HP -- the Switzerland for Servers?
by Steve Anglin
Related link: http://news.com.com/2100-1001-959066.html
Is Hewlett-Packard (HP) becoming the Switzerland for server software and middleware solutions?
First, HP announced a partnership with BEA Systems to incorporate BEA's WebLogic application server middleware, and possibly the entire suite, with HP's HP-UX servers. Second, some HP executives are now sitting on BEA Systems' board of directors. Third, BEA enhanced its WebLogic offerings by partnering with Borland to incorporate Borland's Java IDE, JBuilder, with WebLogic.
So far, it sounds like HP is in the realm of Java. Well, yes and no. The no, because of this new HP and Microsoft partnership and investment in .NET announcement. But also, a month or so ago, Borland announced that it will develop IDE and other development and programming tools that support and use .NET. So, while Borland may be part of the BEA WebLogic Java-based equation, it's certainly a part of the .NET equation. Apparently, so is HP.
HP realizes that the debate between J2EE vs. .NET is not a debate afterall. As businesses integrate, merge, and look for cost-effective ways connect and operate, the value of interoperability between Java and .NET is paramount. Also, HP has a rather large Windows base, from its merger with Compaq. Therefore, it makes sense for them to invest in and support the .NET framework, in addition to continued investment and support for Java-based applications and Web services.
Of the big three server vendors consisting of IBM, HP, and Sun, HP is poised to be in the best competitive position going forward while IBM and Sun are primarily Java-only shops. IBM, however, does partner with Microsoft on W3C Web services initiatives.
Is HP becoming the Switzerland for server software and middleware solutions?
I don't see it that way at all.
I see a company in the PC biz, that won't be able to compete with Dell...in the consulting biz but won't be able to compete with IBM...in the Java biz (you know the drill). Jack of all trades, master of none, no leadership or direction.