First of 64-bit Windows 8.1 tablets arrives, this one from HP

Hewlett-Packard is one of the first to offer 64-bit compatibility on Windows 8.1 with a tablet using Intel's latest mobile processor. But others will follow.

On Sunday, Hewlett-Packard announced the HP ElitePad 1000 (PDF), which it describes as the "redesigned and upgraded 64-bit HP ElitePad." That tablet, starting at $739, will be available in March.

The ElitePad sports a quad-core Bay Trail processor, Qualcomm Gobi 4G LTE, 64GB or 128GB of storage, and a 10.1-inch 1,900x1,200-megapixel display.

And Dell will roll out updated Venue tablets with 64-bit mode turned on, Dell told CNETRead more

Microsoft said to slash Windows 8.1 price on low-cost devices

Microsoft will implement a 70 percent discount on the price of Windows 8.1 for inexpensive devices, according to a report from Bloomberg. This follows a similar report last year.

Device makers will be charged $15 "to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250, instead of the usual fee of $50," according to Bloomberg.

A similar report emerged from Asia last year. But that report cited size and device-type restrictions. That will no longer apply, however, said Bloomberg. (Other reports last year also cited discounts.)

Some observers see this as … Read more

Meg Whitman: Traditional PCs drive growth, not just tablets

Hewlett-Packard executives had a lot of positive things to say about PCs in the company's earnings conference call on Thursday. And CEO Meg Whitman said she's seeing renewed interest in traditional PCs over tablets in business.

"There is some momentum in a long overdue PC refresh. What I think commercial customers are understanding from their employees, while they may want a tablet, they actually also need more traditional compute devices to do their real work," Whitman said during the company's earnings conference call for the first quarter of 2014. In the quarter, HP delivered better than expected results. … Read more

HP's Q1 beats estimates as PC business surprises

Hewlett-Packard reported better-than-expected first quarter earnings and revenue as the PC business delivered sales growth amid enterprise demand.

The company reported first quarter earnings of $1.4 billion, or 74 cents a share, on revenue of $28.2 billion, down 1 percent from a year ago. On a constant currency basis, HP's revenue was up slightly. Non-GAAP earnings for the first quarter was 90 cents a share.

Wall Street was looking for first quarter earnings of 84 cents a share on revenue of $27.2 billion.

As for the outlook, HP said that it expects to report second quarter … Read more

HP execs were aware of Autonomy's sales practices -- report

Hewlett-Packard senior executives knew of Autonomy Corp.'s sales practices and problems months before a whistle-blower exposed the company, according to new reports.

The US-based PC giant purchased Autonomy in 2011 for $11.1 billion. However, only a year later, Hewlett-Packard was forced to write down the acquisitions' value by $8.8 billion. A whistle-blower then came forward, stating that hardware sales conducted by Autonomy were often conducted at a loss. As a result, Hewlett-Packard has accused the firm of accounting fraud, which remains an ongoing saga.

The Financial Times reports that the PC maker's management knew about some … Read more

Death of the PC, Sony style

To Sony, the PC is dead. That's not death-spiral hype, it's fact.

Sony's Achilles Heel was its reliance on the consumer market, as some observers have been pointing out in the Japanese press.

But it wasn't that Sony was unsuccessful in the consumer market. Just overexposed.

Here's how Stephen Baker, an analyst at the NPD Group, put it.

Sony has not been unsuccessful in the PC business, especially recently, which makes this more puzzling. We would argue that Windows 8 actually provided an opportunity for Sony as a premium on design and product, especially around … Read more

Time to extend that support contract? No more free firmware for HP servers

Hewlett-Packard server customers might have a new expense to worry about for older ProLiant models: the company no longer gives away firmware updates to just anyone.

Instead, the update is available only if the machine is covered by a warranty or service contract. That's got some folks angry.

"I am really enraged by this action from HP," said Glen Drager, a school district network administrator, in a forum post at IT discussion site Spiceworks where others also complained. Among his reasons: hardware updates could become more expensive, buying used servers could become unwise, and it raises the … Read more

Qualcomm buys 2,400 mobile patents, applications from HP

Qualcomm has acquired 2,400 patents and patent applications relating to Hewlett-Packard's mobile technology, the companies announced Friday.

The acquisition includes about 1,400 patents and applications from the United States and about 1,000 from other countries. The patents are from ill-fated mobile efforts at HP -- the iPaq handheld device, the Palm business it bought in 2010, and the Bitfone mobile device management software.

"The company may be looking through its assets to determine those that may be non-core," said Wells Fargo Securities analyst Maynard Um in a research note. "We believe HP will … Read more

HP reportedly plans to launch new smartphones

Hewlett-Packard has been talking about getting back into the smartphone game for over a year. Now, a new report on Monday suggests "phablets" could be the company's way back into the mobile market.

HP reportedly plans to introduce several 6- and 7-inch phablets, sources tell The Information (subscription required). The devices are said to be aimed at emerging markets and cost between $200 and $250 without a contract.

HP attempted to gain ground in the smartphone market after acquiring Palm in 2010, but the WebOS-based devices failed to catch on with consumers. HP eventually decided in 2011 … Read more

Meg Whitman's salary bumped from a buck to $1.5 million

Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman appears to be getting a big reward for working to make the company more efficient.

The company's board has decided to up her salary from a mere $1 to $1.5 million, according to a HP filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

The filing says that the board members want to "bring Ms. Whitman's salary to a competitive level among the salaries of the chief executive officers of HP's peer companies." This salary increase was effective as of November 1.

HP's stock price has done well … Read more