Will Windows 8 change the office environment?

Microsoft is making a huge push today to promote the new Windows 8 operating system along with the Surface tablet. It’s a huge bet for Microsoft, as the try to take on Apple directly and get into the game in the tablet market, while still retaining its stranglehold on the corporate PC market.

We’ll see what happens. Radical upgrades often don’t work well for Microsoft. Remember Vista? I do. It was a complete disaster. Then Microsoft righted the ship with Windows 7, where execution was more important than bells and whistles. So we’ll see how consumers react, and then we’ll see how businesspeople react. The tablet revolution does have the potential to shake things up a bit in the workplace.

Still, we’ve reached a point where the changes affect how we use computing services and devices, but does it change other areas of business much? So much has already changed in the past 30 years that there might be areas immune to advances in the devices we use. Businesses still use brochures for some types of promotion despite PowerPoint, though they might use online printing and ordering brochures at UPrinting in order to save money. Even at the Microsoft event, you can be sure they have printed posters and displays to go along with the big tech screens.

We just seem to have reached a point where these upgrades make a big difference in some areas, but others just stay the same.


Groupon’s evolution – is it a good thing?

What’s going on with Groupon? The stock has been battered recently. Listen to this video and learn how Groupon’s decision to take on inventory and sell its own products has radically affected its financials along with its stock price.


The drama continues at HP

California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman gives her concession speech during her election night rally in Los Angeles, California, November 2, 2010. REUTERS/David McNew (UNITED STATES – Tags: ELECTIONS POLITICS)

Meg Whitman is in, and the unpopular Leo Apotheker is out as CEO.

There’s little information on how this will impact HP’s strategy or their possible spinoff of the PC business. We’ll see . . .


In stunning move, HP dumps CEO Hurd

Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd smiles at a news conference announcing his appointment at HP headquarters in Palo Alto, California in this March 30, 2005 file photo. Hewlett-Packard Co Chief Executive Hurd resigned on August 6, 2010 following an investigation of sexual harassment, the world's top computer maker said. REUTERS/Lou Dematteis/Files  (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS HEADSHOT)

This was a real shocker. Mark Hurd is known for the operational discipline he brought to HP, but now he’s been ousted for fudging his expense reports to cover up a personal relationship.

Mark V. Hurd, who turned Hewlett-Packard into the world’s largest technology company on the back of fierce fiscal discipline, has been ousted from his post for the lowliest of corporate offenses — fudging his expenses.

H.P.’s board stunned Silicon Valley and Wall Street late Friday by announcing Mr. Hurd’s resignation as chairman and chief executive of the computing and printing giant, involving what it said was a “close personal relationship” with a contractor who helped with the company’s marketing.

The woman’s lawyer contacted the company in late June, charging sexual harassment. While the directors were investigating that charge, they found inaccurate expense reports that covered payments made to the woman. The directors said, however, that the sexual harassment charge was unsubstantiated.

The board charged that Mr. Hurd, 53, failed to disclose his use of company funds. It urged Mr. Hurd to resign, but he balked and offered to compensate the company for the disputed funds, said to range from $1,000 to $20,000, according to a person close to Mr. Hurd who was briefed on the situation but was not authorized to speak publicly.

The board, however, insisted. “This was a necessary decision,” said Marc L. Andreessen, a venture capitalist and a director.

This seems like an extreme reaction, to say the least. It’s interesting that Hurd fought to keep his job – at least the story makes more sense now. It’s hard to imagine someone like him voluntarily quitting his CEO post over such an offense.

That said, the guy was pretty stupid.

Hurd helped to save HP after the mess left by Carly Fiorina, so it has to hurt letting such an operational genius go. But, it may have come at a good time for HP, as the company has squeezed out quite a bit of efficiency, and in the long run innovation and strategy matter as well.


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