HP

Now we know what people mean when they say merger integration is torture. Former staff at Autonomy, the UK software company bought by Hewlett-Packard less than a year ago, say submitting to the US company’s “stifling” bureaucratic procedures felt “like being water-boarded”.

In turn, Meg Whitman, HP’s chief executive, has blamed “classic entrepreneurial company scaling challenges” for Autonomy’s “very disappointing” latest quarter. She has ditched Mike Lynch, the British group’s outspoken founder, often lauded in the UK as a hero of the homegrown technology sector.

 

Chris Nuttall

HP has announced a new line of “Sleekbooks” - a variation on Intel’s Ultrabook category that adds processors from its rival AMD and achieves lower price points.

The leading PC maker also unveiled Ultrabooks under its Envy brand name including a new model of the Spectre, the premium ultrabook it introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. 

Chris Nuttall

For an extreme gaming PC maker, Alienware has come up with the smallest and most moderately priced machine in its history in the $699 X51.

The company, acquired by Dell in 2006, is looking to expand beyond the 1 to 2 per cent share of the PC market owned by enthusiast gaming PCs, with a model that is quieter, more affordable and less obtrusive in a living room environment. 

Chris Nuttall

CES is over for another year and the awards have been handed out for best in show, with the CNET tech site choosing the HP Envy 14 Spectre in the PC category and Simple TV in “Home Theater”.

I liked both at close quarters when I was briefed on them, but also had some reservations. 

Joseph Menn

Smack in the middle of the ultrabook and tablet hoopla from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas comes a sobering report from the market researchers at IDC: PC shipments in the critical fourth quarter were down 0.2 per cent from a year before. 

Toshiba Portégé Z835 

Toshiba Portégé Z835

Competition in the Ultrabook category of laptops resembles a runway cat fight among skinny supermodels, as these thin and light devices battle it out over looks and vital statistics. The models from Toshiba and Hewlett-Packard, and a hybrid alternative from Asus, all excel but the right option will depend on your needs.

 

Chris Nuttall

Hewlett-Packard has made a weighty entry into the Ultrabook category with its Folio 13 laptop.

At 3.3lbs, it seems positively obese next to rival machines from Acer, Asus, Lenovo and Toshiba, which like the 13.3in MacBook Air they try to emulate, all come in at under 3lbs. But there is a reason for its heavyweight proportions. 

Tech news from around the web:

Since its integration with Facebook, MOG, the music streaming service, has reached 160,000 monthly average users, a 264 percent growth for the month of October, Venture Beat reports.

Apple is planning to update its retail store to allow customers to buy items through an app, BGR reports. The update is supposed to start on November 3rd. 

When Taiwan’s Quanta landed orders from Facebook and Google to help custom-build their data centres earlier this year, it was the first step into a new industry for the world’s biggest contract maker of notebooks.

Quanta chairman Barry Lam’s said on Monday, however, that his ambitions go further than just completing built-to-order projects for tech companies. Quanta will instead look to offer a full turnkey solution for servers, he said for the first time. It is a move that will put it into direct competition with industry leaders like HP, Dell, IBM and Sun Microsystems. 

With all the tablets and smart phones that fight for our attention, more traditional tech companies have been pushed to the background. Yet IBM and HP each managed to grab the attention of the tech world this week when IBM appointed Ginni Rometty as chief executive and HP announced it would keep its PC division.