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Sood: Voodoo PC Could Have Changed HP for the Better

By - Source: Xbit labs | B 25 comments

Microsoft executive Rahul Sood recently gave an interview in which he carefully expressed a certain frustration with HP's lost passion for taking care of its PC business.

Sood, of course, is the co-founder of boutique PC maker VoodooPC, which he sold to HP. He left HP earlier this year to join Microsoft as his once prestigious brand and ideas ended up in a dark corner of the vast spaces of HP.

Sood talked to Xbit Labs and indicated that HP may have simply worn him out and that there was no hope left that VoodooPC could turn into the vision the two companies may have had when they agreed to the acquisition.

"There were some good things to come out of the deal, no doubt, but we could have done so much more," Sood said.

He went a step further and compared the capabilities of VoodooPC+HP to Apple: "Had we been given more time I truly believe HP would have had a beautiful ecosystem of products that could stand up against Apple’s best offerings. If HP Voodoo was still alive and kicking you would have seen a different HP today."

It has been no secret that Sood does not believe that HP's decision to spin off its personal systems group is a good idea, but his criticism is certainly somewhat harsh.

"My guess is [that the HP CEO] sees challenges internally in PSG, he doesn’t fully understand how the hardware business operates, and he feels that hardware margins are far too slim to bother with. In my opinion hardware is the footprint that makes HP who they are. HP’s gigantic PC footprint is easily their biggest strength, not their software and services. If HP could leverage their biggest strength in a meaningful way they’d be almost unstoppable."

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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    agnickolov , September 8, 2011 5:26 AM
    Leo Apotheker comes from a software company, no wonder he's trying to make HP one too. Firing Mark Hurd was probably HP's biggest mistake in recent history, but hiring Leo Apotheker in his place may soon overshadow it...
Other Comments
  • -9 Hide
    HansVonOhain , September 8, 2011 5:08 AM
    HP is run by an apple wannabe. He is an idiot.
  • 9 Hide
    RabidFace , September 8, 2011 5:20 AM
    I also think more could have been done with the brand, and it's kind of sad. Forgot how long ago HP acquired Voodoo, but HP has been putting too many resources in to Beats in the last couple of years.

    I remember when Alienware and Voodoo PCs were their own company and that was the height of PC gaming. Each company was so gaming focused, they offered awesome cases, tested every system personally, and came with awesome warranties and customer service.

    The last of the mohicans of the enthusiast PC market is Falcon Northwest. They are still their own company, alive and kicking. They had, and still have some of the most awesome paint jobs you will ever see on a case.

    PC gaming took a slight dive with this current generation of consoles, and I am one who also jumped ship (sort of because of the CS and BF:2 hackers) for my PS3 I still own today. I always built my own rig, but these companies made PC gaming a breeze for people who weren't as technically inclined, or were, and just wanted bragging rights.

    I hope PC gaming starts becoming huge again, not all these damn console ports, but only time will tell. I do miss having a gaming rig though :(  Long live PC gaming! But consoles do have their place.
  • Display all 25 comments.
  • 13 Hide
    agnickolov , September 8, 2011 5:26 AM
    Leo Apotheker comes from a software company, no wonder he's trying to make HP one too. Firing Mark Hurd was probably HP's biggest mistake in recent history, but hiring Leo Apotheker in his place may soon overshadow it...
  • 9 Hide
    eddieroolz , September 8, 2011 6:12 AM
    I had fondness for VoodooPC. Too expensive to have owned one, but its design (even back in 2007) was quite breathtaking. Some DNA of that made its way into HP laptops, but HP never really took advantage of Voodoo at all.
  • 6 Hide
    leandrodafontoura , September 8, 2011 6:28 AM
    The only products HP know how to make are printers.
  • 0 Hide
    Archean , September 8, 2011 7:50 AM
    @lean
    HP is pretty big in business segment even with PCs, and don't forget about the server market, which brings them huge profits. IMO there quality has improved from what it was about 2-3 years ago. Anyway, talking about what it could have been is all this is, so it doesn't really matter. Especially since the company is being run by someone who seems to know much less about the hardware side of things, hence, he is pushing the company in a direction which he knows i.e. software.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , September 8, 2011 12:25 PM
    That will be the end of HP. Nobody goes to HP to get software. What a waste.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 8, 2011 12:25 PM
    Velocity Micro is another company that is still alive and kicking that caters to the gaming, high end multimedia PC market. All of their PC's are hand crafted and have US based support by very experienced technicians.
  • 0 Hide
    southernshark , September 8, 2011 1:03 PM
    HP is a company with no innovation. Its going to whither and die.
  • 1 Hide
    stingstang , September 8, 2011 1:15 PM
    I remember the gold-plated desktop cases from VoodooPC that cost a good 2k more.
  • 0 Hide
    spentshells , September 8, 2011 2:29 PM
    leandrodafontouraThe only products HP know how to make are printers.

    And Scanners.
  • 0 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , September 8, 2011 2:32 PM
    Quote:
    Leo Apotheker comes from a software company, no wonder he's trying to make HP one too. Firing Mark Hurd was probably HP's biggest mistake in recent history, but hiring Leo Apotheker in his place may soon overshadow it...

    Yes it's been quite obvious that Leo Apotheker doesn't want anything to do with consumer hardware. I understand the profit margin is smaller and with the number of choices in PC's if you don't keep a computer so low, you'll get priced out of the market. There is still the hope this could become a good thing at some point. When HP spins off PSG and someone else is CEO who doesn't have to report to a software only guy we could see some cool hardware out of them. My fingers are crossed by I keep hearing the drums in the deep.
  • -1 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , September 8, 2011 2:32 PM
    Quote:
    Leo Apotheker comes from a software company, no wonder he's trying to make HP one too. Firing Mark Hurd was probably HP's biggest mistake in recent history, but hiring Leo Apotheker in his place may soon overshadow it...

    Yes it's been quite obvious that Leo Apotheker doesn't want anything to do with consumer hardware. I understand the profit margin is smaller and with the number of choices in PC's if you don't keep a computer so low, you'll get priced out of the market. There is still the hope this could become a good thing at some point. When HP spins off PSG and someone else is CEO who doesn't have to report to a software only guy we could see some cool hardware out of them. My fingers are crossed by I keep hearing the drums in the deep.
  • 0 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , September 8, 2011 2:33 PM
    I don't know why it posted my reply twice. That's annoying.
  • 0 Hide
    coldmast , September 8, 2011 2:35 PM
    HP, instead of evaporating the VoodooPC name, should have simply done a spin -off. VoodooPC was a luxurious and eccentric as far as their products went; expensive for the average person, but a good target for the well-off. HP should have infused VoodooPC with the ability to handle the fabrication and part ordering stages with ease: thereby creating a more affordable and higher quality product.

    HP has been using the same sorry case designs for years, just switching colors is all that they have managed to do, brand recognition is the only reason people even bother with HP on the consumer level.
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , September 8, 2011 3:39 PM
    HP = Helpless Poo
  • 2 Hide
    sunflier , September 8, 2011 3:42 PM
    Too many internal politics can kill a company and some great ideas as well.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 8, 2011 4:28 PM
    HP's biggest problem is not the lack of ideas, but the lack of follow-up and thus waste. They buy VoodooPC and then fail to develop it. They buy Palm and WebOS and now drop this too. Billions of dollars and tons of man-hours all for nothing. In chess there is a proverb, "it is better to have a bad plan than no plan at all."
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , September 8, 2011 5:22 PM
    HP has become the like AOL. everything it touches dies
  • 0 Hide
    COLGeek , September 8, 2011 5:47 PM
    I have to ask....if "pigs" have wings, are they still "pigs"? Ignored innovation is often the result of large companies acquiring smaller, more nimble, out of the box companies. Sad.
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