hewlett-packard

Tech news from around the web:

  • Hewlett-Packard is planning to build a cloud-based media locker, and racing to beat Apple and Google in launching the feature, according to Electronista. The service, which is set to be featured on its TouchPad tablet, will offer an online music syncing option as well H-P’s Movie Store product.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • LivingSocial, the daily coupon website and rival to Groupon, is in talks with investors to raise around $500m to help fuel its expansion, The Wall Street Journal reports. The move comes just three months after it raised $175m from Amazon.com.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • Spotify, the European music streaming service is ‘a few weeks away’ from inking a deal for US rights to songs from Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company, people familiar with the talks have told Reuters. However, Spotify could end up launching without Warner Music Group, the number three music label group, says one person close to the talks.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • Apple is lowering its minimum spend from advertisers on its iAds advertising platform from $1m to $500,000, says AllThingsDigital. The move, which follows the first run of iAd campaigns, is designed to appeal to smaller-scale advertisers who originally couldn’t afford the platform.

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Richard Waters

After the mess of Mark Hurd’s departure, it’s good to see that Hewlett-Packard’s board has learnt a few lessons.

Leo Apotheker’s employment contract, on file today with the SEC, reveals that the new CEO has no guaranteed contract term. Instead, he is employed “at will”, which effectively makes it easier for the company to dispense with his services any time it likes.

Perhaps even more important is HP’s stipulation of the circumstances in which it can sack Mr Apotheker “for cause” – another glaring omission from the Hurd contract, and an issue over which HP has been heavily criticisedRead more >>

HP may have topped Dell in the bidding war for 3Par, but today’s Lex note argues, “HP may trump its rival– but to do so it has put a valuation on 3Par that is, frankly, bonkers.”

Lex writes, “Trouble is, 3Par has not made an operating profit in five years. Fixed assets at the end of last year were worth just $58m. On sales of $235m in the year to March 2011, analysts expect 3Par to generate $21m of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation. HP intends to pay almost 80 times those profits.” Read more >>

From John Gapper’s Business Blog

As the ousting of Mark Hurd as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard starts to fade from the headlines, one aspect of it lingers in my mind – the Google search. Read more >>

Richard Waters

Given the questions that have arisen over the extent of his ethical lapses – and the fact that he was cleared of the most most serious claim against him, involving sexual harassment – it’s not surprising that Mark Hurd’s supporters are starting to come forward.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison just unburdened himself of a typically outspoken reaction in an email to The New York Times. It includes this zinger: Read more >>

The FT’s Lex column writes that while Hewlett Packard’s acquisition of Palm may make a degree of financial sense for both companies, the challenge will be to meaningfully integrate Palm without alienating existing partners.

HP is a long-term partner of Microsoft, and is soon to release the first real competitor to the iPad: a touchscreen slate running Windows 7. In promoting Palm, the two companies will have conflicting priorities for the development and marketing of some new products, while playing nice on the full scale PC side. Read more >>

Richard Waters

A year ago, Silicon Valley investor Roger McNamee was talking up the potential for Palm’s latest gadgets to put the iPhone in the shade – and getting into hot water with the SEC in the process (which led to this self-parodying video).

So Wednesday’s hurried sale of Palm to HP marks an ignominious retreat – even if Elevation Partners, McNamee’s buy-out firm, at least managed to protect its downside.

All-in, Elevation put $460m into Palm between 2007 and 2009 in what amounted to a big bet that it could corner a piece of the new smartphone market before slow-moving giants like Microsoft and Nokia (not to mention HP) finally got their act together. Read more >>