Hewlett-Packard is trying to compete directly with Amazon.com Inc. and Salesforce.com Inc. by leveraging its large manufacturing base and experience with servers and computers to build a new “cloud” service.
HP has been largely absent from the newest Internet trend “cloud computing,” but its servers are sold to companies who use them to create their own “clouds” of applications, and does not sell those services individually.
On Monday, HP’s Chief Executive Leo Apotheker, in his first speech outlining his plans for the company, said HP seeks to be a leader in enabling businesses and consumers to access and manage their stored data.
HP’s research and development costs are expected to grow faster than revenue as the company builds its own Internet “cloud” product. Apotheker said that within the next year, HP will open application stores for both consumers and corporate customers. The company will also allow customers to store and access data on its equipment.

HP also said its webOS operating system for handheld devices would be connected to this new cloud. HP executives have previously said they plan to integrate the well-regarded mobile software into HP laptops and desktops. Now, HP said it will connect them to its new cloud.

“We intend to be the platform for the cloud and connectivity,” Apotheker said.

Apotheker also said HP’s operations infrastructure in Japan was untouched by the devastating earthquake and that all the company’s employees were safe. Apotheker added that HP’s foundation has donated to help with recovery operations in Japan and that the company would be matching employee donations as well.

Apotheker became HP’s CEO in November, succeeding Mark Hurd, who resigned last August after questions about his personal conduct.

Reference: The Wall Street Journal

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