...HP Labs Blue sky has been grey for a long time.
HP has given me resistors something like 15 years of development to get to "not commercially usable in the near future" in spite of the hype train pulling into the station a few times already. My understanding is the only products that have worked the way that has been stated cause degradation in the material used which reduces the number of available writes and the speed is lower than existing flash memory.
As for Helion, how could a server manufacturer look at the existing hosting/cloud environment and see the drive towards commoditisation from 2009 onwards and try to enter the market in 2014? Was the thinking that the other hosting/cloud providers weren't able to afford the wonderful HP servers to make them more profitable or was it just a scam to boost server sales for exec bonuses?
And "The Machine" - not sure it was ever more than a platform for memresistors (see above).
The problem that I see for the historical enterprise server providers is that their high margin Unix business is gone - the customer base is only just big enough to pay for the next generation or two of research and they are no longer able to really innovate. Plus they keep wanting to re-invent the high margin server ignoring how well commodity hardware performs.
The cloud providers (Google/AWS/Facebook and I suspect MS) all use custom hardware so don't need HP and co to help them. Plus they probably all do scale better than HP ever could.
Is there hope for HPE? If they start to kill off Itanium and move customers to x86 (including migrating the software...) they could keep things going and might get a few more money years out of an innovative ARM server (I.e. The bigger ARMs with the ability to tie them to a decent amount of memory in blade server type form factors with very high scale) that would make a big difference in application caching and if HP developed software solutions around that they may keep the hardware sales going a little long enough to then see the transition from x86 to ARM.
And maybe someone will notice something that will make real money in the meantime...