Valley, although it did not actively investigate semiconductor devices until a few years after the "Traitorous Eight" had abandoned William Shockley to create Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957. Hewlett-Packard's HP Associates division, established around 1960, developed semiconductor devices primarily for internal use. Instruments and calculators were some of the products using these devices.
HP partnered in the 1960s with Sony and the Yokogawa Electric companies in Japan to develop several high-quality products. The products were not a huge success, as there were high costs in building HP-looking products in Japan. HP and Yokogawa formed a joint venture (Yokogawa-Hewlett-Packard) in 1963 to market HP products in Japan. HP bought Yokogawa Electric's share of Hewlett-Packard Japan in 1999.
First company logo.
HP spun off a small company, Dynec, to specialize in digital equipment. The name was picked so that the HP logo "hp" could be turned upside down to be the logo "dy" of the new company. Eventually Dynec changed to Dymec, then was folded back into HP.
HP experimented with using Digital Equipment Corporation minicomputers with its instruments. But after deciding that it would be easier to buy another small design team than deal with DEC, HP entered the computer market in 1966 with the HP 2100 / HP 1000 series of minicomputers. A simple accumulator-based design, with registers arranged somewhat similarly to the Intel x86 architecture still used today, it was produced for 20 years, in spite of several attempts to replace it. It was a forerunner of the HP 9800 and HP 250 series of desktop and business computers.
The HP 3000 was an advanced stack-based design for a business computing server, later redesigned with RISC technology, that has only recently been retired from the market. The HP 2640 series of smart and intelligent terminals introduced forms-based interfaces to ASCII terminals, and also introduced screen labeled function keys, now commonly used on gas pumps and bank ATMs. Although scoffed at in the formative days of computing, HP would eventually surpass even IBM as the world's largest technology vendor in sales.
HP is acknowledged by Wired magazine as the producer of the world's first personal computer, in 1968, the Hewlett-Packard 9100A. HP called it a desktop calculator because, as Bill Hewlett said, "If we had called it a computer, it would have been rejected by our customers' computer gurus because it didn't look like an IBM. We therefore decided to call it a calculator, and all such nonsense disappeared." An engineering triumph at the time, the logic circuit was produced without any integrated circuits; the assembly of the CPU having been entirely executed in discrete components. With CRT display, magnetic-card storage, and printer, the price was around $5000.
Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, originally designed the Apple I computer while working at HP and offered it to them under their right of first refusal to his work, but they did not take it up as the company wanted to stay in scientific, business, and industrial markets.
The company earned global respect for a variety of products. They introduced the world's first handheld scientific electronic calculator in 1972 (the HP-35), the first handheld programmable in 1974 (the HP-65), the first alphanumeric, programmable, expandable in 1979 (the HP-41C), and the first symbolic and graphing calculator HP-28C. Like their scientific and business calculators, their oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, and other measurement instruments have a reputation for sturdiness and usability (the latter products are now part of spin-off Agilent's product line). The company's design philosophy in this period was summarized as "design for the guy at the next bench".
The 98x5 series of technical desktop computers started in 1975 with the 9815, and the cheaper 80 series, again of technical computers, started in 1979 with the 85. These machines used a version of the BASIC programming language which was available immediately after they were switched on, and used a proprietary magnetic tape for storage. HP computers were similar in capabilities to the much later IBM Personal Computer, although the limitations of available technology forced prices to be high.
In 1984, HP introduced both inkjet and laser printers for the desktop. Along with its scanner product line, these have later been developed into successful multifunction products, the most significant being single-unit printer/scanner/copier/fax machines. The print mechanisms in HP's tremendously popular LaserJet line of laser printers depend almost entirely on Canon's components (print engines), which in turn use technology developed by Xerox. HP develops the hardware, firmware, and software that convert data into dots for the mechanism to print.
In 1987, the Palo Alto garage where Hewlett and Packard started their business was designated as a California State historical landmark.
In the 1990s, HP expanded their computer product line, which initially had been targeted at university, research, and business customers, to reach consumers.
HP also grew through acquisitions, buying Apollo Computer in 1989 and Convex Computer in 1995.
Later in the decade HP opened hpshopping.com as an independent subsidiary to sell online, direct to consumers; in 2005 the store was renamed "HP Home & Home Office Store."
In 1999, all of the businesses not related to computers, storage, and imaging were spun off from HP to form Agilent. Agilent's spin-off was the largest initial public offering in the history of Silicon Valley. The spin-off created an $8 billion company with about 30,000 employees, manufacturing scientific instruments, semiconductors, optical networking devices, and electronic test equipment for telecom and wireless R&D and production.
In July 1999, HP appointed Carly Fiorina as CEO. Fiorina was the first woman ever to serve as CEO of a company included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Fiorina resigned on February 9, 2005.
2000 and beyond
Compaq Merger. HP merged with Compaq in 2002. Compaq itself had bought Tandem Computers in 1997 (which had been started by ex-HP employees), and Digital Equipment Corporation in 1998. Following this strategy HP became a major player in desktops, laptops, and servers for many different markets. After the merger with Compaq, the new ticker symbol became "HPQ", a combination of the two previous symbols, "HWP" and "CPQ", to show the significance of the alliance. In 2006 HP outsourced its Enterprise support to countries with lower cost workers: the Spanish support (for Spain) moved to Slovakia, the German support moved to Bulgaria, English support moved to Costa Rica, etc.
EDS purchase. On May 13, 2008, HP and Electronic Data Systems announced that they have signed a definitive agreement under which HP will purchase EDS. On June 30, HP announced that the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 had expired. "The transaction still requires EDS stockholder approval and regulatory clearance from the European Commission and other non-U.S. jurisdictions and is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the other closing conditions specified in the merger agreement." The agreement was finalized on August 16, 2008 and it was publicly announced that EDS would be re-branded "EDS an HP company.”
This article uses content from http://www.wikipedia.org