Whitman lives up to her reputation. Hello Lenovo...
HP has steadily become a stupider and stupider vendor for commercial products, and this is the final straw for me.
Most of the businesses I support are smaller businesses who inevitably have some hardware in use older than 3 years old, and who don't see the value in paying half the cost of a server every year for support which is mediocre at best. With the older stuff, we can just keep a used spare and swap it out if need be, far cheaper than buying a whole raft of new hardware every 3 years and re-configuring everything.
As soon as I saw the new generation of Proliants were designed with "pretty faceplates" like Dell used to do, I figured it was only a matter of time before Whitman completely ruined the enterprise products division. That day has come in my opinion.
This is exactly what Oracle did when they took over Sun's hardware division, and Oracle has been driving customers away from almost all of Sun's product lines ever since. I only wish I had seen the Reg article about this back in December.
Yes, companies like Cisco and Juniper do this, but they have outstanding products with unique technology that cannot be obtained anywhere else, and they do an excellent job of support if you're paying for it. But they also are not draconian about things like firmware updates, the restrictions are not designed to be bulletproof.
Excellent timing though - may as well light a bigger fire under Lenovo's rocketship, after their recent announcement about taking over IBM's x86 business.
I've never been much a fan of Dell or IBM servers, Dell because there's no engineering behind them to speak of and because its a stupid organization, IBM because of their convoluted and arcane bureacracy.
I was skeptical of Lenovo's buyout of IBM's consumer PC division but as it turns out they have done an excellent job with it. I think Lenovo has gained an early adopter of their new server products.