Voodoo PC may have put a curse on HP

I just can’t figure out HP’s decision to fold its Voodoo PC business into its consumer line.A Voodoo PC

Voodoo laptops and gaming PCs, with all due respect, outclass HP’s Compaq Presario and Pavillion products. Those are for the Wal-Mart crowd. Voodoo built very-high end systems for people who didn’t mind spending $11,000 for a super-powerful laptop painted in Lamborghini yellow or Ferrari red. Voodoo also built incredibly powerful gaming systems.

Gamers are a unique bunch and they often times ridicule brand name PC vendors such as HP and Dell for making inferior systems.

So why would HP, which acquired Voodoo in 2006 and kept it basically independent for two years, want to merge this business unit into there consumer line?

According to a story by Agam Shah of our IDG News Service, it is the next step in integrating Voodoo into HP. The source Shah cited is Ann Finnie, an HP spokesperson.

How could it take two years to integrate a small Calgary-based system builder? It does not take Cisco very long to integrate small companies into its organization.

I don’t buy that answer.

The same story also quoted Voodoo founder Rahul Sood’s blog entry, which read: “Ultimately it means that Voodoo and Voodoo-influenced products will be easier to buy, faster to get, they will feature local service, and they will have the full power of HP’s marketing and sales channel behind them.”

I can see that for sure, but Voodoo was special in my opinion. They’re not a run of the mill PC maker. This company created a niche that many vendors and system builders would’ve loved to have had. Voodoo built a PC made of gold plate and titanium. These folks are innovative and the market loved what they were selling.

HP should be smart enough to realize that and keep it separate, while supporting them with a better supply chain and more marketing resources. Voodoo systems are not mass market products. They are high-end niche systems for a select group of people who do not mind paying premiums for powerful computers.

I have four quick hits before I go. Tom Flink is Citrix’s new channel chief, replacing Al Monserrat.

Juniper Networks named Microsoft veteran Kevin Johnson as its new CEO. Johnson will start in September and will also be on the board of directors. The company also announced that Scott Kriens will continue as chairman of the board and will remain active in the areas of strategy and leadership development.

Selectica has announced the appointment of David Knowlton as vice-resident of global sales.

And Vancouver’s Sierra Systems Group has appointed Joe O’Leary as its COO. He’ll be responsible for leading Sierra’s service lines and industry practices. O’Leary joins Sierra from Alvarez & Marsal, where he was managing director and leader (Midwest Regional Practice).

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