10.18.2006

HP Reaches #1 Overall Market Share


Well, they were once saying that HP was #1 worldwide for consumer desktops and notebooks, and now it looks like everyone can say that HP is #1 worldwide for overall market share.

Also interesting is Apple's share growth this quarter, it looks to be quite strong considering their size - If I were a betting man (and I am) I think I may have won a 400 gallon fish tank.

Next week I am planning to come down to Cupertino, I'm looking forward to meeting more of the team!

On another note there was an interesting interview that I did with Firing Squad recently - My buddy John posted up today, I included a copy of it here with a link to it at the end.
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Only six months or so after Dell purchased gaming oriented PC maker Alienware, HP also announced a similar deal with Canadian based gaming PC maker VoodooPC. What does this mean for VoodooPC and does this signal the beginning of the end for boutique PC makers that specialize in gaming? FiringSquad got a chance to chat with VoodooPC co-founder Rahul Sood for more info on these and other topics:

FiringSquad: First, you talked extensively about the process by which VoodooPC was courted and acquired by HP on your blog but there is one question that isn't answered, namely why did HP want to buy Voodoo PC instead of using their extensive resources to simply build their own PC Gaming program from scratch?

Rahul Sood: Many people don’t realize this but HP is already a leader in two of three areas in gaming. First on the infrastructure side, HP leads the market by providing the major online MMO’s with HP enterprise solutions. On the developer side HP is also a leader as many gaming companies use HP workstations to develop their games on.

Where HP really wants to make a big splash is in consumer gaming, and rather than trying to go out and build another brand, they saw big value in taking our brand which has a rich heritage, our DNA, and our people to help drive the newly created gaming business unit under the personal systems group at HP. HP also realizes that their R&D labs are buzzing with innovation – and they see value in Voodoo’s ability to commercialize some of their leading edge innovations quickly and efficiently without affecting their incredibly successful personal systems group business.

FiringSquad:Why does HP feel that it's important to create PCs that are focused on gaming, especially with all of the attention being made to game consoles?

Rahul Sood: Hmm, I’m not sure all the attention is going to game consoles. Yeah the WII is cool, but look at games like World of Warcraft with 7 million paid subscribers. Almost all of our customers own both a PC to play games on and a console.

You can’t deny that a PC game with full detail enabled can blow the console experience out of the water – then again I enjoy sitting in front of my TV with a few friends so we can school each other in Madden. It really depends on the game – but at the end of the day the PC Gaming experience has the capability of delivering the most immersive realistic cinematic experience.

FiringSquad: High end PC gaming also usually require a high end budget to build a solid PC. With the HP acquisition of VoodooPC are there any plans to design a PC that can handle most high end PC graphics but have a budget that won't break the bank of most people?

Rahul Sood: We can’t really discuss our product strategy at this time – but keep in mind this is HP. Voodoo doesn’t think small, and neither does HP.

FiringSquad: What can you tell us about your new responsibilities under HP?

Rahul Sood: Man, all I can tell you is this is my dream job. I am the Chief Technologist for HP Gaming Worldwide. I get to work with HP Labs to help commercialize kick-ass innovations, and at the same time I am working with a newly formed gaming business unit at HP Cupertino. My team rocks, they are enthusiasts at heart and they’re busting at the seams to get things rolling. I will continue to tell it like it is on my blog and I will also write for CPU Magazine and Custom PC… Shwing!

FiringSquad: We know that VoodooPC will continue to create high end and high powered PC gaming products. Will we also see VoodooPC products in stores like Best Buy and Wal-Mart now that it has been purchased by HP?

Rahul Sood: Yeah good question. I had a similar question on my blog... Here’s the answer:
You'll never see a Voodoo exclusive machine in any discount retail store, anywhere on this planet - unless by some miracle a customer of the discount retail store happens to own a Voodoo and he or she and carries it in into the store, trips and falls while walking by the computer section - and the system flies through the air and lands on the shelf.

FiringSquad: Conversely will we see an VoodooPC influence in regular HP PCs?

Rahul Sood: As the Chief Technologist for gaming, I am also one of four Chief Technologists in the HP R&D Council – which means you may see some of our fingerprints on HP’s entire consumer portfolio. This doesn’t mean we’ll have custom painted printers with eye of the storm windows and electric veins, but you never know :)

FiringSquad: Alienware and VoodooPC have now been bought by the two big kahunas of the PC industry. Do you think this might make things harder for the smaller boutique PC gaming machine companies like Falcon Northwest?

Rahul Sood: I hold Kelt Reeves in high regard. I don’t think he has much to worry about, and I’m sure he’s getting offers all the time to do something grand with his company. Falcon is similar to Voodoo in that neither one of us are impressed by companies that come out of nowhere and drop their pants to “move more boxes”. It just doesn’t impress us. I believe there is room for boutique companies like Falcon-NW, but perhaps in the long term some of the lesser known guys may succumb to pressure and tap out. Although I have to say, there are three up and comers who impress me – and they know exactly who they are.

FiringSquad: Finally is there anything else you wish to say about the VoodooPC-HP deal and what is planned for the future.

Rahul Sood: Yes, I believe this deal is very unique to the industry – and there are some points I’d like to make clear about it for those that don’t understand the full dynamics of what will take place.
  1. This is a deal about innovating our product line, not our supply chain.
  2. Voodoo and HP are working together, not separately, to make this acquisition successful.
  3. The fact that the gaming business answers to the CTO or PSG rather than an accounting department proves that this is a true testament to innovation.
  4. The fact that Ravi and I are taking senior roles in the gaming business and our entire team at Voodoo are now HP employees proves that the Voodoo brand DNA will be integral to HP’s worldwide gaming business.
  5. Voodoo will remain in Calgary. Past customers, current customers, and future customers will receive a much better level of experience, quality, and service as we now have access to resources to deliver the experience we’ve always wanted to deliver.
  6. Voodoo now has the keys to a 3.5B+ R&D lab, and we will be sure to leverage the kick-ass innovations that the PHD’s within labs are conjuring up.

    Here is a link to the interview.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Innovation=buzzword
:(
Come on, give us something:)

Greg said...

Sounds like you're going to have a lot of fun with R&D pretty soon. I think mergers with boutique and large scale pc sellers makes sense. Kinda like Toyota owning scion as a performance division. It allows more effective allocation of resources for both companies (though I realize Toyota created Scion and didn't buy it).

I wish the R&D analysis you gave was a bit more in depth. Numbers aren't even necessary for an improvement (not saying your current info is pointless, as I realize you can't tell us everything, and that we savor every last drop of information that oozes forth), it just seems like you didn't give us results for any situation where you really pushed kentsfield to the limit.

Anonymous said...

Nice interview. I'm really excited to see what new inovations Voodoo will bring to the table. When you mentioned 3 newcomers... who where you refering to?

AJ said...

Rahul, I've been a long time fan of you and your company. I can see and understand the frustration there is in trying to achieve greatness when income has a ceiling. I hope that HP keeps their word and allows VooDoo to continue on its own path, but with more funding. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

Rahul,

You are still in denial.. Rahul and Ravi's baby is dying slowly.. One consalation is the good check you got for Voodoopc.

Anonymous said...

HP builds a very stable system with standard power supplies. upgrade that to a higher wattage PSU and stick in a decent graphics card $300-$500 and you actually have a decent gaming pc. I can still game on my upgraded HP but I since have gotten a new computer. And its 3 years old and it runs great.