back to article HP's Machine and IBM's $3bn R&D splash – aka how to survive Google

IBM and HP are trying to invent their way out of severe problems that lurk in their future. Both companies face slowing sales in some of their traditional high-margin areas, like enterprise servers and other on-premises hardware. And both are having a tough time converting existing business divisions over to selling the high- …

Anonymous Coward

Old vs New.

So it's the old guys vs. the new guys. I'd say, do the impossible IBM and HP! Why not cooperate around research around some of that good far-in-the-future stuff, and jointly use that to compete against the younger guys?

Ok, ok, probably not gonna happen, but imagine the muscle and resources if they did. =)

Silver badge

Maas Neotek when?

When these guys are done with their Wall Street fellations, expect Asians to step into the breach.

Once the upcoming crash has been weathered of course.


Oh really?

"Worse, neither Amazon or Google or even Microsoft appear to do much fundamental hardware and materials science research, so for IBM or HP to stumble would likely set the wider technology industry back by decades."

Amazon, Google and Microsoft are more users of hardware than originators. HP and IBM had major business segments using Intel technology to build servers; that's not origination, either. So we are all reliant on HP and IBM to belately get back to doing what they were originally founded to do many years ago. Meanwhile, there are plenty of newer hardware companies, far more innovative than IBM or HP are now; but they have step aside and let HP and IBM do the heavy lifting because they have armies of R & D engineers sitting there with sharpened pencils waiting to be given something to do.

Actually, I have a suggestion for HP: why not invent a printer which is not continuously running out of ink and does not suffer from progenia.

Anonymous Coward

At last

Enterprises won't use cloud for most of it's ssstems and this is the place ibm and hp were always present - high margin, high performance, best of the best equipment. Enterprise can use cloud for less important systems but those areas are not so significant for those two giants. This is the first wise decision they've made since ages. Stop all this cloud mess bullshit, stop EPS "strategy" and start doing what you both do the best - invent stuff.

Anonymous Coward

Do we need more original research into proprietary hardware?

The profit margins of a high margin hardware vendor over a white box shifter depend in the medium term on the continuing demand for hardware innovation.

High demand, big market for cutting edge gear that white box shifters can't match, big profits to plow back into research to continue the cycle. As demand drops off, however, the white box vendors' ability to perfect last generations stuff at much lower costs becomes relatively more attractive and R and D spending tails off.

It's the same curve that any technology goes through, and smartphones are rapidly moving to peak innovation too as low end devices start to be able to do most of the things anyone could want and new features from Samsung and Apple look increasingly less compelling.

My take is that software is the new hardware, and we're seeing a rapidly broadening arms race in terms of differentiating features on top of increasingly commodity hardware which is driving software R and D spend through the roof as hardware R and D spend declines.

Bronze badge

Re: Do we need more original research into proprietary hardware?

These guys are planning to disrupt the market, before declining hardware curve drives them into the ground. This is good plan. Also, software has a tendency to expand to fill all available hardware, while occasionally delivering new important technology - so it is actually worth inventing new hardware to allow these new software technologies to be invented.

For example: massive parallelism still hasn't found good software solution, because existing model based on critical sections does not scale with program design (it forces tight coupling), while transactional memory might scale, but is inefficient due to poor hardware support.


I Ask

I asks for the one that knows. HP this in phase of design of the microprocessor that will have "the machine", this selecting between ARM or X86. Why X86, is not technology proprietor (Intel) that doesn't grant licenses?

(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: I Ask

We don't know yet beyond Machine will use a mix of standard processors (x86 or ARM, say), and then custom silicon to finish the job.



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