Milko van DuijlStill high on overtaking Dell last week to become the world’s second largest PC manufacturer by sales, Lenovo is becoming ever more bullish. Milko van Duijl, Lenovo’s senior vice president, is now not shy of admitting the company is gunning for the number one position – which it could reach within two or three years. Read more

In a world of smartphones and tablet devices, Hewlett-Packard’s 12c is a relic of the 1980s. An electronic device with one fundamental function: financial calculations. And, by today’s standards, not even a particularly sophisticated financial calculator.

Yet this month, it is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a special “Platinum” edition. The company is coy about figures but it is estimated to sell tens of thousands of these $70 calculators every year. It has never been out of production.

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Adding insult to an injurious two weeks at Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest computer maker has discovered that the discontinued TouchPad is a hit, at least at going-out-of-business-sale prices, and has pledged to manufacture some moreRead more

Reverberations from HP’s announcement that it intends to shed its PC business, the world’s biggest by volume, is being felt far and wide across the global IT industry. While no clear buyer has yet emerged, executives in the PC supply chain, analysts and even government officials are all trying to make sense of its impact.

Nowhere is this search for answers more urgent than in Taiwan, where much of the world’s PC supply chain resides. HP’s computers are assembled by Hon Hai, Quanta, Inventec and Wistron, all Taiwanese companies. Read more

Nearly ten years to the day since it doubled down on the PC business with the purchase of Compaq, Hewlett-Packard has decided that its shareholders have been through enough. As we and others are reporting, new CEO Leo Apotheker is ready to change course with a PC spin-off and giant software deal that will radically reshape the tech conglomerate. Read more

HP’s new TouchPad tablet, which goes on sale today, stands out as a product that has been well thought out and only brought to market on reaching a degree of maturity. Sure, it suffers from the same lack-of-apps Achilles heel as Apple’s other rivals but it sits alongside the Galaxy Tab 10.1 as the most serious, direct contender to the iPad 2’s throne. Read more

When the media were first shown the HP TouchPad in February, we were not allowed to touch it, ironically.

Well, from hands off to hands on. The long awaited tablet goes on sale on Friday in the US, France and Germany and I have been trying it out for the past week. Some video first impressions after the jump, ahead of a review in this Friday’s Personal Technology column.  Read more

When the media were first shown the HP TouchPad in February, we were not allowed to touch it, ironically.

Well, from hands off to hands on, the long awaited tablet goes on sale on Friday in the US, France and Germany and I have been trying it out for the past week. Some video first impressions after the jump, ahead of a review in this Friday’s Personal Technology column. Read more

At work, I have substituted the box under my desk, the one I keep accidentally kicking, with a Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 91z all-in-one PC that sits on the desk in front of me. It has just one cable – for power. The PC‘s innards have been incorporated into the rear of the monitor, so no monitor cable is needed; the keyboard and mouse are connected by wireless and the built-in WiFi means no ethernet networking cable is needed. The iMac has the same capabilities, making these two devices the Mac and PC state-of-the-art ap­proaches to compact desktop computing. Read more

The trend of employees wanting to bring their better-looking and feature-rich consumer devices into the workplace has provoked a reaction from those supplying the safe but staid business laptops we know and suffer. Faced with competition from tablets and ultra-slim notebooks, such as the iPad 2, MacBook Air, Samsung Series 9 and Sony Vaio Z, HP, Lenovo and Toshiba have produced ultraportable notebooks with extra style and consumer features – the subject of this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section. Read more

Leo Apotheker has just added a valuable new euphemism to the business lexicon. In striving to maintain the profit margin in its services division, he said, HP had “over-executed operationally.” That’s a justification other CEOs will no doubt rush to take up to explain away their companies’ over-zealous, but misguided, efforts.

But if HP is executing so well on its current business and failing to invest in the future, as Mr Apotheker suggested, then why is the lower margin now projected for the division closely tied to existing contracts? Read more

Facebook unveiled the design of its custom-built data centre and servers on Thursday, and promised to share the blueprints with the world, hoping its energy-efficient design would be copied by many others.

Innovations like a cooling system that uses no air conditioning and simplified servers have increased Facebook’s energy efficiency by 38 per cent, compared to conventional leased servers, and decreased costs by 24 per cent. Read more

File this one under “Oracle takes another dig at HP” or “Oracle kicks Intel when it’s already down”. In a statement overnight, the database company said it had decided to stop all software development for the Intel Itanium microprocessor, where HP is one of the few server makers still supporting the chip. Read more

The head of Intel’s Ultra Mobility Group abruptly quit on Monday, dealing another blow to the chipmaker’s attempts to penetrate the cellphone market. Anand Chandrasekher, a 24-year veteran who was leading that assault as senior vice president and general manager, announced he was leaving Intel “to pursue other interests”. Read more

The traditional desktop PC may eventually be ousted by the tablet, but in Hewlett-Packard’s new TouchSmart 610 PC, we can already see its recline and fall as the design heads towards the horizontal. This week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section reviews the 610, whose tilting screen could prove a tipping point for future versions of all-in-one touchscreen PCs. Read more

From around the web:

  • Yahoo has unveiled Livestand, a digital newsstand that personalises content to reader’s interests.
  • The Wall St. Journal reports that both Facebook and Google have had talks with Twitter about acquiring the micro-blogging service.

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While the media were not allowed to reach out and actually touch HP’s TouchPad at its launch in San Francisco on Wednesday, there was an opportunity to see some close-up demos after the unveiling and to handle the new Veer and Pre3 smartphones. My impressions were that this was a strong competitor in the power of its interface and hardware to the iPad, but its summer launch and comparative lack of apps may not put it in touching distance of the iPad or Android devices appearing months earlier. Read more

HP is unveiling a long-anticipated tablet device today based on the WebOS operating system it acquired in its $1.9bn deal to buy Palm last year. I am liveblogging from the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, where the news conference is taking place. Read more

We have one new fact to report and one new prediction to make about Hewlett-Packard’s webOS-based tablet computing gadget or gadgets, which will not be on display in Las Vegas. Read more

Much of the excitement around HP at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week is over whether it will unveil a long awaited tablet powered by Palm’s webOS. No sign of it yet, but, in the meantime, HP has announced its new notebook, netbook, PC and monitor lineup with the Pavilion dm1 looking the pick of the bunch. Read more