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Live Blog: Apotheker Speaks: Finally, HP's Vision

After a rocky start to his tenure as CEO, Leo Apotheker takes the stage in San Francisco to lay out his vision for HP.

We are live blogging during HP's press and analyst meeting. Our feed will begin at 1 p.m. PST/4 p.m. EST. You may need to re-fresh this page to see the up-to-the-second posts as they come in.

What To Expect From Apotheker

Today's Hewlett-Packard press and analyst meeting is likely to bring few surprises from new CEO Leo Apotheker. He's been making the rounds with the business press, laying out the basics of his vision for HP. In those articles, he has presented himself as the antithesis of former CEO Mark Hurd, saying that HP has cut spending enough already and that the company needs to return to its R&D roots and empower employees to take more initiative.

Apotheker's widely expected to spend time on how HP will improve its revenue from software and services. HP pales in comparison with IBM and Oracle in those areas, and most analysts see those sectors as ripe for profit growth Despite acquiring EDS in 2008, HP has nowhere near the cache of IBM in services. And when it comes to software, especially applications, it isn't in the same league as Oracle, a former partner turned blood rival following Oracle's acquisition of Sun and its naming of Hurd as a company president.

As it grows its business consulting business, it must also expand its software catalog. Acquisitions going back to Opsware and continuing through MercuryMY ADD, ArcSite, and Fortify show that HP is intent on building a strong infrastructure software base. While we don't expect to hear about new acquisitions, Apotheker will likely point out areas where HP will seek them. Recent acquisitions in the storage market (Lefthand Networks in 2008 and 3Par in 2010) are likely to be followed up with purchases of data management and data analysis vendors. HP's acquisition of Vertica last month was a step in that direction.

The Palm acquisition last year brought the company WebOS. Apotheker has already said he wants to ship the operating system with every end user device it makes - including PCs. That'll spell a lot of potential users for WebOS, but HP still has to make the platform attractive enough to use, and that means a strong app collection and developer community.

Reporting so far indicates that HP is intent on keeping its PC business. The question then becomes how HP will use its leadership in that low-margin market to create something of unique value. Apple is the obvious comparison here, and despite the fact that HP has never been the definer of cool and hip that Apple is, HP does have a unique position with its lead in PCs and printers and strong ability to enter other markets like phones and tablets.

Rationalizing all of HP's strategy and its past and future acquisitions will be a tough task for a two-hour presentation. But with HP coming off a bad quarterly earnings report and a lukewarm overall business, its new top boss will have to be at the top of his game today.

Outside Before The Event
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Outside Before The Event
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1:06 p.m. PST: VP Steve Fieler intros and positions the event. "Many senior leaders will present HP's strategy..."

1:08 p.m. PST: The stage sports a podium and large screen, and one rack of equipment labeled "HP Real Time Analytics Powered by Vertica."

1:09 p.m. PST: It'll be interesting to see how HP uses the equipment for a demo.

1:10 p.m. PST: Opening video shows HP technology being used around the world. Looks a lot like an IBM "smarter world" video.

Astronaut Baby
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Astronaut Baby?
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1:12 p.m. PST: Devices shown include HP handhelds, tablets, data center in a box, collaboration software a la project runway, data center management.

1:13 p.m. PST: Leo takes the stage, says he's been CEO for 4.5 months.

1:14 p.m. PST: "Data is the most valuable raw material -- vision is: to provide seamless, secure, context-aware experiences for a connected world."

1:15 p.m. PST: Will pioneer the converged infrastructure. That seems to apply on multiple levels -- data center to personal tech.

Data Analytics Box Powered By Vertica
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Data Analytics Box Powered By Vertica
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1:17 p.m. PST: Leo claims market leadership in every market they compete in, meaning #1 or #2. He's obviously not counting software in that assessment.

1:18 p.m. PST: Sees an end to separate professional and consumer technology.

1:19 p.m. PST: Security gets a nod as does data analytics. Two major areas of acquisition for HP recently.

1:20 p.m. PST: "HP is the trusted partner to bring enterprises into the cloud."

1:21 p.m. PST: He mentions again that your consumer persona and professional persona will live together on the same devices. Security for data, personalization for your lifestyle.

1:21 p.m. PST: Shows a slide of the typical app stack -- networking through databases, middleware, OS and devices. Says HP has the best offerings here already. That'll be surprise to Oracle and Cisco

HP sells 2 PCs and Printers a second.

Points to Brazil where traditional technology is selling well in a new market.

Leo Apotheker Takes The Stage
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Leo Apotheker Takes The Stage
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1:24 p.m. PST: Leo's mentioned "context aware" about a dozen times. No mention as to what HP brings to that.

1:25 p.m. PST: Claims HP converged infrastructure is already the core of the cloud. 8 of 10 internet providers use HP technology.

1:26 p.m. PST: 3 Million web connectible printers sold in Q1. 200 Billion pages printed per year. So much for trees!

1:27 p.m. PST: HP will be the transition from classic stack (see above) to a hybrid environment meaning public/private cloud.

1:28 p.m. PST: Claims HP is already making that transition for customers, uses DreamWorks as an example. DW rendered Shrek 3 on an HP provided cloud.

A Strategy For Today And Tomorrow
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A Strategy For Today And Tomorrow
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1:29 p.m. PST: Transitions to talking about 3 areas of focus: Cloud, Connectivity and Software.

"HP will build and run an HP cloud."

Public cloud to be announced "In the near future."

1:30 p.m. PST: Building an open platform for the cloud (aka middleware) supporting multiple languages and open to third parties.

Build on top of that an open cloud marketplace -- app store (assuming for WebOS).

1:31 p.m. PST: Cloud spans from enterprise to the home.

Now on to Connectivity

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