The Hewlett-Packard Company commonly referred to as HP, is an information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States. HP is the largest technology company in the world and operates in nearly every country. HP specializes in building personal computers, notebook computers, servers, blades, switches, printers, calculators, networking products, software, telephones, PDAs, digital cameras, storage, communication platforms, and home media devices among other technology related products and services.
The company once catered primarily to engineering and medical markets—a line of business it spun off as Agilent Technologies in 1999. Today, it operates as a diverse company marketing specific products to households, small to medium size businesses and enterprises. HP sells products such as printers and printer supplies, home and business PCs, and industry-standard servers both directly, via online distribution, consumer-electronics and office-supply retailers, software partners and major technology vendors such as CDW.
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 near 3.9% market share lead. HP is also the 5th largest software company in the world.
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.
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 discretemjn 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 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.
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.
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.”
HP has successful lines of printers, scanners, digital cameras, calculators, PDAs, servers, workstation computers, and computers for home and small business use computers; many of the computers came from the 2002 merger with Compaq. HP today promotes itself as supplying not just hardware and software, but also a full range of services to design, implement and support IT infrastructure.
The three business segments: Enterprise Storage and Servers (ESS), HP Services (HPS), and HP Software are structured beneath the broader Technology Solutions Group (TSG).
Products and technology associated with the Imaging and Printing Group include:
Personal Systems Group products/technology include:
TSG incorporates Managed services, HP software and Enterprise Storage and Servers Group (ESS)
With the major acquisitions of Peregrine and Mercury Interactive completed, HP has dropped the names OpenView, Peregrine and Mercury from its portfolio. The Business Technology Optimization (BTO)part of the software organization is now being referred to as HP Software & Solutions. The OpenCall branding still remains.
HP's Office of Strategy and Technology , under Executive Vice President Shane Robison:
In 2002, Scorecard.org ranked Hewlett Packard facilities in the top 10-20 percentile for total environmental releases and top 30-40 percentile for air releases of recognized developmental toxicants. It also showed that HPs factory in Puerto Rico released 246lbs of air released TRI pollutants, and had a total of 483,136lbs of production related wastes.
In July 2007, the company announced that it had met its target, set in 2004, to recycle 1 billion pounds of electronics and toner and ink cartridges. It has set a new goal of recycling a further 2 billion pounds of hardware by the end of 2010. In 2006, the company recovered 187 million pounds of electronics, 73 percent more than its closest competitor.
HP contributes to free software projects such as the Linux operating system. Some HP employees, such as Linux CTO and former Debian Project Leader Bdale Garbee, actively contribute and have Open Source job responsibilities. Many others participate in the Open Source community as volunteers. HP is also known in the (GNU/) Linux community for releasing drivers for most of their printers under the GNU GPL.
Until November 2005, HP offered a re-branded version of the Apple iPod.
HP partners with many application software companies, for example SAP AG.
HP has many sponsorships. One well known sponsorship is of Walt Disney World's Epcot Park's Mission: SPACE. Others can be found on Hewlett-Packard's website From 1995 to 1999 they were the shirt sponsor of English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur. They also sponsored the BMW Williams Formula 1 team. Hewlett-Packard also has the naming rights arrangement for the HP Pavilion at San Jose, home of the San Jose Sharks NHL hockey team.
After the acquisition of Compaq in 2002, HP has maintained the "Compaq Presario" brand on low-end home desktops and laptops, the "HP Compaq" brand on business desktops and laptops, and the "HP ProLiant" brand on Intel-architecture servers. (The "HP Pavilion" brand is used on home entertainment laptops and all home desktops.)
HP uses DEC's "StorageWorks" brand on storage systems; Tandem's "NonStop" servers are now branded as "HP Integrity NonStop".
On September 5, 2006 Newsweek published a story revealing that the chairwoman of HP, Patricia Dunn, had hired a team of independent electronic-security experts that later spied on HP board members and several journalists, to determine the source of a leak of confidential details regarding HP's long-term strategy in January, 2006. The independent, third party company used a technique known as pretexting to obtain call records of HP board members and nine journalists, including reporters for CNET, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Dunn has claimed she did not know the methods the investigators used to determine the source of the leak. Board member George Keyworth was ultimately outed as the source.
On September 12, 2006 Keyworth resigned from the board and HP announced that Mark Hurd, the current CEO and president, would replace Dunn as Chairman after the HP board meeting on January 18, 2007.
On September 22, 2006 Hurd announced at a special press briefing that Ms. Dunn had resigned effective immediately from both the Chairmanship role and as a director of the Board;
On September 28, 2006, Ann Baskins, HP's general counsel (head attorney) resigned hours before she was to appear as a witness at which she would later invoke the Fifth Amendment to "not be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime."
The committee requested, under Rules X and XI of the United States House of Representatives, information from HP by September 18, 2006:
At the September 28, 2006 hearing, Dunn and Hurd both testified extensively about the investigation. Dunn testified that until June or July 2006, she did not realize that "pretexting" could involve identity misrepresentation. Dunn repeatedly insisted that she had believed that personal phone records could be obtained through legal methods.
Other witnesses refused to answer questions due to the ongoing criminal investigations.
On October 8, 2006 Reuters ran a story describing pretexting used by Hewlett-Packard and other companies.
On October 12, 2006 HP announced the appointment of Jon Hoak as vice president and chief ethics and compliance officer. Hoak served as senior vice president and general counsel for NCR from 1993 until May 2006.
On December 7, 2006 HP paid $14.5 Million to settle civil charges brought by the California Attorney General.
In December 2006, two members of Congress requested that HP provide more information regarding CEO Mark Hurd's sale of $1.4 million of stock options on August 25, the same day he was questioned by attorneys investigating the pretexting scandal. Mark Hurd explained that the August trade was part of his normal investment strategy to diversify assets and was made during a regularly scheduled trading window for senior officers and directors. Additionally, Hurd assured the Subcommittee that the August trade had nothing to do with his interview by attorneys investigating the leak investigation and that he had initiated the trade before any such request had been made to him.
Hewlett-Packard is also involved in the NEPAD e-school program to provide all schools in Africa with computers and internet access.
Hewlett-Packard sponsors employee resource groups globally for black, LGBT, Latino, young, handicapped and other minorities.
Hewlett-Packard has undergone a number of acquisitions and mergers over the decades. For a list of notable acquisitions of companies and product lines see List of HP acquisitions.