Hewlett-Packard (HP)

    Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) history, profile and history video

    ¬†Hewlett-Packard Company (commonly shortened HP) provides products, technologies, software, solutions and services to individual consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health and education sectors. It operates through seven business segments: Personal Systems, Printing, Enterprise Group, Enterprise Services, Software, HP Financial Services and Corporate Investments. The Personal Systems segment provides commercial personal computers (PCs), consumer PCs, workstations, calculators and other related accessories, software and services for the commercial and consumer markets. The Printing segment provides consumer and commercial printer hardware, supplies, media and scanning devices. Printing is also focused on imaging solutions in the commercial markets. The Enterprise Group segment provides servers, storage, networking, technology services and, when combined with HP’s Cloud Service Automation software suite, the HP CloudSystem. The CloudSystem enables infrastructure, platform and software-as-a-service in private, public or hybrid environments. The Enterprise Services segment provides technology consulting, outsourcing and support services across infrastructure, applications and business process domains. This segment is divided into two units: Infrastructure Technology Outsourcing and Application and Business Services. The Infrastructure Technology Outsourcing unit delivers services that encompass the data center, IT security, cloud-based computing, workplace technology, network, unified communications, and enterprise service management. The Application and Business Services unit helps clients develop, revitalize and manage their applications and information assets. Its offerings include licenses, support, professional services, and software-as-a-service in order to provide an end-to-end solution to customers. The Software segment provides enterprise information management and security solutions for businesses and enterprises of all sizes. The HP Financial Services segment provides a broad range of value-added financial life cycle management services. This segment offers leasing, financing, utility programs and asset recovery services, as well as financial asset management services. The Corporate Investments segment includes HP Labs, the webOS business and certain business incubation projects. Hewlett-Packard was founded by William R. Hewlett and David Packard in 1939 and is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA.



    Bill Hewlett¬†¬†and¬†Dave Packard¬†graduated with degrees in¬†electrical engineering¬†from¬†Stanford University¬†in 1935. The company originated in a¬†garage¬†in nearby¬†Palo Alto¬†during a fellowship they had with a past professor,¬†Frederick Terman¬†at Stanford during theGreat Depression. Terman was considered a mentor to them in forming Hewlett-Packard.¬†In 1939, Packard and Hewlett established Hewlett-Packard (HP) in Packard’s garage with an initial capital 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.¬†HP incorporated on August 18, 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 incandescent¬†light bulb¬†(known as a “pilot light”) as a temperature dependent¬†resistor¬†in a critical portion of the circuit, the negative feedback loop which stabilized the amplitude of the output sinusoidal waveform. 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.

    One of the company’s earliest customers was¬†Walt Disney Productions¬†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.

    Early years

    From the 1940s until well into the 1990s the company concentrated on making electronic test equipment: signal generators, voltmeters, oscilloscopes,frequency counters, thermometers, time standards, wave analyzers, and many other instruments. 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.The company was originally rather unfocused, working on a wide range of electronic products for industry and even agriculture.

    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.

    The 1960s

    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, Dynac, to specialize in digital equipment. The name was picked so that the HP logo “hp” could be turned upside down to be a reverse reflect image of the logo “dy” of the new company. Eventually Dynac changed to Dymec, then was folded back into HP in 1959.¬†HP experimented with using¬†Digital Equipment Corporation(DEC) minicomputers with its instruments, but after deciding that it would be easier to build another small design team than deal with DEC, HP entered the computer market in 1966 with the¬†HP 2100¬†/¬†HP 1000¬†series of minicomputers. These had a simple¬†accumulator-based design, with registers arranged somewhat similarly to the¬†Intel x86¬†architecture still used today. The series was produced for 20 years, in spite of several attempts to replace it, and was a forerunner of the¬†HP 9800¬†and¬†HP 250¬†series of desktop and business computers.

    The 1970s

    The¬†HP 3000¬†was an advanced stack-based design for a business computing server, later redesigned with¬†RISC¬†technology. The¬†HP 2640series 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. The¬†HP 2640¬†series included one of the first bit mapped graphics displays that when combined with the¬†HP 2100¬†21MX F-Series microcoded Scientific Instruction Set¬†enabled the first commercial¬†WYSIWYGPresentation Program,¬†BRUNO¬†that later became the program HP-Draw on the¬†HP 3000. Although scoffed at in the formative days of computing, HP would eventually surpass even IBM as the world’s largest technology vendor, in terms of sales.

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    Although¬†Programma 101¬†was the first commercial “desktop computer”, HP is identified by¬†Wired¬†magazine as the producer of the world’s first device to be called a personal computer, the¬†Hewlett-Packard 9100A, introduced in 1968.¬†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 discrete components. With¬†CRT¬†display, magnetic-card storage, and printer, the price was around $5,000. The machine’s keyboard was a cross between that of a scientific calculator and an adding machine. There was no alphabetic keyboard.

    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 (theHP-41C), and the first symbolic and graphing calculator, the¬†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¬†98×5¬†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.

    The 1980s

    In 1984, HP introduced both¬†inkjet¬†and¬†laser printers¬†for the desktop. Along with its¬†scanner¬†product line, these have later been developed into successful¬†multifunction¬†products, the most significant being single-unit printer/scanner/copier/fax machines. The print mechanisms in HP’s tremendously popular¬†LaserJet¬†line of laser printers depend almost entirely on¬†Canon’s components (print engines), which in turn use technology developed by¬†Xerox. HP develops the hardware, firmware, and software that convert data into dots for the mechanism to print.¬†HP transitioned from the¬†HP3000¬†to the¬†HP9000¬†series minicomputers with attached storage such as the¬†HP 7935¬†hard drive holding 404 MiB.

    On March 3, 1986, HP registered the domain name, making it the ninth Internet .com domain ever to be registered.

    In 1987, the Palo Alto garage where Hewlett and Packard started their business was designated as a California State historical landmark.

    The 1990s

    In the 1990s, HP expanded their computer product line, which initially had been targeted at university, research, and business users, to reach consumers.

    HP also grew through acquisitions, buying Apollo Computer in 1989 and Convex Computer in 1995.

    Later in the decade, HP opened as an independent subsidiary to sell online, direct to consumers; in 2005, the store was renamed “HP Home & Home Office Store.”

    From 1995 to 1998, Hewlett-Packard were sponsors of the English football team Tottenham Hotspur.

    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 largestinitial 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.

    In July 1999, HP appointed Carly Fiorina as CEO, the first female CEO of a company in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Fiorina served as CEO during the technology industry downturn of the early 2000s. During her tenure, the market value of HP halved and the company incurred heavy job losses. The HP Board of Directors asked Fiorina to step down in 2005, and she resigned on February 9, 2005.

    The 2000s

    On September 3, 2001, HP announced that an agreement had been reached with¬†Compaq¬†to merge the two companies.¬†In May, 2002, after passing a shareholder vote, HP officially merged with Compaq. Prior to this, plans had been in place to consolidate the companies’ product teams and product lines.

    In 1998, Compaq had already taken over Digital Equipment Corporation. HP therefore still offers support for the former Digital Equipment products PDP-11, VAX and AlphaServer.

    The merger occurred after a proxy fight with Bill Hewlett’s son Walter, who objected to the merger. 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 and also key letters from the two companiesHewlett-Packard and Compaq¬†(the latter company being famous for its “Q” logo on all of its products.)

    In 2004, HP released the DV 1000 Series, including the HP Pavilion dv 1658 and 1040 two years later in May 2006, HP began its campaign, The Computer is Personal Again. The campaign was designed to bring back the fact that the PC is a personal product. The campaign utilized viral marketing, sophisticated visuals, and its own website ( Some of the ads featured well-known personalities, including Pharrell, Petra Nemcova, Mark Burnett, Mark Cuban, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z,Gwen Stefani, and Shaun White.

    On May 13, 2008, HP and¬†Electronic Data Systems¬†(EDS) announced¬†that they had signed a definitive agreement under which HP would purchase EDS. On June 30, HP announced[24]¬†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 26, 2008, and it was publicly announced that EDS would be re-branded “EDS an HP company.” As of September 23, 2009, EDS is known as¬†HP Enterprise Services.

    On November 11, 2009,¬†3Com¬†and Hewlett-Packard announced that Hewlett-Packard would be acquiring 3Com for $2.7¬†billion in cash.¬†The acquisition is one of the biggest in size among a series of takeovers and acquisitions by technology giants to push their way to become one-stop shops. Since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2007, tech giants have constantly felt the pressure to expand beyond their current market niches.Dell¬†purchased¬†Perot Systems¬†recently to invade into the technology consulting business area previously dominated by¬†IBM. Hewlett-Packard’s latest move marked its incursion into enterprise networking gear market dominated by¬†Cisco.

    The 2010s

    On April 28, 2010,¬†Palm, Inc.¬†and Hewlett-Packard announced that HP would be acquiring Palm for $1.2¬†billion in cash and debt,¬†In the months leading up to the buyout, it was rumored that Palm was going to be purchased by either¬†HTC,¬†Dell,¬†RIM¬†or HP. The addition of Palm handsets to the HP product line provided some overlap with the then current¬†iPAQ¬†mobile products but was thought to significantly increase HP’s mobile presence as those devices had not been selling well. The addition of Palm brought to HP a library of valuable patents as well as the mobile operating platform known aswebOS. On July 1, 2010, the acquisition of Palm was final.¬†The purchase of¬†Palm, Inc.’s¬†webOSbegan a big gamble ‚Äď to build HP’s own ecosystem.¬†On July 1, 2011, HP launched its first tablet named¬†HP TouchPad, bringing¬†webOSto tablet devices. On September 2, 2010, HP won its¬†bidding war¬†for¬†3PAR¬†with a $33 a share offer ($2.07¬†billion) which¬†Dell¬†declined to match. Following HP’s acquisition of Palm, it would phase out the¬†Compaq¬†brand.

    On August 6, 2010, CEO¬†Mark Hurd¬†resigned amid controversy and¬†CFO¬†Cathie Lesjak¬†assumed the role of interim CEO. On September 30, 2010,¬†L√©o Apotheker¬†was named as HP’s new CEO and President.¬†In the HP resignation press release Mark Hurd made a comment which stated, “After a number of discussions with members of the board, I will move aside and the board will search for new leadership. This is a painful decision for me to make after five years at HP, but I believe it would be difficult for me to continue as an effective leader at HP and I believe this is the only decision the board and I could make at this time. I want to stress that this in no way reflects on the operating performance or financial integrity of HP.‚ÄĚ Mark Hurd continued. ‚ÄúHP has an extremely talented executive team supported by a dedicated and customer focused work force. I expect that the company will continue to be successful in the future.‚ÄĚ

    Apotheker’s appointment sparked a strong reaction from Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison, who complained that Apotheker had been in charge of SAP when one of its subsidiaries was systematically stealing software from Oracle. SAP accepted that its subsidiary, which has now closed, illegally accessed Oracle intellectual property.

    On August 18, 2011, HP announced that it would strategically exit the¬†smartphone¬†and¬†tablet computer¬†business, focusing on higher-margin “strategic priorities of Cloud, solutions and software with an emphasis on enterprise, commercial and government markets”¬†They also contemplated spinning off their personal computer division into a separate company.¬†HP’s consideration of a fundamental restructuring to quit the ‘PC’ business, while continuing to sell servers and other equipment to business customers, would have been similar to what¬†IBM¬†did in 2005.¬†However, after a brief review, HP decided their PC division was too integrated and critical to business operations, and the company reaffirmed their commitment to the Personal Systems Group.

    On September 22, 2011, Hewlett-Packard Co. named former eBay Inc. Chief Executive Meg Whitman its president and CEO, replacing Léo Apotheker, while Raymond J. Lanebecame executive chairman of the company.

    On March 21, 2012, HP said its printing and PC divisions would become one unit headed by Todd Bradley from the PC division. Printing chief Vyomesh Joshi is leaving the company.

    On May 23, 2012, HP announced plans to lay off approximately 27,000 employees, after posting a profit decline of 31% in the second quarter of 2012. The profit decline is on account of the growing popularity of smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices, that has slowed the sale of personal computers.

    On 30 May 2012, HP unveiled its first net zero energy data center. HP data center plans to use solar energy and other renewable sources instead of traditional power grids.

    On July 10, 2012, HP’s Server Monitoring Software was affected with a¬†Zero day vulnerability.¬†A security warning has been given to the customers about the two vulnerabilities that has caused these catastrophe and administrators are asked to install the appropriate patches to resolve the vulnerabilities.¬†One month later HP’s official site of training center was hacked and defaced by Pakistani hacker known to as ‘Hitcher’ to demonstrate a vulnerability.

    On September 10, 2012, HP revised their restructuring figures; they are now cutting 29,000 jobs. HP had already cut 3,800 jobs ‚Äď around 7 percent of the revised 29,000 figure ‚Äď as of July 2012.

    On November 20, 2012, HP took a $8.8 billion writedown on the value of Autonomy Corporation, acquired in 2011, and further claimed that Autonomy had misrepresented its finances prior to the HP buy out. HP has asked the authorities in the US and UK to investigate these matters, after an intense internal investigation, including a forensic review by Pricewaterhouse Cooper of Autonomy’s historical financial results, under the oversight of John Schultz, executive vice president and general counsel who led HP to believe that Autonomy was substantially overvalued at the time of its acquisition. This overvaluation was believed to be due to the misstatement of Autonomy’s financial performance, including its revenue, core growth rate, gross margins, and the misrepresentation of its business mix. Numerous examples of the accounting improprieties and misrepresentations were allegedly identified.

    On December 31, 2013, HP revised 29,000 cutting jobs to 34,000 cutting jobs up to October 2014. The current cutting jobs until the end of 2013 was 24,600.¬†At the end of 2013 the company had 317,500 employees. On May 22, 2014 HP announced it would cut a further 11,000 to 16,000 jobs, in addition to the 34,000 announced in 2013. “We are gradually shaping HP into a more nimble, lower-cost, more customer and partner-centric company that can successfully compete across a rapidly changing IT landscape,” CEO Meg Whitman said at the time.

    In June 2014, during the HP Discover customer event in¬†Las Vegas, Meg Whitman and Martin Fink announced a project for a radically new computer architecture called¬†The Machine. Based on¬†memristors¬†and¬†silicon photonics, The Machine is supposed to come in commercialization before the end of the decade, meanwhile representing 75% of the research activity in HP Labs.”

    On November 1, 2015, Hewlett-Packard was renamed to HP Inc. and the company enterprise business were spun off and renamed to Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

    *Information from and

    **Video published on YouTube by “Eric Wasatonic



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