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《经济学人》:惠普的远见 效仿IBM

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HP’s grand vision
惠普的远见

Aping IBM
效仿IBM

HP needs to transform itself if it is to avoid becoming obsolete
要想不被淘汰,惠普需要改变自己

Aug 27th 2011 | from the print edition

WHEN the board of HP, the world’s largest computer-maker, unveiled plans to restructure, it expected the company’s shares to suffer; but not to crash by 20%. HP’s bosses thought investors would love their plan to spin off the firm’s low-margin personal-computer (PC) business, but be wary of their plan to buy Autonomy, a British software-maker, for a handsome $10.3 billion. In fact, they hated both ideas. On August 19th, the day after the announcement, they wiped $12 billion off HP’s market value.

惠普这个世界上最大的电脑制造商,在其董事会公布重组计划时,就曾预料其股价将会下跌,但没想到会跌20%。惠普老板本以为,他们准备放弃营利较低的个人电脑业务的计划,会得到投资者的支持;但对于以天价收购英国软件公司Autonomy的计划,投资者会表示出担忧。事实上,投资者对这两项计划都不买账。8月19日,就在他们发出声明的第二天,惠普的市值便狂跌了112亿美元。

One problem was that the announcement left unclear what HP wanted to do with its PC unit and why exactly it intends to pay so much for Autonomy. Another factor was that many of the firm’s shareholders are short-termists, who were scared away by lowered revenue and profit forecasts. But the big problem is that Léo Apotheker, HP’s newish boss, is taking a huge gamble. He is trying to follow the example of IBM, by reducing HP’s dependence on hardware and pushing up into software and services.

一个问题是,在声明中,惠普对于如何处理其个人电脑业务问题,态度不明朗;对于计划高价收购Autonomy的理由,也没能说得清楚。另一个因素是,很多股东看重的是短期利益,惠普的营业额和利润数预测数双双减少,吓跑了不少投资者。但最大的问题是,惠普上任不久的总裁里奥•阿普赛克所冒的风险实在有点大,他试图效仿IBM,降低惠普对计算机硬件的依赖,转而主攻计算机软件和服务。

To grasp what HP has in mind, one has to understand the two main currents in the IT industry. First, nearly any new technology quickly becomes a commodity that is easily copied and hence not very profitable. This is why IT firms are always trying to move “up the stack” into software and services, where margins are higher. Second, the biggest IT firms typically control what is known as a “platform”: a digital foundation on which others build their products, such as Microsoft’s Windows. This allows them to capture a disproportionate share of the industry’s profits.

要想了解惠普的意图,必须先要弄清IT行业的两个主要趋势。第一,几乎所有快速被商品化的新技术都很容易被对手模仿,因此利润不多。这也是IT公司总是想着要上移堆栈,进入营利较高的计算机软件和服务领域的原因。第二,所谓的计算机平台往往由最大的IT公司独自控制,“平台”是其他公司产品的电子基础,微软视窗就是一个例子。这些大公司因此能够获得行业利润的较大份额。

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n. 译员,口译者,解释程序

 
factor ['fæktə]

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n. 因素,因子
vt. 把 ... 因素包括

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v. (使)旋转,疾驰,纺织,结网,眩晕
n.

 
understand [.ʌndə'stænd]

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vt. 理解,懂,听说,获悉,将 ... 理解为,认为<

 
chatter ['tʃætə]

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n. 饶舌,啁啾,喋喋不休地谈,(小溪的)潺潺流水声,(

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separate ['sepəreit]

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control [kən'trəul]

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vt. 控制

 
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